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Valiant : a modern tale of faerie
Holly Black
Teen Fiction BLACK

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From Publishers' Weekly:

When 17-year-old Valerie Russell finds her boyfriend having sex with her mother, she splits Jersey for Manhattan, takes in a Rangers game and falls in with some creepy homeless teens who live on an abandoned subway platform. They survive by rooting through trash, and shoot up to take the edge off their urine-scented, rat-infested existence. It isn?t until Val realizes that they?re shooting up faerie drugs that this unevenly paced companion to Black?s debut novel, Tithe, takes off. Val joins her fellow squatters as a courier for the faerie healer Ravus, a troll who, in a Beauty-and-the-Beast?inspired twist, becomes Val?s romantic interest while turning her skills with a lacrosse stick into prowess with a sword. But Val succumbs to addiction, siphoning Ravus?s potion for personal thrills. When she finds one of the troll?s customers (a mermaid) murdered, she gets caught in the internecine politics of rival faerie courts. Black draws on a grab bag of fairy and folk motifs to create a labyrinthine plot with a decidedly dark edge in a narrative rife with expletives. Val, though sympathetic, is not as memorable as Tithe?s Kaye, and that book?s fans may miss the trips into the enchanted faerie world. The squatters? actions spiral inexorably toward a death, but the victim turns out to be a cop?in a horrifying incident that is never mentioned again. The climax connects with the plot of Black?s first novel, and fans of Tithe will probably stick with the long build-up to get to the exciting finish. Ages 14-up. (June) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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main characters Valerie Russell
Age: 17
Wants to escape a world that has betrayed; creates a new identity; joins a group of teenagers who live in the subway tunnels; learns about the world of Faerie; falls in love with Ravus; determined to prove Ravus's innocence.

Exiled from the faerie Seelie court; sells healing potions to other fairies that live n the city; has golden eyes and fangs; makes a drug that protects fairies from the evil affects of iron; accused of murder; considers himself a monster.

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