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A fractured faerie tale

  • Feb 6, 2009
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Once upon a time, though not so long ago, there lived a teenager named Valerie. Valerie lived with her mother in a single parent family relationship, played lacrosse in school, and was best friends with a girl who preferred girls as friends. Valerie had a foul mouth and a temper to match, and had a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate both of these when she caught her boyfriend cheating on her.

Being in possession of tickets to a hockey game at Madison Square Garden, Valerie fled to New York, where a chance meeting introduced her to a part of the New York Underground that usually only exists in the mind of Neil Gaiman and his ilk. Joining her new friends Lolli (as in pop) and Dave (just Dave), she officially became a runaway, living deep in the subway system and scavenging for her daily bread (and whatever else) on the streets (and in the alleyways and garbage cans) of Manhattan. She also met Luis, the leader of the little group, a strange young man with multiple body piercings and a both a weight and a chip on his shoulder.

Very soon, Valerie realized that there was more going on than communal living and scavenging, and here begins the grim faerie tale part of this story. As Holly Black tells it, there are faerie folk living among us, members of the Seelie Court, who appear to us as regular people (regular for Manhattanites at least) by magical means. Her friends have been working for a troll who lives under a bridge, and they have been trip trapping to and from his lair running errands in exchange for certain favors.

Soon Valerie becomes a part of the network, but when someone begins killing all the great faerie folk of Manhattan, alliances must be changed, loyalties questioned, and somebody has to get to the bottom of the matter before more innocent lives are lost.

This is a very dark faerie tale, and in telling it, the author also deals with betrayal, alternative lifestyles, drug abuse, casual carnal encounters, larceny, treachery, cruelty to animals, and more, all laced with generous helpings of profanity and teenage angst.

A modern faerie tale, and extremely well written, but recommended for more mature teenage readers due to the content.

Amanda Richards

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More Valiant: A Modern Tale of Faer... reviews
review by . July 26, 2010
           One of my reactions to this book was that i connected so well to the main character. She was so normal to me and yet had an epic adventure.   I would recommend this book to all of my girlfriends because this is such a romantic and fantastical book.   The setting in the city is very appropriate to what's going on with the main character.   The story itself is awesome. There are so many twists and turns that happen to …
Quick Tip by . June 23, 2010
Anyone who loves the world of fey and humans
Quick Tip by . June 22, 2010
Pretty good, kinda creepy
Quick Tip by . June 18, 2010
Eh, Tithe was better...
review by . August 24, 2009
Starting off, I will say I was disappointed this did not pick up where Tithe left off. We got all new characters within the same world and Kaye and Roiben weren't reintroduced until late in the book, and dismissed just as quickly. That said, I did love this new story in that world.    While I did enjoy some of the new characters, most of the misfits were just scummy. I didn't understand why they would choose to live in an abandoned train station if taking Never made it so easy …
About the reviewer
Amanda Richards ()
Ranked #41
I write reviews for a hobby. Most of my reviews are short and to the point, on account of my short attention span. I try to make my reviews both informative and entertaining, and sometimes I succeed. … more
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About this book



ISBN-10: 0689868235 (pbk.)
ISBN-13: 9780689868238 (pbk.)
Author: Holly Black
Genre: Children's Books, Teens, Young Adult Fiction
Publisher: McElderry
Date Published: September 26, 2006
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