Heroes of the Valley

  • by Jonathan Stroud
  • Narrated by David Thorn
  • 13 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Halli Sveinsson has grown up in the House of Svein, listening to the legends of the heroes as all his forefathers did. His is a peaceful society where the violence of the past has been outlawed and disputes are settled by the Council. But young Halli has never quite seemed to fit in with the others. For starters, he was not at all handsome or tall, like his attractive blond siblings. He's stumpy and swarthy, with a quick mind and aptitude for getting in trouble.Bored with the everyday chores and sheep herding, he can't help himself from playing practical jokes on everyone, from Eyjolf the old servant, to his brother and sister. But when he plays a trick on Ragnor of the House of Hakonsson, he goes too far, setting in motion a chain of events that will forever alter his destiny.Because of it, Halli will have to leave home and go on a hero's quest. Along the way, he will encounter highway robbers, terrifying monsters, and a girl who may finally be his match. In the end, he will discover the truth about the legends, his family, and himself. Jonathan Stroud's new work is a hero's saga and coming-of-age, as well as a surprising look at what bravery really means.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Bound to be a movie someday

An epic adventure fit into one book, this story contains many twists and surprises that would be spoiled by giving any details - Other than that the main character and his befriended ally, a girl his age, discover the truth of a great mystery of their people despite fearful dangers and murderous enemies. The author skillfully plants clues throughout the story which so involves the reader in the unfolding adventure that it practically creates vicarious memories. You actually feel as if you have been through the experience yourself and leaves a definite impression on your thoughts afterwards. I only hope when "they" make the movie "they" don't screw it up, but considering the track record - I definitely recommend not waiting for the film and getting the experience first from the real thing.
5 stars for youth and adult alike.
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- pashopper

She had a voice that loosened earwax.

He secreted himself, Your apology is threadbare and She had a voice that loosened earwax are just a small example of the creative language used in this story. I found myself listening just to hear how things where described. JS is a master of the English language.

The book starts out with this line, Listen Then, and I'll tell you again of the Battle of the Rock. The book is filled with several of these stories and the main story is a story being told to children. The book started with the promise of being about Heroes fighting what I thought they said was Trolls. The hard copy spells it Trows. It ended up being mostly a story about a coming of age Prince? who wants to be a hero, only he is very short and squat. He is not exactly hero looking or princely looking. With out giving the story away, let me say this does not stop him or slow him down.

I liked the character development, the main story, the humor and the vocabulary. In the middle it did get a little boring and there was not as much exploring out of the valley as I would have liked, but I found I did enjoy the book has a whole very much. Not quite enough to give it a fifth star, but enough to want to read more Jonathan Stroud. There is also a strong female character in the book, sometimes stronger then the hero.

This is supposed to be a young adult, but that is only because it does not have sex in it. I believe because of how well it is written that adults will like it more then kids.

Narrator does an excellent job.
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- Jim "The Impatient" "My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-27-2009
  • Publisher: Listening Library