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Valiant
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About the Author

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 Tales series, the Curse Workers series, Doll Bones, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, The Darkest Part of the Forest, the Magisterium series (with Cassandra Clare), and the Folk of the Air series. She has been a finalist for the Mythopoeic Award, a finalist for an Eisner Award, and the recipient of both an Andre Norton Award and a Newbery Honor. She lives in New England with her husband and son in a house with a secret door. Visit her at BlackHolly.com.

Reviews

Gr 9 Up-The author of Tithe (S & S, 2002) returns to her dark, dangerous, and amazing world of Faerie. When 17-year-old Valerie catches her boyfriend and her mother fooling around, she runs away to New York City. There she falls in with a small group of teens who live in the subway tunnels. But there is something more to their stories than that of normal street kids. When Valerie begins to notice odd things about the deliveries they make, and when she meets Ravus, a troll, she understands that there is an entire world that she has never known existed-the world of Faerie. Valerie and her friends begin to steal from Ravus's deliveries, using the Never that he provides to the faeries as a drug. But those who receive the deliveries are being found dead. Is Ravus the poisoner or could it be another of the fantastic creatures they have met? This dark fantasy includes drug use and strong language, but beneath its darkness readers find well-rendered characters, a gripping plot, and pure magic.-Tasha Saecker, Caestecker Public Library, Green Lake, WI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

What makes Black's books so appealing to young adult readers is their well-balanced mix of reality (including a healthy dose of sex), high-concept fantasy and old-fashioned mystery. Raudman's expert reading of Black's second book in what the author calls the Faerie series catches that delicate blend very well, giving equal weight and credibility to characters who are definitely human (like heroine Valerie, her dismal school mates, her tacky family and the sad young derelicts she meets in the subway tunnels of New York) and those who are from another world entirely like the golden-eyed troll Ravus, who delivers a drug that heals faeries but kills the human runaways who steal it, looking for a way to improve their desperate condition. Raudman, whom listeners might recognize as several of the younger voices on The Simpsons, has a universally appealing voice likely to please hardcore fantasy fans and neophytes alike. Ages 14-up. (July) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

"Intoxicating."
-- Booklist
"This is a powerful book.... I love it when a girl learns how to be Valiant."
-- Tamora Pierce, author of the Immortals and Song of the Lioness quartets
"Exciting."
-- Publishers Weekly
"An edgy but ultimately life-affirming read."
-- Horn Book Guide

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