Friday, May 15, 2009

Heroes of the Valley by Jonathan Stroud

Halli lives with his family in the house of their ancestor Svein. The people of Svein's house have heard stories of his heroic, almost superhuman, deeds all their lives including his defeat of the Trows, the creatures that live over the mountains and devour humans. Since Halli is the youngest son he knows he will not ever be the ruler of his house and spends his time pulling pranks and talking his way out of trouble. During the Gathering, a big celebration with everyone who lives in the valley and all the heroes' houses he meets a girl named Aud and they become friends. At the end of the Gathering, however, Halli witnesses the murder of his favorite uncle and is determined to get revenge on Olaf Hakon. Halli travels outside of his family's lands for the first time in his life only to find that when he is given the chance to kill Olaf, he lacks the will to become a murderer. But the Hakon's do not forgive so easily and they let everyone in the valley know that they will come and kill Halli and his entire family. Although he is the younger son it is up to Halli, with Aud's help, to defend his house and family.

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