From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up—Val Russell runs away from home after discovering her mom and her boyfriend making out. In New York, she meets two eccentric, homeless teens who take her to their hideout in the subway tunnels where Dave's older brother runs an underground operation dealing potions to faeries. Lolli introduces her to the land of Faerie by shooting up an otherworldly substance called Never (named after Edgar Allan Poe's "Nevermore" from The Raven
). Val and Lolli are caught by Ravus, the powerful troll they work for. After enduring his rage and bargaining for Lolli's life in true Beauty and the Beast
fashion, Val is bound to Ravus for indefinite servitude and falls in love with him. In Holly Black's dark fantasy (S & S, 2005), filled with twists and turns, her vivid portrayal of the homeless teenagers is harsh, realistic, and apt. Narrator Renee Raudman's excellent voice-overs bring the characters to life, and listeners will relate to the teens. School libraries considering purchasing this audiobook should be aware that there is strong language, sex, violence, and rampant drug and alcohol use. A unique mixture of fairy tales, urban stories, and fantasy, this title will fly off the library shelf. For public libraries, Valiant
is a must for fans of Black's Tithe
(S & S, 2002).—Ann Crewdson, King County Library System, Issaquah, WA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Gr. 8-11. An exile from the Seelie court, the hunky, sensitive troll Ravus resides in a secret laboratory inside the Manhattan Bridge, ministers to other city-dwelling faeries with healing potions, and has exotic golden eyes and jutting fangs. Runaway Val meets the troll through a trio of homeless teens, runners in Ravus' potion-distribution network. They introduce Val to subway squatting, Dumpster diving, and "Never"--the drug faeries use to protect themselves from iron, but which affects humans like heroin. A twisted Agatha Christie-style plot unfolds as faery partakers of Never begin to expire, and Ravus is accused of murder; Val's feelings for the troll prompt her to clean up her act and investigate the true poisoner. As in Black's companion novel Tithe
(2004), the plot matters far less than the exotic, sexy undercurrents (including a scene where Val overhears teens having sex), the deliciously overripe writing, and the intoxicating, urban-gothic setting, where "everything was strange and beautiful and swollen with possibilities." Jennifer MattsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
--This text refers to the