Valiant by Sarah McGuire (review)

December 17, 2015 All Reviews, Fantasy, YA 2 ★★★★

Valiant by Sarah McGuire (review)Valiant by Sarah McGuire
Published by EgmontUSA on April 28th 2015
Number of Pages: 384
Genres: Adventure, Fairy Tale, Fantasy, Middle Grade
Source: Library
Format: eBook
Goodreads
Purchase: At Amazon
four-stars

Saville despises the bolts of velvet and silk that her father loves- he's always prized them more than he's ever loved her. Yet when he's struck ill, she'll do anything to survive, even donning boys' clothes and begging a commission to sew for the king.

Piecing together a fine coat is far simpler than unknotting court gossip about an army of giants led by a man who cannot be defeated. And they're marching toward Reggen to seize the throne. But Saville knows giants are just stories, and no man is immortal.

Then she meets them, two scouts as tall as trees. She tricks them into leaving, but tales of the daring tailor's triumph quickly spin into impossible feats of giant-slaying. And mere stories won't deter the Duke and his larger-than-life army.

Now only a courageous and clever tailor girl can see beyond the rumors to save the kingdom again.

I loved this take on The Brave Little Tailor! Saville was believable and smart. She wasn’t trying to best the giants for her own gain, she was trying to save the life of a younger boy who she had gotten attached to. And then everything started spiraling out of her control.

The romance was perfect. There was no insta-love, but rather a slow build where you could see just why each of them fell in love with the other.

The characters were fleshed out well, and had enough quirks to make them feel real. There is both plenty of adventure and a little heartbreak. I more than once wanted to hug Saville and smack someone on her behalf. There were some unusual words in the book, but they were explained in context and helped set the scenes. (The Giants call normal-sized humans “lite”.)

The way the giants were portrayed was wonderful. Usually when you see giants in stories, they’re stupid and or mean. They never seem to have a culture of their own, they are just used as a generic bad guy for the hero to kill or outsmart. Not so in this book. The giants not only have their own way of life, they have songs, hopes and dreams. They’re also smart, and just like humans, there are bad and good giants.

The beginning of the book starts off a little slow, but once you’re past those early bits, you won’t want to put this down until the last word. If you like retellings and unique takes on stories, you need to read this book.

four-stars

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2 Responses to “Valiant by Sarah McGuire (review)”

  1. Echo Fox

    I love new and unusual retellings and I hadn’t heard of this one – it sounds great and reminds me a little bit of the Tailor of Gloucester (an animated movie I used to watch around Christmas as a kid), so I’m feeling nostalgic now. Nice one!

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