cover image Valiant


Sarah McGuire. Egmont USA, $16.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-60684-552-3

Debut novelist McGuire gives her ambitious retelling of the Grimms' tale of the Brave Little Tailor a solid dose of girl power. After her mother's death, 17-year-old Saville accompanies her gruff father to the village of Reggen, where he will start up his tailoring business anew. When he is felled by an apoplexy, Saville dresses as a boy, calls herself Avi, and takes on the guise of her father's apprentice. The ruse plays on even after Avi outwits two giants who were scouting Reggen for their mysterious leader, a duke who claims to be an heir of the ancient emperor and "holder of the eternal heart." But when the village learns the true identity of its supposed giant-slaying champion, and an army of raging giants approaches, Saville finds unlikely allies (and romance) as she takes on her next challenge. McGuire crafts a richly detailed cast, and her heroine brings verve to a familiar story. Explanations of the giants' mythology and the mystical eternal heart slow the action a bit, but readers will be rewarded by a satisfying conclusion. Ages 10%E2%80%93up. Agent: Tracey Adams, Adams Literary. (Apr.)