Valiant : A Modern Tale of Faerie, is an 2005 urban fantasy novel by Holly Black. It is a loose sequel/spin-off to her earlier book Tithe : A Modern Faerie Tale, but can also be read as a stand-alone novel.The book follows the life of runaway Valerie Russell in New York. Valerie is the child of a single mother. At the start of the novel, Val attends high school, is a lacrosse player, and is best friends with the eccentric lesbian-identified Ruth.Val discovers her boyfriend, Tom, and her mother are having an affair. Betrayed and not sure where to go, Val runs away to New York City. She meets up with a group of teen-squatters, including Lolli (as in lollipop), Dave, and Luis. Val earns the nickname "Prince Valiant" after she helps a drag queen locate her shoe. This may be a homage to Hal Foster's comic strip, Prince Valiant or Prince Valiant in the Days of King Arthur.Though she earns the trust of the rest of the group, Luis remains wary of Val. She soon learns about the group's contact with a troll, Ravus. He lives beneath a bridge, a reference to the traditional fairy tale, The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Ravus also makes glamour that faeries in exile use so their bodies can be resistant towards iron. These exiles are dispersed through out the city, and Dave and Luis must deliver the glamour to them.Glamour, according to the novel, can be used as a drug by humans. When used, humans are given magic for a short period of time. It's highly addictive; a comparison can be drawn between it and heroin. Lolli and Dave introduce Val to taking "Nevermore," as they refer to it. Val, like the other squatters, is soon hooked.Ravus, despite Val's first impressions, is much kinder than he appears. He begins to teach her swordplay and the bond between them strengthens. Val's mounting problems and addiction take a nasty turn, and the trust Ravus has in her is threatened...A fantastic book. Really draws you in and wishes that even the slighest element of it could be real. A angsty view of what - at the start - sounds like could have been a pretty fairy tale.