Valiant by Holly Black

I’m pulling books off my reading lists that fill letters I’m missing on my alphabet challenge. This book fit the bill. I originally put it on my reading list after reading a post about strong female characters in books at The Hub.

Subtitle: A Modern Faerie Tale (there’s a whole series of modern faerie tales by Holly Black)

Published: 2005

Genre: urban fantasy

Length: 313 pages (although the book dimensions were small, so it read faster than usual)

Setting: NYC, present day

Summary: Val is devastated when she surprises her boyfriend and mother kissing. She heads into New York City for a Ranger’s game (her boyfriend was supposed to join her) and just never comes home. She takes up with Luis, Dave, and Lolli, a couple of homeless kids living in a closed up subway stop. Turns out, the guys are couriers for Ravus, a fae. Ravus makes potions to help other fae banished to the city keep up their powers as they are surrounded by iron. Dave has been skimming of potion, which gives the kids the power of glamour when they shoot it up. Val get caught by Ravus and owes him a period of service as well. Ravus is worried because many of the fae are dying unexpectedly. Val starts to like Ravus, even if he is a troll, and works to clear his name of accusations of being the poisoner.

Final thoughts: I wanted to like this book more than I actually did. It was a perfectly enjoyable book, but I didn’t fall into it the way I did with Fangirl. It makes me wonder what it is about a book that one I can’t put down and another takes a while to drawn into.

I was more interested in the faerie murders than in Val’s life on the streets. It definitely felt like a teen novel – showing the problems of being a run-away and getting sucked into drugs and sex. Lolli certainly seemed like your stereotypical homeless drug addict  just thinking about her next fix. Not exactly the best kind of friend to make. Her life on the street seemed so awful and divorced from any choices that I would make that I didn’t have much sympathy for the main character. Val is brave and takes on some pretty high-powered fae in order to save Ravus. She does get herself back home and seems to have something to look forward to again, but the book just didn’t do it for me.

Title comes from: At one point, Dave called Val Prince Valiant. She also acts valiantly to save Ravus from a double cross.

Reading challenges fulfilled: #82 in my Maybe 100 This Year Challenge and a V in my title Read the Alphabet Challenge

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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