Book Reviews

Valiant by Holly Black book review

I completely forgot to do this review… eeeeek! But here it is now:



Escaping from a life that utterly betrayed her, seventeen year old Valerie Russell flees New York City where she takes up with a feral trio who have made their home in the labyrinthine subway system.
Impulsive Lolli talks of monsters in the tunnels and of a shimmery Amber coloured powder that makes shadows dance around her.
Severe Luis claims he can make deals with the creatures no one else can see.
And then there’s Dave, Luis brother, who makes the mistake of letting Val tag along…
Dragged deeper into their damaged world, a bewildered Val finds herself bound into service with a troll named Ravus. He is as hideous as he is honourable,but beneath his embittered exterior Val discovers Ravus hides a lonely, vulnerable heart. Val soon finds herself torn between a growing affection for him – and fear of what her new friends are becoming because of him.

So this book says its the second in the trilogy and I was a bit like “What?!” Because it has totally different characters in but trust me… read this book before Ironside because some of the characters turn up in Ironside.


So its about a girl called Valerie who, after leaving to meet her boyfriend, doubles back home… only to find her mother and her boyfriend doing the dirty!
She leaves to go to watch hockey match… and never returns home!
Once on the street she meets two teenage runaways: Dave and Lolli.
They take her under their wing and show her what life is like on the streets.
Then the trouble starts…
Val sees Lolli doing ‘drugs’ which is actually meant for faeries to stop them from getting iron sick.
Although it doesn’t quite go to plan. Faeries start dying and the one one supplying the drugs, Ravus, is the prime suspect…
While faeries are dying, Val starts getting into the faerie drug, which Dave and Lolli call NeverNever.
Lolli and Val ‘stumble’ across Ravus’ home and while there Val tells him she’ll be in his debt and she has to do errands for him… just like Dave’s older brother Luis has to.
Queue some pretty intense drug highs, a faerie party and a kiss between Val and the troll Ravus.
When he discovers what Val has been taking, his horrified and sends her away.
While away that’s when things go wrong for Ravus. An enemy cuts out his heart and they have an hour to get it back…
Queue a quick fighting match in the Unseelie Court, in which Roiben is now Lord of, and a race against time to get the heart back to Ravus…

So like I said at the start… I was bit confused as to how this was the second book, but then I realised… The bit at the end in Roiben’s territory and mainly Luis, play a big part in the third book.

I really liked this one. Holly captured the essence of what its like for young people on the street and how they live. And the touched upon the subject of drugs too which is good to have in a YA book because what happens to Dave shows how dangerous they can be.

And the love interest between Ravus and Val… well at first I thought, how is this going to work? But of course Ravus can glamour himself to look human but that’s not what attracts Val… its his gold flecked eyes.

It was a new take on the Beauty and the Beast story and it showed that beauty isn’t all about looks… its about what’s underneath and the small things that make people more beautiful than they believe.

I really enjoyed this book. And definitely read it before Ironside. It does tie up things in the third book.

4 out of 5 stars 🙂


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