Halli loves the old stories from when the valley was a wild and dangerous place - when the twelve legendary heroes, led by his ancestor Svein, stood together to defeat the ancient enemy, the bloodthirsty Trows.
Halli longs for adventure but it seems these days the most dangerous thing in the valley is boredom. He tries to liven things up by taunting his siblings and playing practical jokes. But when one of his jokes goes too far reawakening an old blood feud Halli finds himself on a hero's quest after all. Along the way he meets a ruthless thief, a murderous rival, and a girl who may just be as fearless as he is. Halli may be about to make his own last stand and discover the truth about the legends, about his family, and about himself...
Jonathan Stroud has created an epic saga with a funny, unique spin, and an unforgettable anti-hero.
©2009 Jonathan Stroud; (P)2009 Random House Audiobooks
I'd thoroughly enjoyed listening to Stroud's imaginative 'Bartimaeus Trilogy', also read by the excellent Steven Pacey, and expected more in the same vein here. But this is rather more standard teen fiction, with the stumpy angry-young-man anti-hero trying to live up to the avenging example of his illustrious warrior ancestor. There are some exciting scenes towards the close and it's not too predictable, but it's a let-down after Bartimaeus.
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