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Wildworld #2

Heart of Valor

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When their friend, sorceress Morgana Shee, embarks on a mission to recover the Heart of Valor, a ruby giving the possessor almost limitless power, four children already in serious danger pursue her to offer their help. Sequel to "Night of the Solstice."

Hardcover

First published January 1, 1990

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About the author

L.J. Smith

197 books111k followers
I have a new blog about my Vampire Diaries fanfic.
https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog...

L.J. SMITH, Lisa Jane Smith, is the New York Times #1 Bestselling author of The Vampire Diaries, The Secret Circle, The Forbidden Game, Dark Visions, Wildworld and Night World series. She has written over two dozen books for children and young adults, and has enjoyed writing every one of them. She lives in the Bay Area of California, with a backyard that is full of flowers, which she adores, especially with many different shades of roses.

She loves to visit a friend's little cabin in the Point Reyes National Seashore area, which has lots of trees, lots of animals, lots of beaches to walk on, and lots of places to hike. Once, while hiking, she saw a snow-white buck which allowed her to follow it nearly half a mile. She also likes to collect things: angels (they remind her of her late mother), tiny boxes from different countries or of fanciful shape, nineteenth century children's literature, and books about quantum physics--especially about the mystery of the dark energy in the universe. A militant optimist, she is also part of the Velociraptor Sisterhood (a fancy way of saying that she likes to read, write and discuss books with strong female characters), and she has traveled extensively in Europe and the Far East. The two countries she loves to visit most are Great Britain, with its historic monuments and amazing country landscapes, and Japan, with its bustling urban life and exquisite mountain scenery.

Her favorite current writer is Terry Pratchett, the author of the Discworld series, for its wild and witty satires on life, death, war, love, assassins, coppers, and Australia. Her favorite classical writer is Jane Austen. Her favorite poets are Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson. Her favorite movies are The Seven Samurai and Avatar (analyze that!). She doesn't have a favorite TV show, because she doesn't have time to watch TV (and only owns one for playing movies).

Her favorite people are her readers, each of whom she cherishes with deep and lasting affection.

Note: L. J. Smith wrote books 1-7 of The Vampire Diaries series. After that, a ghostwriter took over the rest of the series. L. J. wrote books 1-3 of The Secret Circle series. After that, a ghostwriter took over the rest of the series. L. J. did not write any of the Originals or Stefan's Diaries. These were written by Kevin Williamson and/or various ghostwritters.

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5 stars
359 (30%)
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348 (30%)
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330 (28%)
2 stars
94 (8%)
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28 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 59 reviews
Profile Image for Kushnuma.
1,089 reviews30 followers
June 16, 2019
Heart of Valour is book 2 in the series.

I really don't remember reading this book, but that may be because it's been more than 10 years!

I liked reading the version of King Arthur and Merlin. And the were times when things were a little unclear. But overall I thought things turned out alright.
Profile Image for Bex.
385 reviews58 followers
January 26, 2011
This book being the sequel to Night of the Solstice, I was glad to see that it detailed a lot more of Morgana's past. No longer was she seen as the sorceress who had a very magical mystical-sounding name, but she was tied back to the Morgan of Arthurian legend, giving her a depth even beyond what Smith writes of her character.

We see a significant growth in maturity for the four main characters, too. Their personalities are much the same as we saw them in the previous book, but their adventures last time, plus their continued presence around magic, has helped them to grow and strengthen. It was nice to see characters who grew without changing completely, and remained familiar without acting as though the past never occurred.

This wasn't a spectacular novel, but it was a fun one to read nevertheless. It had good pacing, a good mix of calm deduction and heavy action, and would be a good read for mid-grade kids who enjoy a good modern-day fantasy story involving ordinary children getting to save the world. Teenagers and adults may still get enjoyment from this novel, too, though perhaps more as a fluff read than anything else.

If this book has any one flaw, it's that it takes trips to Exposition City. Crazy things happen, and when all is said and done, somebody has to recap and fill in the blanks with information that they have cleverly deduced somehow but that never actually gets a mention in the story itself. It ties up loose ends, certainly, but it makes for a weak ending.

Still, I can't say I didn't have fun reading this one, even if for me most of the fun was in the nostalgia of the book, reliving a few days in high school when I'd found a copy of this tucked back in the shelves.
Profile Image for Diana.
1,746 reviews
February 20, 2009
As the Hodges-Bradley children get back to their normal lives--with some magical changes--they discover that an earthquake may have temporarily opened the passage to Wildwood, and that an old enemy may be joining forces with a legendary figure from the past.

This was a little more focused on Alys, and that made it a more focused story. As Alys journeys on her path to becoming a hero, she has her stumbles, but overall her performance is astounding. Janie still sometimes grates, with with her new purpose--becoming a sorceress--she's definitely more palatable. The Arthurian storyline meshed well, and gave a new take on an old classic, with a magical twist.
Profile Image for Ria Bridges.
589 reviews5 followers
June 1, 2020
This book being the sequel to Night of the Solstice, I was glad to see that it detailed a lot more of Morgana’s past. No longer was she seen as the sorceress who had a very magical mystical-sounding name, but she was tied back to the Morgan of Arthurian legend, giving her a depth even beyond what Smith writes of her character.

We see a significant growth in maturity for the four main characters, too. Their personalities are much the same as we saw them in the previous book, but their adventures last time, plus their continued presence around magic, has helped them to grow and strengthen. It was nice to see characters who grew without changing completely, and remained familiar without acting as though the past never occurred.

This wasn’t a spectacular novel, but it was a fun one to read nevertheless. It had good pacing, a good mix of calm deduction and heavy action, and would be a good read for mid-grade kids who enjoy a good modern-day fantasy story involving ordinary children getting to save the world. Teenagers and adults may still get enjoyment from this novel, too, though perhaps more as a fluff read than anything else.

If this book has any one flaw, it’s that it takes trips to Exposition City. Crazy things happen, and when all is said and done, somebody has to recap and fill in the blanks with information that they have cleverly deduced somehow but that never actually gets a mention in the story itself. It ties up loose ends, certainly, but it makes for a weak ending.

Still, I can’t say I didn’t have fun reading this one, even if for me most of the fun was in the nostalgia of the book, reliving a few days in high school when I’d found a copy of this tucked back in the shelves.
191 reviews3 followers
September 11, 2020
This was one that I nearly gave up on. It expected it to be YA but it is probably more suited to the preteen group. The very start of the book is focusing on Claudia (the youngest of the 4 siblings featured in the book) but it quickly moves to the older siblings as well. It is sort of deciding if it wants to be YA or not. Apparently L.J Smith wanted it marketed towards YA but the publisher disagreed and marketed it more towards 9-11 year olds, and I can understand why they did but then it almost has bits where it crosses more into YA and would probably have been more interesting if the feelings/motives of the characters were fleshed out.

There is a grown up joke in there - the vixen says she was giving the fox a good tongue lashing, and she were giving him a good something or other. As soon as I read the line I inwardly groaned and thought, 'Do we really need to go there?' It could only have been worse had she said she was giving him a good seeing to. Nudge nudge, wink wink. Boy fox/girl fox. Innappropriate hand gesture.

I was really impressed with the idea that the maze that led to the gems was made up of the body of the guardian - a giant serpent. I thought that was really clever and cool and not something I've come across before.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Maddy.
552 reviews15 followers
March 26, 2021
A definite improvement from the first novel in the series. This sequel features a much more developed storyline, providing interesting backstories and plot absent from the previous book. I was pleasantly surprised by Smith's take on the legend of King Arthur, which was unique and fresh. Its sad to see that the final book in the series was never published, but hopefully it may be published one day in the future if fans are lucky. Overall, 3 stars!
Profile Image for Julie.
540 reviews
June 22, 2017
The book was fun and certainly held my interest. There was also a wonderful re-working of the Arthurian Legend, which I always enjoy. The ending was completely satisfactory. However, there is still an untrustworthy person at large and Alys and Janie both have missions at the end of the book, so there is certainly room for a third section of the story.
Profile Image for Kimberly.
Author 11 books12 followers
December 12, 2020
Really enjoyed this story and, of note, you don't have to read book 1 to enjoy book 2.
I loved the personalities of each character in the story and how it incorporated Merlin, Arthur, and Morgana Le Fay. However, the story may not be the one you've heard before.

If you enjoy magic, fantasy, adventure, and coming into one's own stories, you will definitely enjoy this one.
Profile Image for Jacci.
Author 17 books108 followers
June 2, 2017
I picked this up at the library but didn't realize it was book two in the series. It's hard to make each book in a series really stand alone. I liked the world building and that the author had characters of such diverse ages, each with their own gifts. I just got lost a bit.
Profile Image for L’étagère de Mel.
112 reviews1 follower
May 16, 2021
Un deuxième tome tout aussi plaisant et palpitant que le premier. C’était un très bonne lecture, même si j’ai été un peu moins emballée par certains aspects comparé au premier. Le fait que la réécriture d’une histoire mythique soit dedans l’a rendu très intéressant.
Profile Image for Mel.
15 reviews14 followers
March 9, 2018
A really good book, the story is great! And I am glad that - opposed to what I feared - the never written third book is not needed as this book has a clear ending and not necessarily needs a sequel.
Profile Image for Laurie D'ghent.
Author 5 books11 followers
December 2, 2020
Much better than the first. Characters felt more real, story didn't drag. A handful of swearwords
Profile Image for Alicia.
55 reviews1 follower
July 22, 2011
I love Smith’s style of writing a LOT, as I have previously mentioned – her novels transport you to wonderful, impossible places with just a few magical, well-thought-out words. The first book in this series, The Night of the Solstice, took a while for me to get into, but once you do you are gripped, and I found it very easy to slip back into the world of Morgana Shee, the world’s greatest sorceress, and the Hodges-Bradley children, who had previously saved the world from the dark forces of the Wildworld that threatened to invade the Stillworld – our side of the planet. With Heart of Valour set a year and a half later, the children are more grown up and learned in the ways of magic, though it was nice to see that they were still very much the same people they were at the start of the series. Charles was, in my opinion, a rather neglected character, which with him being the only boy in a family of girls, you really wouldn’t have thought; however, the children were wonderfully unique and realistic , and what I especially liked was that they were not perfect and certainly had flaws. In fact, very few characters are properly expanded on, which they deserve to be as it’s obvious that most would have a fascinating back story.

I really liked the humour – it was pretty unexpected, especially as I don’t remember the first book being particularly funny, though I did read it quite a while ago. I’m really glad that this isn’t a romance novel, which Smith seems particularly fond of to write, but I personally think she writes too much romance into her books, and if she stuck more to action, myth and magic alongside the romance, her novels would be even better.

I think I prefer this one to the previous one – I remember that I was almost willing the story to end, but I most definitely was not doing so with Heart of Valour, though I felt a lot of the action was too jam-packed into the last few pages, with not an awful lot occurring at the beginning of the novel, except the earthquake, which obviously set things in motion as regards to Thia Pendriel’s return – the powerful ally of the evil sorcerer from The Night of the Solstice, who is bitter towards Morgana for ‘stealing’ her staff, which she believes is rightfully hers.

Although parts were predictable, like the feathered serpent being an illusion as it was clearly missed of the list of elements and Alys managing to rescue the rabbit, along with Charles returning, many bits took me by surprise, such as the Janie-thing turning out to be Thia Pendriel’s familiar, nor was I expecting the fox that Janie rescued to run away.

I am the first to admit that I am not very knowledgeable about Arthurian legend, so I don’t know if Morgana’s back story was ‘true’ or made up by Smith or a combination of both, but it was very well done and I think the flashbacks were my favourite parts as they revealed a lot more about Morgana as a character and for me were the most entertaining parts of the story.

I think many preteens would absolutely adore this book, though the first book should definitely be read first!
Profile Image for Jennifer Rayment.
1,236 reviews53 followers
September 14, 2010
The Good Stuff

* Excellent continuation and completion of the series
* Lots of sorcery, flying serpents, King Arthur and talking animals, how can you not like that
* Like I mentioned in my review of the 1st book in the series, a great epic fantasy story for the younger set
* Realistic relationships between the siblings -- trust me I'm the little sister in my family
* Some light humour
* A far more detailed back story for Morgana
* Interesting twist on the tale of Merlin and Arthur
* Excellent 1st chapter brings you right back into the story of the Hodges-Bradley children
* Really enjoyed how the characters developed from the first book to now

The Not so Good Stuff

* Could have used the Vixen more
* A little predictable -- but hey I am a 40 yr old women, these stories were not written for me

Favorite Quotes/Passages



"They understand NOW," agreed Charles pointedly. "But what happens in a little while when the effects wear off and they remember everything except the reasons why they did it? They're going to be telling their parents they gave their car away to some kids who made them smell a leaf. And what do they say then?"

"In the meantime, how about us doing some more sister things together?" Alys snorted. "Like what?" Oh, I don't know. Slay a few monsters, outwit a few magicians, drain a few Chaotic Zones, negotiate a few treaties..." And after lunch?" Janie returned the wry grin sweetly. "I'll let you know."

What I Learned

* That I am a much better parent than any other parent portrayed in YA fiction
* I can handle fiction about the Fae, but only in YA books

Who should/shouldn't read

* Younger YA will enjoy, especially if they love fantasy - but even if they aren't fans of fantasy, they will enjoy
* Older YA may be a little too mature for this

4/5 Dewey's


I received this from Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest review
March 14, 2016
This to Night of the Solstice is what Home Alone 2: Lost in New York was to Home Alone.

I'm not gonna lie, I couldn't help but notice this felt like a rehash of the first book.

The parents are conveniently out of the picture, (overseas, this time), Morgana is not around much, The Vixen helps the kids at first before bailing, Alys still goes on about how she's not a hero, and as usual, The Hodges-Bradley kids take matters into their own hands, only difference is, we now have King Arthur mythology added.

While the book was a decent read. I couldn't help but feel it paled compared to Night of the Solstice. The conveniences were kinda annoying, The climax was also somewhat anti-climatic, it's one of those, "just like that" type of things. But I loved how she wove the King Arthur mythology into things, and the development of the kids was nice, it is interesting how

Still, if you want more Wildworld, give this a read.
Profile Image for Fantasy Literature.
3,226 reviews160 followers
July 9, 2013
Heart of Valor is set a year and a half after the events of the previous book in this two-part series (though both can be read as stand-alone novels), in which four siblings helped the sorceress Morgana Shee prevent the evil sorcerer Cadal Forge from emerging through her magic teleporting mirrors and causing havoc on the world. At the end of 'Night of the Solstice' the doorways to the Wildworld were closed, Cadal was destroyed, and his ally Thia Pendriel managed to escape with the immensely powerful Heart of Valor, a magical gemstone.

All has been quiet since then, with the quirky Janie studying magic under Morgana's guidance, Claudia enjoying her newfound gift to speak to animals, and Alys and Charles simply getting on with their lives. But after what seems like a typical Californian earthquake, the children and the sorceress begin to suspect that Thia is up to so... Read More:
http://www.fantasyliterature.com/revi...
Profile Image for Dharia Scarab.
3,182 reviews9 followers
July 7, 2015

My love of reading started when i was young, and it gives me immense pleasure to provide books to Spread the Word Nevada, an organization that passes them on to children in the community. They are a terrific organization supporting an important cause. If your local I encourage you to check them out. For those living further a field, look in your own community, their may already be a similar program in place. And if not, you can always help start one.

http://spreadthewordnevada.org/

Myself, I go out on the weekends and
shop thrift store and bulk book lots to rescue books and donate them. Sometimes I'll find a book I remember reading when I was young and will read it again before passing it on.

I don't rate these books using my normal scale, instead I give most of them three stars. This isn't a Criticism of the book, simply my way of rating them as good for children.
Profile Image for Emma (BelleBooks).
271 reviews88 followers
May 6, 2011
This book is the sequel to Night of the Solstice, I really love L.J Smith's books, but this one kind of disappointed me.

I would say it is aimed at a younger audience, just like Night of the Solstice was as well. I did enjoy the story though, I especially liked how the book dipped more into Morgana's past and her connections with King Arthur.

I really enjoyed the children "stealing" the convertible and all the little pieces of magic that was used along the way, which to seemed to bring them all closer together.

It was a bit too short for my liking, but the story was good so I'll let that slide. The ending blew me away, I was not expecting that at all!
Overall a fun, exciting read.
Profile Image for Abi.
419 reviews5 followers
July 16, 2021
The only complaint I have about the Wildworld books is that it has fallen victim to L.J. Smith’s infamous Writing Block – that is to say, the first book Night of the Solstice was published in 1987, Heart of Valor in 1990, and the final book, Mirror of Heaven, still has not been published, though Smith has said she plans to finish the series. Read the full review here.
Profile Image for Melinda.
306 reviews39 followers
April 10, 2016
It was a great fun read. It was a really good follow up to the first book. I loved the different take on Merlin and Morgana. I loved the kids, they were different from each other and worked really well together. The plot was fast paced and fairly unpredictable. Overall, a great book that I really enjoyed!
Profile Image for Jaimie.
1,543 reviews16 followers
January 17, 2015
For an author who I loved so much when I was younger, reading this book made me cringe with disappointment. The storytelling is rudimentary, at best, and I really found the lack of depth frustrating. Maybe she came into her own with the vampire and Nightworld novels, but L.J. Smith's fantasy sensibilities are quite off.
Profile Image for Cassie.
26 reviews
June 20, 2010
really interesting story... much better than the first book... i love the twist at the end how the hodges-bradley kids are related to king arthur and all through-out the story it's related to king arthur and excalibur!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Kim-Lost-In-A-Book.
402 reviews6 followers
December 24, 2010
A good follow up to the first (The Night of the Solstice), love the Avalon/Arthurian connections. Good story, adventure, a little choppy at times as far as connecting the story, but overall a good read.
Profile Image for Comicfairy.
67 reviews1 follower
January 9, 2011
Even though this book did not offer the level of romance and lust that later LJ Smith books would, part of it has definately stuck with me. Could just be a nostalgia factor since I read these as a kid when they first came out, but still. haha
Profile Image for Soybean Soybean.
90 reviews11 followers
September 29, 2011
this was muchh better than the first one..the plot started to get more exciting by page 156..the children finally had some actual purpose for being, and everyone had a happy ending except for thia pendrell of course..and merlin is now at large..
Author 2 books5 followers
March 22, 2012
This is book 2 in the series, the first book was very clean and fun. The second is still fun, but contains a few minor swear words. Also one reference to dancing in the moonlight naked-though they don't actually do it.
Profile Image for Helene.
344 reviews2 followers
May 5, 2015
I really enjoyed the second book and cannot wait for the next installment. Arthurian legends are fascinating to me and I loved the history and action in this book. I recommend this book to anyone who love adventure and magic.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 59 reviews

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