Review Detail

4.8 9
grim, gritty, & beautifully put together
Overall rating
Writing Style
Reader reviewed by spix_16

My guess is that even if you don't have a thing for fantasy, you'll still love this book. It has plenty of real elements in it: violence, drugs (and plenty of them), life on the streets, anger, deception, and strength. This isn't just about faeries and magic, it's about a teenager struggling to gain control of her life and make her own choices, even if they're totally wrong.

The protagonist is Val, seventeen years old and an almost-jock. When she discovers a humiliating secret about her mother and boyfriend, she heads off to New York where she falls in with a group of other teenagers living on the streets who live by their own rules. As Val is about to find out, they know of the solitary faeries hiding out in the city, who create their own beautiful and dangerous world. She will soon meet Ravus, a reclusive, wise troll with pain to match her own and a heart he is afraid to give away.

This book has all the darkness and disgust of the real world mixed in with gorgeous fairytale detail: honeycakes conjured up from stones, lovely mermaids lying pale and dead on the banks of rivers, fairy dust snorted and shot up with needles. Holly Black creates once more a painful, intense story with an ending that won't disappoint you. I loved it even more than Tithe. Val is angry, angsty, a troublemaker and a hero, always screwing things up and sticking up for herself: one of my favorite heroines of all.
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