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Heroes of the Valley (2009)

por Jonathan Stroud

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7622322,475 (3.68)48
When young Halli Sveinsson plays a trick on Ragnor of the House of Hakonsson, he sets in motion a chain of events that will forever alter his destiny, forcing him to leave home and go on a hero's quest where he encounters highway robbers, terrifying monsters, and a girl who may finally be his match.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 23 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
I didn't quite know what to expect from this novel, since I had previously only read Stroud's (admittedly excellent) Bartimaeus trilogy, but I figured that seeing him tackle a story set in Viking times was worth a try. Stroud sets the story ina valley settlement that was established by a group of twelve viking heroes in ages past, eaching setting up a house to lead sections of the valley's people and working cooperatively together to maintain peace. Yet, life in the valley is dull for our protagonist Halli, the second son of the one of the valley's chiefs, and his inquisitive nature does nothing but get him into trouble. As much as we can see that Halli needs to find a better way to channel his intellect and energym causing problems for his family comes to a head when he and his equally ne-er do well uncle provoke one of the other families to the point where they murder his uncle. When diplomatic justice fails Halli is forced by his own determination to attempt vengeance, but because he's kind of an idiot and clearly not meant to be a cold-blooded murderer like the "heroes" of old, everything ends up in an even bigger mess. The whole situation just goes to show that not everyone can abide by living in confinement, and testing the boundaries of the known world is a far better way to channel energy than to turn it inwards. The final climax of the novel really underscores this idea, as Halli discovers that he and his people are trapped in the valley by their own superstitions which have become manifest in the supernatural trows. It was definitely an unexpected turn in the story, but I wouldn't expect anything less from Stroud's complex storytelling! ( )
  JaimieRiella | Feb 25, 2021 |
Stroud's best book.

This a fantasy set in an isolated valley above a fjord where farming and feuding are the primary occupations. The culture is based on what can be found in Icelandic sagas, complete with a heavy emphasis on legal disputes. The protagonist, a boy with a quick wit and a way with words, is fascinated by the legends of the Heroes who settled the valley and made it safe from the monsters that lived underground and preyed on the new-comers. He hopes for a more exciting life than being a tenant farmer and has a talent for making mischeif and a set of ideals that eventually leads him away from home and into an adventure like and yet unlike those in the tales of the Heroes.

Stroud brings the humour of the Bartimaeus books and the seriousness of The Last Siege together and blends them excellently to give us a sympathetic yet flawed protagonist, whose dialogue is a delight and whose journey is as much about self-discovery as learning the true nature of the society he lives in. The story is unpredictable, with an ending I would never have guessed and is about stories themselves: how legends form and our relationship to them. Excellently realised, thought-provoking and fun. ( )
  Arbieroo | Jul 17, 2020 |
I have had this book for quite a while and was looking forward to finally getting to read this one. I was a big fan of Stroud’s Bartimaeus Trilogy and an even bigger fan of his Lockwood and Co series (one of my favorite series of the last few years). Given that, I was excited to read a stand alone novel by him. This novel ended up being...disappointing. I read the first hundred pages and not a lot happened.

The writing style is well done, in keeping with Stroud’s other work. However the story lagged and nothing much happened. It starts out pretty promising. I liked the mythology and history of the Valley. I even like our anti hero Halli who is a trickster and a trouble-maker. The book has a very old Norse mythology feel to it.

My big issue was with the pace of the story. It was just so slow and flat out boring. I thought things were picking up pace when Halli is forced to watch some sheep and one of them is mysterious torn to pieces...then just nothing. There is a Gathering Halli is forced to skip because of his shenanigans and he doesn’t really do much about his punishment. He causes a little trouble but mostly the story just kind of stops as we deal with all these different clans and their politics.

In the end I kept falling asleep while I read this and decided it was time to stop. I found myself re-reading pages after my mind had wandered onto something else. This story was just not engaging or well paced.

Overall parts of this book were okay but the majority was pretty slow and boring. I only read the first 100 pages but I struggled with staying awake during those first 100 pages and decided to throw in the towel after that. Not recommended; I would highly recommend reading Stroud’s Lockwood and Co series though...that series is absolutely spectacular! ( )
  krau0098 | May 3, 2018 |
Credevo di andare sul sicuro con questo libro, essendo stato scritto da un autore che conosco e apprezzo, e invece mi sono ritrovata con uno stile completamente differente da quello a cui ero abituata. Fanno eccezione solo le parti introduttive ad ogni capitolo, nelle quali si nota il suo caratteristico umorismo che adoro.
Tuttavia è il modo in cui è stato narrato il resto che mi ha lasciata un po' perplessa. Mi è sembrata una semplice cronaca degli eventi con una ben minima parte riservata ai pensieri dei personaggi. So per esperienza (certo, non sono una vera e propria scrittrice ma adoro inventare storie) che è probabilmente una delle cose più difficili da descrivere, ma è l'unico modo per permettere ai lettori di venire davvero coinvolti a ciò che succede.
E parlando appunto dei personaggi, li ho trovati piuttosto piatti. I buoni restano buoni, i cattivi cattivi. Poi vi sono i soliti voltafaccia da cui ci si aspetta un tradimento. Così vale anche per il protagonista Halli. Sebbene maturi leggermente rispetto all'inizio, non subisce cambiamenti così importanti.
E, per concludere, non ci sono colpi di scena se non uno alla fine. Quindi nulla di particolarmente coinvolgente, anche se lo dico a malincuore. Vi consiglio senza ombra di dubbio di leggere la saga di Bartimeus piuttosto che questo libro, sempre dello stesso autore! ( )
  Shay17 | Mar 30, 2018 |
Jonathan Stroud
Heroes of the Valley

Halli Sveinsson is a small and young boy who takes interest in trows, or monsters. When told that the stories he were told were false, he sets out to prove everyone wrong. He meets Aud Arnsdottir who becomes a close friend and helps him through his adventure and helps him discover the truth.
The cover is designed to show Aud and Halli with a holographic foil over it to give it an entertaining appearance.
People who like dark and interesting stories should read this novel. ( )
  lchs.mrso | May 23, 2017 |
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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Jonathan Stroudautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculated
Smith, DouglasArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Thorn, DavidNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Listen then, and I'll tell you again of the Battle of the Rock.
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When young Halli Sveinsson plays a trick on Ragnor of the House of Hakonsson, he sets in motion a chain of events that will forever alter his destiny, forcing him to leave home and go on a hero's quest where he encounters highway robbers, terrifying monsters, and a girl who may finally be his match.

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