Holly Black
Valiant Cover



This novel ended up on my reading list because it was nominated in 2006 for a Locus YA and won a 2006 Norton. Now I had read the first novel in the series Tithe and had blasted Holly Black for how shallow and poorly written her characters were. But did say I would still read this novel because I am attempting to read all the Locus YA nominated novels.

Well a year later I finally got around to reading the second novel in the series. Ms. Black if not rectifying my complaints from the last novel at least attempts to address them in this novel. She introduces a new series of characters in yet another modern day telling of "Beauty and The Beast." Only this time our "beauty" is a 17 year old runaway with a drug problem, and out "beast" is a troll. It is understandable that the characters Val interacts with on the street will be of an eclectic and questionable nature. The writing is still of the most simplistic nature, and the use of sex and vulgarity is used as a cheap tool for shock value. I'm still not impressed by this series but at least with this book I did not feel like I wish I had been blinded like Louis was in the book.

2 of 5 stars.