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Valiant: A Modern Tale of Faerie



Valiant: A Modern Tale of Faerie by Holly Black is a companion to her earlier novel Tithe: A Modern Tale of Faerie.

The novel revolves around the protagonist Val who runs away to New York after she discovers that her boyfriend has been cheating on her with her mother. Shortly after she arrives at the city she meets some homeless teenagers named Sketchy Dave and Lolli who invite her to stay at the tunnel where they live with Dave's older brother, Luis. Val soon learns that a troll also lives under the bridge and that Luis is his servent. Val also becomes his servent and before long she and her new friends become involved the mysterious deaths of several fairy folk.

Although I liked Valiant more than Tithe I still didn't enjoy the novel very much. Again my main problems were with the characters. In Tithe I disliked Kaye because she was nothing but a lazy arrogant thief whereas in Valient Val is slightly more likeable because although she does steal it's only because she has to in order to survive living on the streets. However she is still a pathetic character because not only does she start taking Never despite that she knows how dangerous and addictive it can be but she also has sex with someone who she didn't want to have sex with whilst using Never to pretend that she was having sex with someone else. I find this idea both disgusting and very disturbing. The other characters such as Lolli and Dave were also equally if not more dislikeable. In fact Ruth, Luis, and Revus are the only characters in this novel that are likeable.

The most interesting character in the novel is Mabry because she is a rather complex character. As for Revus although he is a likeable character I found him a bit dull.

Nevertheless Valient is still a big improvement in the series because the scenes were easy to follow and because the plot was far more interesting. I also liked the reference to "The Three Billy Goats Gruff" and although I disliked the way Never was used throughout the novel I thought that the notion was quite interesting. Despite this though I felt that the characters let the story down so I would not recommend this novel.

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