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REVIEW: Valiant by Holly Black

Updated: Jan 1, 2021

Valiant follows a new set of characters in Holly Black’s modern take on Faeries. We follow the life of Valeria Russell in New York. She is a young runaway following the event that her boyfriend was hooking up with her mother. Yuck. In New York she meets up with a group of teens that are homeless and have runaway also. There she meets, Lollipop, Dave and Luis. The novel is named valiant for many reasons one being that after Val helps a drag queen find her shoe, the drag queen calls her Prince Valiant.

After being with the gang for a fair bit, she learns of a troll that lives under a bridge. His name is Ravus. Ravus uses the humans to supply his drug ‘Never’ to the fae that are in exile so that they are able to resist iron. Never can also be used as a drug for humans. It gives them magic for a short period of time but is also highly addictive. It is similar to heroin in that way. Never is a gateway drug to the real thing, Nevermore, the land of the fae.

Val and Ravus spend time together and continue to form a bond that neither can place their tongue on what to call it. But then Ravus is blamed for many of the seelie courts poisonings. Ruth, Val’s best friend from high school arrives and tries to take Val home. But alas, Val wants to say goodbye to Ravus and won’t go home without doing so. She goes to find Ravus but he is not home so instead finds Ruth, Lolli and Luis by Beldevere castle. They all fall asleep but in the middle of the night, a tree spirit faerie wakes and leads Val to a festival where humans and faeries run around freely. Ravus arrives delirious along with Mabry. Val realises that it was Mabry that was poisoning and killing the fae. Mabry manipulates Ravus before she can tell him though. Mabry tells Ravus that it was Val that has been stealing his potions to kill. Val runs away and flees because she does not want to hurt him.

Ruth and Val go to find evidence of Mabry’s crimes and whilst doing that they stumble upon Luis. We find out that Dave has been impersonating Luis because he is absolutely high from the Never, which he received from doing Mabry’s bidding and poisoning the potions. They rush to find Ravus so that he can heal him but instead they find out that Mabry has cut out his heart and she has ran to the Unseelie court with it. Val turns Ravus to stone in the hopes that it will stop the damage caused by Mabry. They pursue her and Val challenges her to a duel. She ends up stabbing Mabry in the throat without any magical assistance. They rush back to Ravus and place his heart in his chest. He starts healing and tells them how to heal Dave. Val and Ravus finally admit their love for each other. Ruth and Val go home but with the hopes of coming to college in new york so she can see Ravus as they start their relationship.

Whilst this book was great, I wasn’t aware that this story followed a new set of characters and as such was hoping that I would see Kaye again. This led to my disappointment whilst also being very confused as to what was happening. After a little while though, I did start to enjoy the book but I missed Kaye and Roiben a lot.

3 out of 5 stars.

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