Valiant by Holly Black: 4.5/5
published by Simon & Schuster Childrens in May 2006
First of all let me start by saying that I loved this book! Holly Black doesn't disappoint with her follow up to Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale. Straight from Amazon:
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.
I found this book is just as good as Tithe in its dark and gritty portrayal of the Fey. This time we have another human, Val, who gets caught up in the underground network of exiled Fey now living in New York. Val is just as great a heroine as Kay and the romance between her and Ravus is, IMO, just as nice. However, people looking for romance must remember that Holly writes urban fantasy and not romance novels. There is always an element of romance thrown in for good measure but it is never the focus of the story. The tales are always about our heroine and how they deal with their everyday, mundane lives and their reaction when they discover this whole and dangerous world of the Fey.
I truly wish Mrs. Black would decide to continue on with this series as I think there are lots more possibilities and tales to explore in this world. Unfortunately I do believe this is the second book in a planned trilogy. The last book, Ironside, recently came out.
Let's just hope Holly changes her mind and keeps this wonderful world alive.
A solid 4.5 out of 5.