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Heroes of the Valley [Kindle Edition]

Jonathan Stroud
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £6.99
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Book Description

Listen then, and I'll tell you again of the Battle of the Rock. But none of your usual wriggling, or I'll stop before I've begun . . .

Halli loves the old stories from when the valley was a wild and dangerous place - when the twelve legendary heroes stood together to defeat the ancient enemy, the bloodthirsty Trows.

Halli longs for adventure but these days the most dangerous thing in the valley is boredom. He tries to liven things up by playing practical jokes. But when one of his jokes goes too far, he reawakens an old blood feud and finds himself on a hero's quest after all. Along the way he meets a ruthless thief, a murderous rival, and a girl who may just be as fearless as he is . . .

Jonathan Stroud has created an epic saga with a funny, unique spin, and an unforgettable anti-hero.

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"Written out of a deeply felt world and with a taut, disciplined voice that knows its Sir Gawain and the Green Knight as well as its Harry Potter, Jonathan Stroud's new book is, quite simply, stunning" (Guardian)

"This is a real treat that will have children of 10 and over seeking out Stroud's other novels" (Toby Clements Daily Telegraph)

"As always, Stroud writes like a dream, passing from instant amusement to a sense of real suspense with apparent ease. Those who eagerly awaited this next novel after his super Bartimaeus trilogy will not be disappointed" (Books for Keeps)

"It is certainly an action adventure but the great fight scenes are tempered by humour and humanity and for that reason, although an excellent read for boys, it will be read by adventurous girls too" (Carousel)

"The language is equisite in places and landscape is brilliantly evoked throughout the story" (Rachel Bowler School Library Association)

Book Description

Blood feuds, epic battles and a undersized but fearless hero come together in this brilliant new fantasy adventure from the author of the bestselling Bartimaeus trilogy

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More About the Author

Jonathan Stroud was born in Bedford and grew up in St Albans. He studied at York University. He has a strong background in children's books. While writing his earlier novels, Buried Fire, The Leap and The Last Siege, he worked as an editor in a London publishing firm, editing a number of game books and non-fiction titles . Now, with the worldwide interest in the best-selling Bartimaeus trilogy, he devotes himself to writing full-time. He also travels extensively, promoting his books. Ptolemy's Gate, the last title in the Bartimaeus trilogy, has been longlisted for the Carnegie Medal. Jonathan now lives in St Albans with his wife two children.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stroud is back! 30 Dec. 2008
By Paul Everdark VINE VOICE
I consumed the Bartimaeus Trilogy like a man starved: I have never known a story so gripping, thrilling, intruiging and downright funny all at once. Naturally, when they came to an end, I clamoured for more from this extraordinary, unbelieveably underrated author. I have Buried Fire and The Leap on my shelf, but I was most interested in seeing where Stroud would go after the Bartimaeus Trilogy.

Like another reviewer mentioned, I too was both excited and nervous about reading new material from Stroud. Could it possibly be as good? Well, at first, the book throws you off balance: it reads nothing like Stroud has ever written; there's an old-fashioned, sweeping epic quality to HotV that echoes similar fantasy epics in style, most notably Lord of the Rings. So whilst it certainly didn't feel like classic Stroud prose, it is nonetheless impressive, different and an indication of just how talented he is as an author.

But what is classic Stroud here is just how criminally good the story and setting is. The world of the Valley is brilliantly realised in evocative prose that, for me, brought back memories of the time I hiked in the Lake District: the stark beauty, the harsh weathers, the looming mountains. The settlements, Houses, farmlands and Valley-folk, too, give off the vibe of Scandinavia in the Iron Age - it's all fantastically evoked.

But the real crux of where HotV will either fall or fly is in the story, and I'm safe to say it's as good, if not better, than anything he's produced, and believe me, that's saying something. The plot twists, turns, and leaves you guessing right up to it's climax, which is breathtaking, to say the least. You honestly have no idea where Stroud will lead you next.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stroud does it again! 24 Dec. 2008
By Michelle Moore TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
As a fan of Jonathan Stroud's Bartimaeus Trilogy, my feelings were a little mixed when I discovered that he was publishing a new book. Although there is the expected excitement, there is also a concern that anything new will fail to live up to expectations or maybe even be too similar to previous books.

In this case, however, I should not have worried. Stroud has stayed with fantasy, but with a very different setting. In this book, we are taken to a valley, somewhere that feels like Northern Europe. As with previous books, however, there's no specific time frame.

So onto the story - the residents of this valley are divided into `houses', with their own areas, and their own tales of heroes past. From a background of violence, when their heroes all came together to defeat the dreaded `Trows', they are now very peaceful people, with all their weapons melted down.. although jealousies still exist.

The children are brought up listening to tales of heroic deeds, and Halli finds himself longing for a return to these days. When an ancient feud is re-started, he may just get his wish - but in doing so, will he learn what it truly means to be a hero?

Halli's journey kept me hooked to the book, aided by Stroud's wonderful humour. It's a little more subtle than the wonderful one liners found in the Bartimaeus Trilogy, and yet it kept me smiling, and keeps a fun feel to the book.

However, there is a darker, slightly scary side to this book, and I would imagine it suiting slightly older teens.. as well as adults, of course!

Jonathan Stroud is certainly one of my favourite young adult fantasy writers, and this is a great addition to his books. I hope now we don't have to wait too long for the next one!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow Start but Keep Going - Excellent Book 18 Jun. 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book was a tad slow going to start with. I thought it might be the first book by this author that I would not like, but by page 60 I was thoroughly enjoying it again and it went from strength to strength.

The hero of the story is Halli, a 15 year old boy in - presumably- a kind of alternate universe middle ages nordic fjord (Sweden perhaps). Halli has very short legs and is not comely, but he is born with wit and a mischievous streak that makes him an entertaining character, even if he makes an unlikely hero of legend. But through a series of circumstances he is thrust to the fore when a rival house in the valley reneges on an ancient treaty of non violence.

Written with all the author's trade mark wit, and a good deal of passion, this book is a very good and enjoyable read. If it were not for the slow start I would give it 5 stars, and I would like to give it at least 4 and a half!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for kids 12 Mar. 2009
By John Meanwood TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this book from Amazon after reading a couple of pages in the railway station bookshop, while waiting for a train. It seemed at first to be a similar premise to the film 'The Village' but set in medieval times; large valley with 12 large families controlling the area and no one is permitted to travel beyond the cairns or the monsters will get you.

Little Halli is the second son of a House that considers itself the greatest House of the valley, who's ancestor, the hero Svein, gathered all the other heroes together to beat the Trows and keep the valley safe. After Halli witnesses a murder, he decides to avenge his family and sets off on a quest to kill the murderer and restore his families honour. Unfortunately things do not go too smoothly for our little hero and sometimes things go horribly wrong.

Most kids enjoy being frightened by monsters in books and there is a lot of suspense and fear radiating from this book, especially at the end. It certainly kept me on the edge of my seat quite a lot. On saying that, it is also quite funny at times and for most of the time it's Halli's own fault.

I would recommend The Bartimaeus Trilogy, also by Jonathan Stroud:

The Amulet Of Samarkand
The Golem's Eye
Ptolemy's Gate

and The Ring of Solomon a Bartimaues prequel.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but nowhere near Bartimaeus
I read this because I found the Bartimaeus books utterly brilliant. I don't disagree with the comments made by the other reviewers. Read more
Published 1 month ago by hfffoman
5.0 out of 5 stars a mix of the ages
I read this book ages ago and i am glad i can have the chance to give it a good review because even though it can switch between old and new style writing (not entirely a bad... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Paul Leach
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly enjoyable read
Even though this book is aimed at a younger readership this adult has really enjoyed reading it. After a slightly slow start the story kept up a good pace and kept you guessing. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book
As usual well written and I just could not put it down. A must read very imaginative. Characters came to life as one read along.
Published on 17 July 2013 by Hemeson Anthony
2.0 out of 5 stars Dull stick to Bartimaeus
I really like the Bartimaeus stories and tried this hoping it would be equally good.
Sorry, didn't like it, didn't like the slowness or the ending. Read more
Published on 23 Oct. 2012 by Mike Dublin
4.0 out of 5 stars "Heroes" Of The Valley perhaps?
Great fun to read and very thoughtful too. Much less a fantasy romp with various improbable creatures popping up but an examination of individual responsibility, the weight of... Read more
Published on 17 Sept. 2012 by Pensato
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book! A*
Another great book from Jonathan Stroud! Had the same amount of wit and ability to make you turn the page as his other books. Icould hardly put it down!
Published on 5 Jan. 2011 by Ms. Susan A. Skinner
4.0 out of 5 stars An epic tale for the electric fireside generation
Stroud is a masterful storyteller and as such gets the reader to consider the interpretation of myths and legends and their formation from within the bards mythos within this new... Read more
Published on 9 Jun. 2010 by Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
Like so many other people I came to this book after having absolutely loved Bartimaeus. I was pretty excited by the prospect of Heroes of the Valley, but left it feeling rather... Read more
Published on 16 May 2010 by D. Walston
5.0 out of 5 stars wrong introduction
Like another reviewer I was reluctant to read the follow up to the Bartimaeus Trilogy even though I had looked forward to the next Jonathan Stroud. Read more
Published on 6 Dec. 2009 by Maire Callain
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