bear by san

December 2021



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Book Report #7: Holly Black, Valiant

La. YA books are good; you can cheat and read them quickly.

I like blackholly's work. It's unflinching, and if the endings tend to be a little tidier than I can easily believe, there is certainly no doubt that her otherworld is fickle and unfair and just as arbitrary as it should be. In any book about Faerie, justice needs to be a rare and hard-won commodity.

She's got the knack of limning a character in a few sharp brush strokes; it reminds me of those Chinese paintings where bamboo, animals, landscapes, structures all emerge from a few quick motions of the brush. And while the plot of this struck me as just a little overly coincidental in one or two places, she manages a brutal little tale of betrayal and redemption quite handily.

I do think Val's mom got off lightly, though.


That would be because Val's mom did get off lightly. I don't care, though, and love the book anyway.

Also, yay YA!
Thank you for the kind words.

Ahhhh, Val's mom. I can't disagree that she got off lightly.
Hee. I really love these. I especialy love that your Fairie feels like real Faerie, and your teenagers feel like real teenagers, and there's a certain resonance of self-centered sociopathy there.

Re: Val's mom: In the book in my head, she gets eaten by a Kelpie.

Hope you don't mind....
I don't mind at all!

I deliberately wanted some of the people at the end of the book to not get the "fair" ending, if you will. Lolli takes off and we don't know what happens to her. Dave lives. Val's mom gets her daughter back.

See, the ending could have been EVEN TIDIER. :D
I read Holly's LJ, and love her writing style. These books have been on my list of must reads for months and months now, but your entry finally pushed me to action. Just logged into Amazon and ordered Paperback versions of Tithe and Valiant. I am excited.
You know, when our economy breaks down and all this wonderful intraweb magic goes away or breaks, I am not going to know how to function.
Well, there is still intermittent interweb in many beset parts of the world. It's a pretty robust communication technology...
My cousin recommended this book to me just this week. :)
They are good. deliasherman's CHANGELING is good, too, but aimed at a younger reader.
YA books ROCK!!!!!
I dunno. They often leave me feeling somewhat unsatisfied. Since it's 99% of YA books that do this, even though I limit my reading to the ones that come highly recommended, I think it's something that I want from fiction that YA by its very nature does not provide.
My working theory of YA is that it, as a genre, tends to be in some way comforting. Which need not and in many cases does not equal flinching or pulling punches. But most of the time, I think, part of what the books do is say, "You will be okay."

Which I suspect may not be something that entirely jibes with your reading tastes? *g*
Okay. You have my interest piqued. See, I write kids' fiction--PB, MG, and YA. And since my favorite work right now is my YA, I'm all into why you'd feel YA fiction, by its very nature, somehow lacks. I know, I know... It's all personal opinion, but I'm still interested. I enjoy reading MG and YA fantasy, and I'd like teens AND adults to enjoy reading my EMMA OF THE HIGH SEAS. So, I'm interested. :-)
I'm curious: do you mean YA fantasy or YA in general?
That's actually the only book of her's I have (I still need to get a copy of Tithe one of these days... Probably about the same time I get Four and Twenty Blackbirds, and something by you...) It is also interesting that I was reading her journal (my earliest lurkings on LJ) while she was writing it...

I think the beginning is handled awkwardly, because she was having trouble setting it up, but I really like the ending....