Reviews for Heroes of the Valley

AudioFile Reviews 2009 April/May
The bestselling author writes an epic tale with an unlikely hero. Halli Sveinsson is short in stature, long on relieving his boredom by pulling pranks. He wonders about the boundaries beyond his home, where monstrous Trows are said to roam, but he has no idea of the frightening secrets that await him or how he'll lead his peaceful valley into peril. David Thorn heightens the drama of Halli's adventures. He also brings out the story's wit and wordplay for listeners. Each chapter begins with a short interlude about Svein, Halli's forebear. While this device helps establish the epic tone, it may confuse listeners. S.W. (c) AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine

School Library Journal Reviews 2009 June

Gr 5 Up--Jonathan Stroud's fantasy (Hyperion, 2009) tells of young Halli Sveinsson who longs for the heroic life he hears about in sagas. Short, homely, and a misfit in his well-ordered society, Halli takes revenge for his uncle's murder. Then, with the help of Aud, a girl who is equally out of place but who doubts the old legends, tests and ultimately confronts the truth about the heroic exploits of his ancestor, Sven, who defeated the flesh-eating Trows. British narrator David Thorn makes clear the distinction between the introductory passages which recount the ancient saga of Sven and Halli's story by using distinct pitch, cadence, and tone. However, Thorn does not clearly distinguish the voices of Halli and Aud as well as those of some of the minor characters so that it is often difficult to know who is speaking. There are a few sentences in the audiobook version that differ slightly from the print version. Stroud's many fans will enjoy this tale.--Louise L. Sherman, formerly Anna C. Scott School, Leonia, NJ

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