Whether you like these books are not will be wholly dependent on your feelings about Holly Black’s writing style (vivid and kind of slithery-feeling) and whether you enjoy violent, ambitious female leads who take absolutely no shit, even when rationality suggests they should chill. Personally, I like a heroine who can murder a guy and stuff his body under her bed. (He had it coming.) One entirely reasonable criticism – if you only read the first book – is that Jude’s romantic interest is an atrocious bully. That is true (and Jude knows it, too). However, that character has a believable redemption arc through the series and I was eventually very satisfied with how things developed. If you need Nice People in your books then do not read these, but I don’t, and I read them with absolute glee.
I bury Valerian near the stables, but outside the paddock, so that even the most carnivorous of Madoc’s sharp-toothed horses are unlikely to dig him up and gnaw on his bones.
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