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Valiant (Modern Faerie Tales #2)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  30,084 Ratings  ·  1,415 Reviews
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
Paperback, 314 pages
Published October 2006 by Simon Pulse (first published May 31st 2002)
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Popular Answered Questions
Alexandra You could! There are characters from Tithe that make appearances towards the end, but you won't be confused if you haven't read the first one.
Aimee Marie Le Roi You can! The storylines for Tithe and Ironside are directly connected, but Valiant is more like a 'companion piece' where theres the same kinds of…moreYou can! The storylines for Tithe and Ironside are directly connected, but Valiant is more like a 'companion piece' where theres the same kinds of characters, and there is like one or two characters who cross over but its not anything where you would be vastly confused. It could function as a book on its own very easily

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Apr 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
I hated loving this book. Having read Black's Titheand Ironside, I was none to keen on reading Valiant. Black has a penchant for writing about the scourge of human society, leaving me with a sense of filth, and therefore compelling me to exfoliate. None the less, Black’s writing is so perversely alluring, that she all but grabs you by the neck and drags you into the story.

Val is impossible to describe. She’s a shell of a girl. In possession of one lezzie best friend, a mohawk donning boyfriend,
Alaina Meserole
Ever since I finished Tithe I've wanted to finish this series.. but never seemed to try and read the second book. No idea why, maybe I'm super lazy or I just never got the book.. but I'm happy to redeem myself people.

It follows Val Russell, who is about 17 years old, and she have a terrible life. Her family sucked a bag of dicks and her whole life spiraled down a dark ass rabbit hole. Yeah, things were not sunny on her side of the street. The grass was not greener for her. Well, her life sort o
Lisa Litberg
Sep 11, 2007 rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings about this book. I found the idea of the story captivating. Faeries are real, and they walk among us, hidden by glamour from human eyes. And they aren't necessarily good faeries--like humans, some are good, and some are stealthy. 17 year old Val discovers this world when she runs away from home and lives under the New York subway tunnels. Through unforeseen circumstances, she ends up indebted to a troll, delivering potions to faeries. But faeries are being poisoned, and Val ...more
Miss Bookiverse
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 24, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: posers, wanna-bes and those looking to flush their lives away
I hated this book from the first page.

Strong words, I know, but let's just have it out.

Trite, lame and basically a waste of tree. The plot was blurg, the characters were frighteningly unenthralling, the writing was fair, but you can find decent writing on the back of a cereal box.

The one book's one saving grace was a troll and though the idea was cool, it was hardly enough to save the entire horrible mess.

To rant in depth, I have to start with the drug thing. Magic as a drug (seen it! and it
Anastasia シ
Oct 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Really boring..... nothing really happens...

Edit: December 20,2012

Can't bring myself to finish this novel....

Nov 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: teen fans of fantasy novels
Valiant by Holly Black

Valiant by Holly Black is a very intense teen-fantasy novel about a seventeen-year-old girl named Valerie Russell-also known as: Val. Valiant is Holly Black’s second novel. The first to her collection is Tithe. Both of these books are beautifully written and tie into the world of faeries and trolls and things of such nature. Black is an avid collector of scary stories, creepy dolls, and crazy hats.

Val is this amazing character who changes drastically throughout this book.
Jun 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who likes Charles de Lint
I was a bit disappointed when Valiant didn't start up where Tithe ended. However, I quickly got over it.

This story follows 17-year-old Val Russell who runs away from her dysfunctional home within the first few chapters. In a moment of shedding her confusion, she embraces a new identity and shaves her head, leaving everything behind. She also finds herself in the company of three homeless teens--Lolli, Dave, and Luis who live on an abandoned subway platform.

Eerie and strange, Val finds herself c
Rebecca ♥ Warner, Kishan, Magnus ♥
I thought Kaye, the main character of the first book, Tithe, had a difficult childhood, but it was nothing compared to this. I wonder if Holly Black had a difficult childhood too.

Most of the book follows Val and her friends Lolli, Dave, and Luis who live in a disgusting, abandoned subway station, while they are high on faerie drugs all day. Val even starts acting like Alex DeLarge at one point when she breaks into a family's home. Lolli kills a cat at one point because she is just tired of taki
Aug 19, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: ages 16+
Many people loved Tithe and the Spiderwick Chronicles (though I haven't read those, I've only read Tithe) and they're very highly recommended books.
I was a little more than dissapointed, though, when I read Tithe.
The language was very vulgar, and the characters not very lickable at all.
And there were numerous other things that bothered me about that book.
When Valiant came out, I delayed in reading it.
I decided it was time to read it last week.
And this is all I have to say about it-
It's almost t
Mar 01, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommended to JM by: Sarah Rees Brennan
YA urban fantasy, loosely based on the story of 'Beauty and the Beast'. Val doesn't entirely mean to run away from home, but when home betrays her it's easy to not go back yet - to stay in the dark world of faeries and addiction she's stumbled into in New York. She's drawn further into that world when a moment of instinctive chivalry sees her bound in service to the troll Ravus - who, Val discovers, is in grave danger.

My short reaction here is: This was a good book, and I didn't like it much.

Jan 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 30, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
I didn't really care for this book. I think if I was 16 into punk and dressed all in black it would be great. It had quite a bit of language and a "situation" with the mom and the boyfriend that made me want to up-chuck.
Aug 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Majo by: Mitticus

Cuando empecé este libro no pensé que fuera a gustarme y durante las primeras páginas quise abandonarlo, porque no parecía mi género.

—¿Crees que eres un héroe?
—No, creo que tú eres un villano.

Eso resume bastante bien la trama, Val no es especial, no tiene dones y no sabe nada de las hadas. Solo es una chica común que, al huir de casa, se ve envuelta con mensajeros, trols y hadas. La historia parece sencilla al comienzo pero se complica con los repentinos asesinatos de hadas que compromete
Courtney Wells
Apr 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Whether or not you approve of it, I think we all know sex, drugs, angst, and vulgarity are part of the teenage atmosphere. I'm sure some people look at Valiant and feel it's a dark interpretation of an adolescent mind, but Holly Black is just being honest with herself, with us, and the target audience she's writing for.

Frankly, I'm glad there are books like Valiant on the shelves. More than that, I'm jealous. When I grew up and was in the hormonal throws of puberty I didn't have novels like this
Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
So, once again, Jen checks out a book from the library without consulting the order in the series. D'oh. However, after reading some reviews on GR, I determined that it wouldn't be detrimental to read this book before Tithe, as it centers on a different group of characters. For such a short book, though, it took entirely too long to get to the grit of the faerie world, and even then, it remained more urban fantasy than I expected. I don't honestly know what I was expecting, though, since I thoug ...more
Cori Reed
Apr 01, 2018 rated it liked it
2.5 Stars

This book is more of a companion than a sequel, which threw me for a loop. It's also one of the darkest and messed up YA books I have ever read. It begins with the main character walking in on her mother hooking up with her boyfriend and does not get any lighter from there! Yikes!
Jess (freaks over books)
Again, I loved this book as much as when I was a teenager. Again, I saw a lot of problems with it, these kids spent more time getting high off fairy drugs than actually fighting or conversing with faeries, and the relationship between Val and Ravus was rushed and not very believable, yet....yet. I love it. I actually love the concept of these kids getting jacked up on fairy drugs and the message Holly Black was trying to convey about addiction, about kids from broken homes on the street, about h ...more
Mar 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
I don't know why I assumed a book titled like this would have a male protagonist (maybe because Black's curse workers series does), but I'm so glad that Val was our girl. She was awesome from the get go. And while some parts might have stretched believability, I was willing to mostly go along with it.

I was surprised by how the book started, with Val sort of just taking off instead of being thrown into it. I liked it and it's different-ness, how it made Val a kind of different hero, one who was i
Ana Rînceanu
original read: 2009

I can only imagine one reason why this book is the most unpopular of the Modern Faerie Tales series and it has to do with the fact that it pushes a lot of buttons: runaway teens experimenting with homelessness, drugs and love, gender stereotypes being ignored (our heroine is the sword fighter and is referred to as Prince Valliant) and, blasphemy upon blasphemy, our male lead is not drop dead gorgeous. But those are all things I like and are done well here. I prefer this book t
Sep 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own-it, 2009
This second book of the series has a whole new cast of characters. Val, a seventeen year old girl from New Jersey, runs away to New York City after she walks in on her boyfriend and her mom. (I know, gross!)

Val ends up living in a subway tunnel with a bunch of homeless teens - finds out that fairies are real - makes friends with a troll - becomes addicted to some fairy "drug" her friends call Never - and must win the heart of the one she loves.

I really liked this one. Eager to read the third in
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
I am so disappointed by this book.

After saying Tithe was probably my favorite Holly Black book so far, I excitedly go to read the second book in the series and this is what I get.

Characters. Not a single one I liked. They were all extremely selfish, obnoxious, annoying, and quite dumb. I kind of liked Ravus, but I also feel like we barely got to know hi in this book.

The romance. It went from 0 to 100 real fast. Val meets Ravus, nothing, and then suddenly wow I think I'm actually attracted to him
Jun 20, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Valiant, like Tithe, is a gritty, visceral nose dive--this time into the streets of New York City from small town New Jersey where adults are messy, intrusive plot elements and skeezy boyfriends are even worse.

After catching her boyfriend making out with her mother on their living room couch, Valerie runs away to New York City where she makes quick friends with Lolli (Lollipop), Dave, Luis, and a kitten--a ragtag bunch of teens who dumpster dive for their meals and live in the subway tunnels ben
Originally reviewed here.

I have retellings on the brain right now. So you'll have to bear with me, as this is one of my favorites. VALIANT is the second book in Holly Black's excellent Modern Tales of Faerie trilogy. I read Tithe back in the day, and it immediately became my favorite Tam Lin retelling. I've been somewhat his and miss with that tale, and this angsty teen version of it worked remarkably well for me. So my introduction to Ms. Black was a fine one. When VALIANT came out, I didn't k
Janus the Erudite Artist
Valiant, the second book from Holly Black’s “Modern Faerie Tales” series, starts of after Roiben, from Tithe, became King of the Unseelie Court. But the story isn’t about the characters from Tithe; it opens us to the life of Valerie, a human who basically falls in love with a faerie – a troll to be exact.

Valiant reminds me of the well-known tale of “Beauty and the Beast”, somehow told in a dark, profane, rebellious world; although, there was a part that the tale was more like “Beast and the Bea
Katlyn Quinn
Jan 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Even better than the first (can it be possible? It is! It is!) Valiant is not a continuation of the Tithe tale per say, but some of the characters come together in the third book. Instead of following with a normal sequel, Black has created an entriely new set of characters in the world of faery, whom you fall in love with just as quickly.

Thank you, Black, for making me 'see' your story in a bleak world of (mostly) talentless writers. I have never been to NY, nor lived in a subway, nor taken fe
Jul 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
SO many people seem to despise this book and I really have no clue why. Sure they state why, but to me it's not true. It is probably because they are older adults (even 20 year olds) reading a YA book that is definitely meant for teens. This book to me was pure gold. The author's creepy way of describing the old and true folktale of faeries and telling faerie tales how they are meant to be told. Children from a young age are mislead by thinking faeries are nice, perfect, beautiful, and lovely th ...more
Jonathan Young
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Full Review:

Spoilery thoughts.
Like seriously Dave can leave. He seemed so nice until the strange glamour-love scene and then he shows his true colours and it's disturbing. Really disturbing.
Ruth showing up again was totally awesome and so good for Val. Lolli was fading her quirks and borderline irritating personality made Ruth so much more important. It really marked the turning point when Ruth showed up. Her being there seemed to really pull Val for
BriaKnits & Reads
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was an emotional roller coaster for me.

I went through a lot of feels: Frustration, happiness, anger, shock, disgust, etc.

I love when books do that though. It says that the writer did a great job of taking you through what the main character or characters are experiencing.
I still cannot get over how exceptional Ms Holly Black is at melding two worlds together. Reality and magical/fantasy. What an oxymoronic space to settle in, but when written right, creates a beautiful world.

Rylee Richards
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star
Overall impression

How to describe this book.. It’s that moment when everything that matters in your life goes down the drain and it’s time to embrace the darkness, choosing whatever escape is provided to get out of the muck and the heartache — the reality where there’s no one in your life left to trust, and you’d rather choose the emptiness. In her crappy reality, the mythical acts as a metaphor for things we know well in our own world, and provides her a way to escape how terrible life can be.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: Valiant by Holly Black 2 4 Apr 30, 2013 05:22AM  
Ask Holly Black!: Val and Ravus 6 134 Dec 01, 2012 09:01PM  
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Holly Black is the author of bestselling contemporary fantasy books for kids and teens. Some of her titles include The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), The Modern Faerie Tale series, the Curse Workers series, Doll Bones, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, the Magisterium series (with Cassandra Clare), The Darkest Part of the Forest, and her new series which begins with The Cruel Prince in ...more
More about Holly Black

Other books in the series

Modern Faerie Tales (3 books)
  • Tithe (Modern Faerie Tales, #1)
  • Ironside (Modern Faerie Tales, #3)

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“You carried my heart in your hands tonight," he said. "But I have felt as if you carried it long before that.” 168 likes
“I would remain nearer you for what time there is."

"Gone in one faerie sigh," she quoted.

Leather-clad fingers brushed over her short hair, rested on her cheek. "I can hold my breath.”
More quotes…