August 24, 2010

Heroes book an exciting read

Heroes of the Valley
by Jonathan Stroud

Halli Sveinsson isn't like his brother or sister. While they're both tall and slender, he's short, stocky, and a little clumsy. He doesn't have a lot to look forward to either. His elder brother Leif stands to become Arbiter upon their father's death, while Halli is fated to become a farmer. He'd much rather be a hero like the legendary Svein, who helped drive back the fearsome Trows long ago.

Halli is bored, rebellious, and quick to anger, with no thought of consequences. When he plays a trick on Ragnar Hakonsson, he reignites a family feud, setting in motion a series of events culminating in a dangerous battle.

With a backdrop of myth, superstition, monsters, ghosts, heroes, revenge, and honor, this is a totally engrossing adventure that will captivate boys and girls alike. Girls will especially admire Aud Ulfar's-daughter, who is athletic, smart, and fearless. The battle scenes, which take place in the dark, is wonderfully frightening; it'll be difficult to stop reading.

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