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Saturday, May 9, 2015

Valiant by Sarah McGuire ARC Review

2/5 Stars
Details of the book
eARC, 384 pages
Published by EgmontUSA
Publication Date: April 28, 2015

Synopsis: A debut fairy tale reimagining featuring a strong female character and a daring quest just right for fans of Shannon Hale, Jessica Day George, and Gail Carson Levine.
Saville hates sewing. How can she not when her father, the Tailor, loves his bolts of velvet and silk far more than he's ever loved her? Yet, when he is struck ill shortly after they arrive in the city of Reggen, Saville must don boy's clothes in the hopes of gaining a commission from the king to keep them fed.
The kingdom is soon on edge when stories spread of an army of giants led by a man who cannot be killed. But giants are just stories, and no man is immortal.

And then the giants do come to the city gates, two larger-than-life scouts whom Saville cunningly tricks into leaving. The Tailor of Reggen is the hero of the kingdom, the king promises his sister's hand in marriage, and by the time Saville reaches the palace doors, it is widely known that the Tailor single-handedly killed the giants.

When her secret--that she's a girl--is quickly discovered by Lord Galen Verras, the king's cousin, Saville's swept into the twists and turns of court politics. The deathless man is very real, and he will use his giant army to ensure he is given the throne freely or by force.

Now, only a tailor girl with courage and cunning can see beyond the tales to discover the truth and save the kingdom again.

Valiant is a rich reimaging of "The Brave Little Tailor," artfully crafting a story of understanding, identity, and fighting to protect those you love most.

I have never read the fairytale The Valiant Little Tailor/The Brave Little Tailor so I can't attest to how it did as a fairytale retelling but I have to say I was a bit disappointed. The story itself was interesting (at its' core) but I couldn't connect with any of the characters. In fact, it was hard to tell exactly the age of any of the characters. Some characters that seemed older talked like children and vice versa. The writing was cheesy and all of the conflicts were too easily solved.


1) I like Saville. She was clever, brave, and had good morals.

2) This story made me very interested in the original fairytale. I liked the very basis of the plot so I'm curious what the original tale is like.


1) I couldn't tell how old any of the characters are. As I already said, the characters that seemed older spoke like children and some children spoke like adults. It was a bit confusing.

2) While reading, I found myself saying, "well, that was easy" a lot (Yes, I talk to myself out-loud while reading). All of the problems and conflicts were settled too quickly and left me unsatisfied.

3) Even though I like Saville, I have absolutely no idea why anyone would trust her. She lies a lot, understandably so, but still. She spends a lot of time saying things roughly meaning, "Yes, I lied to you before but I'm not lying to you now."

4) I wasn't emotionally attached to any of the characters. If at the end of the book everyone died (they didn't) it wouldn't have made a big difference to me.

5) As I said earlier, I found the writing style to be cheesy. Maybe that's fitting considering it's a fairy tale retelling but it was a bit overboard for me.

Favorite Quotes/Moments:

1) "If I could have that morning over, I'd walk with you."

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