Patrice's Reviews > Heroes of the Valley

Heroes of the Valley by Jonathan Stroud
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's review
Sep 25, 11

bookshelves: 2011
Read in September, 2011

I'm on a young adult fiction bender! It's partly in preparation for coaching the 8th grade Battle of the Books team at the middle school where I work.

I liked this book more than I thought I would. The valley is a strange Viking world, consisting of 12 houses united in some ways and at odds in others. The main character, Halli is an awkward and lovable antihero. I enjoyed the character Aud, a strong, smart, and beautiful woman warrior from an opposing house. Aud and Halli are an unlikely pair, but seem to be a bit into each other. It's not a sickening Twilight-esque into each other, with fond stares and face touching. It's more like Aud and Halli are homies, partners in battle, and see the possibility of getting out of dodge together.

The author, Jonathan Stroud weaves a narrative with a legend from days of yore at the beginning of each chapter. The trows (weird monsters that live above cairns outside the valley) are legendary monsters that you're never really certain exist. The characters are easy to care about, relate to, and follow.

I feel pretty cheesy reading all this young adult fiction right now. I'm also happy that I'm able to relate to my students and talk to them about books that they're really into. As a future language arts teacher, I feel like it's necessary to keep up with the young adult fiction literary trends. Having read the Hunger Games trilogy has put me in a league of my own at the middle school where I work.

I didn't have the same sucked in, can't put the book down reaction to Heroes of the Valley, but it was enjoyable and not nearly as cheesy as the last YA fiction book I read. Seriously, the Warrior Heir was tough to make it through.

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