Brittany (Nice Girls Read Books)'s Reviews > Valiant

Valiant by Holly Black
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Jan 10, 2008

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Read from August 21 to 22, 2016

“Dead or not, I have come for his heart and I will have it.”

After re-reading Holly Black’s debut YA novel, Tithe, I was rendered a little disappointed. I am glad to say that although Valiant still rubbed me the wrong way in a lot of aspects, the story and plot itself seemed to have a lot more structure this time around.

Like Tithe, Valiant has (in my opinion) an extremely unlikable character as the lead. Valerie is a lot of nothingness, really. She is easily swayed by others, pressured and makes terrible decisions. There wasn’t a lot of room to fall in love with Valerie.

Valiant is extremely dark and harrowing – brace yourself. Don’t think of this one as simply a gritty urban fantasy. Instead, be prepared for more of a story about living on the streets of New York in deplorable conditions with deplorable people. Although a lot ‘centres’ around the existence of faeries, I felt that more of the focus of this one was on Val trying to navigate living on the streets.

A lot of things didn’t sit well with me in Valiant. There’s animal cruelty (I’m still not over this, despite it being a short scene), drug addiction, violence, sex, etc. While all these things can really add to a story and make it memorable, or make someone uncomfortable, all it really did in Valiant was make me realise just how unlikeable all these characters were.

The only character I relatively liked was Ravus, the troll. I think Ravus could have been developed a bit more, but what we did find out about him I really enjoyed. He seemed the most ‘sane’ of the characters and I was a little disappointed that he fell for Val. Val kind of redeemed herself by finally grabbing some guts and self-worth, but I was pretty ‘eh’ about their relationship all things considering.

Valiant is more of a ‘new story set in the same world’ rather than a sequel to Tithe, but we did get to see a cameo scene of Roiben and Kaye. There was also a bit of mentioning of the events from the first book, but I wouldn’t say you had to read Tithe before Valiant, etc. The two pretty much stand alone.

In terms of story structure, Valiant was a lot more put together. It read easily with a good pace. The only thing really detracting from this book was my complete loathing for 99% of the characters. Dark and edge, in this case, does not automatically mean a character is ‘cool’ or ‘interesting’. Lolli, Dave, Luis and Val were just terrible people.

I am looking forward to reading Ironside, however. I never got up to book three on my first read through of this series, so it should be something new and exciting for me.


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Reading Progress

08/21/2016 marked as: read
08/21/2016 marked as: currently-reading
08/22/2016 marked as: read

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