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Valiant: A Modern Faerie Tale

When seventeen-year-old Valerie runs away to New York City, she’s trying to escape a life that has utterly betrayed her. Sporting a new identity, she takes up with a gang of squatters who live in the city’s labyrinthine subway system.

But there’s something eerily beguiling about Val’s new friends. And when one talks Val into tracking down the lair of a mysterious creature with whom they are all involved, Val finds herself torn between her newfound affection for an honorable monster and her fear of what her new friends are becoming.


Valiant was the recipient of the first Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy. It was also nominated for the Locus Award and the Mytheopeic Award and was one of the ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults. 


Black spins a spell of a story weaving adolescent subculture, the dark side of the city, and those glimpses of the shadow side that most of us miss. We might all look more closely to see the sprout of horns or a flash of goat feet, sure that the faerie world is real if only we know how to see.


…beneath its darkness readers find well-rendered characters, a gripping plot, and pure magic.

—School Library Journal

This is a powerful book…. I love it when a girl learns how to be Valiant.

—Tamora Pierce, author of the Song of the Lioness quartet

An edgy but ultimately life-affirming read.

—Horn Book