Author: Holly Black
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
When seventeen-year-old Valerie runs away to New York City, she’s trying to escape a life that has utterly betrayed her. Sporting a new identity, she takes up with a gang of squatters who live in the city’s labyrinthine subway system.
But there’s something eerily beguiling about Val’s new friends. And when one talks Val into tracking down the lair of a mysterious creature with whom they are all involved, Val finds herself torn between her newfound affection for an honorable monster and her fear of what her new friends are becoming.Valiant by Holly Black
It just occurred to me that Valiant is a beauty and the beast retelling….
The story follows our heroine Val, who runs away from home after witnessing a complete and utter betrayal. In her run away adventure, she comes across some questionable street teens which opens her world to one she never believed existed. The world of the Fae. Val is thrust into something she may have not been ready for, swept under the wave of the unknown yet alluring. Especially when she meets Rav, a troll whom she strikes a dangerous deal with. As a string of deaths within the Fae begin to occur, Val’s world begins to teeter into more dangerous waters; especially with Rav.
What can I say about Valiant? It made me feel uncomfortable, dirty, hopeless, angry and elated. It was a roller-coaster from beginning to end, one that I held on for but was not prepared for. It was grittier than Tithe. I honestly feared that our character was not going to make it. The plot got darker and darker as I read along giving me anxiety strong enough to have me contemplating whether or not I was going to finish the book.
The teens that she meets were….horrible. I hated each and every one of them but they were compelling. The added to the grittiness of the book, to the filth. They helped pushed our girl Val along in this tempting and dangerous adventure.
Holly Black has really created such an expansive universe with the Fae. And it’s common knowledge that all her books have intertwined some how with the other. In Valiant, aside from seeing our beloved characters from Tithe, we get a mention of the Greenbriar line. This book was written a whole 12 years before The Folk of Air.
This book is definitely not your typical romantic story. There are some events that leave a sour taste in your mouth yet you can’t help but keep rooting for the heroes. If you want a darker YA book to steps out of your comfort zone, I recommend picking up Valiant.