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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Heroes of the Valley

Well, that didn't take long!  I finished my first Fantasy book for Once Upon a Time III !

Heroes of the Valley by Jonathan Stroud

Hardcover: 496 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (January 27, 2009)
ISBN-10: 142310966X


Product Description
Halli Sveinsson has grown up in the House of Svein, listening to the legends of the heroes as all his forefathers did. His is a peaceful society where the violence of the past has been outlawed and disputes are settled by the Council. But young Halli has never quite seemed to fit in with the others. For starters, he was not at all handsome or tall, like his attractive blond siblings. He's stumpy and swarthy, with a quick mind and aptitude for getting in trouble. Bored with the everyday chores and sheep herding, he can't help himself from playing practical jokes on everyone, from Eyjolf the old servant, to his brother and sister. But when he plays a trick on Ragnor of the House of Hakonsson, he goes too far, setting in motion a chain of events that will forever alter his destiny. Because of it, Halli will have to leave home and go on a hero's quest. Along the way, he will encounter highway robbers, terrifying monsters, and a girl who may finally be his match. In the end, he will discover the truth about the legends, his family, and himself. Jonathan Stroud's new novel is a hero's saga and coming-of-age--as well as a surprising look at what bravery really means.

I was a bit leery to read this book by Jonathan Stroud because I sooooooo love his Bartimaeus Trilogy!

Between my emotional problems right now, and the fact that as soon as I picked up this book I began to think about a humorous demon, I did have a slow start getting into this book.  It's hard enough to pick up a book when you come off of one that you loved so much you can't quite shake it from your mind, let alone one that stays with you for a really long time.

But Stroud seems to have a way of making characters that you want to read about.  This time he makes his main character something less than perfect.  In fact.. he's pretty much the underdog.  Which of course makes you want him to come out on top.

The book is pretty much two stories in one.  At the beginning of the chapters you get a small amount of a story of "heroes of long ago".  The ancestors and the heroic stories that Halli grew up on.  Then what follows is Halli's story.  Amazon did a good job giving a synopsis of the book.

It's very clever how it was written so that you are always seeing if there are any comparisons between the past and the present.  The heroes story is so fantastical you even begin to wonder if any of it is real, or just stories that somehow have lived through the years.

It's safe to say that eventually I managed to break away from my love of Bartimaeus and enter Halli's story.  Once entered, I found I picked up the book more than once a day.  It moved along just quickly enough that you always wanted to read just a little more to see what Halli would do next! 

In the end, I would say Jonathan Stroud has written a very enjoyable stand alone book.  (just don't ask me if I liked it MORE than Bartimaeus, 'cause that ain't gunna happen!) 


Blogger Chris said...

cool! Onto the wishlist it goes! But you'd probably kick my ass if I didn't read Bartemaeus first, huh? lol!

1:11 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

chris: I cannot tell a lie. (*cough) there's no comparison. If you ask which I think is more enjoyable it would be Bartemaeus by far..but then it's a trilogy and you may never finish it! (*ducking quickly*)

1:14 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

That's why I have been hesitant to seek this one out. I just LOVED Bartimaeus so very much. :) And Chris, you do have to read that series!!!! But I do want to get to this one at some point!

1:35 PM  
Blogger Carl V. said...

I feel your pain. It is so hard to move past something that we love so much. I feel the same concerns every time Gaiman writes a new book. Will I love it for what it is or be comparing it to his other books?

I'm glad you managed to get past that enough to enjoy this novel for what it is.

2:18 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Becky: it's really strange how sometimes we can read anything and everything by one author and enjoy them all.. and then others have something that stood out so much to us that we can't let it go!

Carl: I imagine you do! and yes I did get into this book and it's characters but Bartimaeus always lingered in the background!

3:54 PM  
Blogger Nymeth said...

This sounds very enjoyable! I'll keep it in mind for after the Bartimaeus trilogy.

5:14 PM  
Blogger Ladytink_534 said...

I really must read this author's Bartimaeus books! This one sounds pretty interesting though too. Congrats on finishing!

8:31 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

I've awarded you with a Zombie Chicken :)

6:53 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

nymeth: Bartimaeus far a wonderful trilogy. There is no demon quite like him lol

lady:he certainly makes interesting characters!

becky: a zombie chicken? I really wanna know?

6:58 PM  
Blogger Cath said...

Laughing at you getting Zombie chicken. Hehehehehehehh.

Nice cover on that book...

7:02 PM  
Blogger Shelley said...

I've got to finish the Bartimaeus trilogy!!! Loved the writing and story of the first one.

1:03 AM  
Blogger Darla D said...

I've been feeling a bit reluctant to read this one for the same reasons you were. It's good to know that you enjoyed it - and having a better idea what to expect should be a help. I will give it a try, once I wade through the enormous stack of books I already have!

3:57 PM  
Blogger jenclair said...

Love the cover!

8:32 AM  

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