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Heroes of the Valley [Audio]
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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

About the Author

Jonathan Stroud was born in Bedford in 1970. After studying English Literature at York University, he moved to London where he worked as an editor in a publishing firm. He is the author of Buried Fire, The Leap and The Last Siege as well as the bestselling Bartimaeus trilogy- The Amulet of Samarkand, The Golem's Eye and Ptolemy's Gate. Following the worldwide success of the Bartimaeus trilogy he now devotes his whole time to writing. He lives in Hertfordshire with his wife and two young children. Steven Pacey's extensive work in the West End includes credits in The Birthday Party, By Jeeves, The Constant Wife and Michael Frayn's Democracy. Steven has recorded countless radio broadcasts and audiobooks, including Jonathan Stroud's The Amulet of Samarkand, The Golem's Eye and Ptolemy's Gate. He has also appeared in numerous TV shows, including Blake's 7.

Reviews

Witty and cinematic storytelling propels Stroud's engrossing novel, set in a medieval world that recalls Norse epics--no gods, but plenty of heroes to go around. Twelve Houses control sections of a valley. Halli Sveinsson--at 15, the youngest child of the rulers of the House of Svein--goes against tradition when he sets out to avenge the death of his murdered uncle, and his actions result in warfare among Houses for the first time in generations. Halli, "a cumbersome stump of a boy," is a quick-witted, appealing underdog and troublemaker ("Leif needs no sabotage from me," he quips. "If he manages two sentences without tripping over his trailing knuckles he will have exceeded my expectations"). Smart, funny dialogue and prose, revealing passages about the exploits of the hero Svein, bouts of action and a touch of romance briskly move the story along. Offering more than just a grand adventure (which the tale certainly is), Stroud (the Bartimaeus Trilogy) explores the consequences behind legend-worthy acts of glory and the power and peril of blind faith and hero-worship. Ages 10-up. (Jan.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Gr 5 Up-Stroud turns from an alternative future London to a more traditional hero quest in this epic fantasy. Halli Sveinsson, short, squat, and dark-haired, has never truly felt a part of his tall, handsome family. He excels at harmless pranks, but when one of them sickens the arrogant son of visiting dignitaries from the house of Hakonsson, he unwittingly sets in motion events that will prompt him to leave home to avenge the murder of his uncle at the hands of Olaf Hakonsson. His revenge is achieved almost by chance, and Halli is forced to return home a fugitive. With the assistance of a girl named Aud, who shelters him on his homeward journey and whose skills he wildly underestimates, Halli must become a leader and rally his people. In his quest, he learns the truth behind the tales of heroic exploits perfomed by his ancestor Sven Sveinsson, who defeated flesh-eating creatures called Trows and set up a barrier protecting his people from their threat. Tales of Sveinsson's exploits frame each chapter and serve to point out how Halli is also creating his own legend, one that will surely be retold and embellished over the course of time. Stroud shows that the trope of the hero's journey is as sturdy as ever in this compelling novel. Fans of his "Bartimaeus" trilogy (Hyperion) will, like the hungry Trows of valley legend, devour this book whole.-Tim Wadham, St. Louis County Library, MO Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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