Heroes of the Valley

November 25, 2011

By Jonathan Stroud
Reviewed by P. Perkins
5 out of 5 stars


The days of the heroes had long passed. All of the Houses in the valley are peaceful, except for the House of Svein. In this village there is a practical joker by the name of Halli. He’s the Arbiter’s second son. Halli doesn’t really care, though. He loves being mischievous. So, when it’s time to have the Gathering at Svein’s House, his parents are concerned, and they should be.

      When Halli plays a very embarrassing practical joke on his brother, Leif, he gets himself banned from the Gathering. He goes anyway, though, and meets a girl named Aud. They get along very well and Halli hopes to see her again oneday. Meanwhile, he plays a trick on one of the other eleven Houses in the valley, Hakon’s House. They all get sick and a banquet is thrown so that Svein’s House doesn’t get charged with poisoning their guests. The Hakonssons and Halli’s Uncle Brodir get into a fight, and Halli goes off on a quest to kill them, just like the heroes did. The journey changes him and leaves him feeling hollow inside. It also leaves him to question the legend of the Trows. They live on the edges of the valley and are prevented from going in by a defensive line of cairns. It is said that long ago, the twelve heroes banded together and fought them all until they were dead. The remaining Trows left the valley and haven’t been back. Halli begins to think that this is all an old wives tale. One night, he plans to investigate. Was that such a wise idea?

       I like this book a lot. It is about honor, pride, curiosity, and never doubting that you’ll make it through. I would recommend this book to a great adventure lover. Halli learns many lessons and I believe the reader does too. The author has great voice, and a good use of words.”A Trow rose up, grabbed Gisli by the neck with its long, thin hands. Then it bit his throat out. Gisli was so surprised he didn’t say anything.” This book makes the reader think for himself/herself and wonder about the world around them.

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