Valiant by Sarah McGuire is a retelling of "The Brave Little Tailor" with plenty of heart.
has a complicated relationship with her father, the tailor. He's always
loved his craft more than he loves her -- if, indeed, he loves her at
all. Now he is determined to travel to the big city and ply his trade
for the court, or maybe even the king. Saville doesn't doubt that he's
talented enough to do it -- but she hates leaving her mother's grave and
everything she has ever known in order to pursue her father's dream.
Shortly after their arrival in the city, the tailor is struck with a
sudden illness. He can neither speak nor sew, and it's up to Saville to
provide for both of them. Though she doesn't love sewing, she is nearly
as good at it as her father is. She decides to dress as a boy and pass
herself off as the tailor's apprentice, and she even manages to gain a
commission from the king. But then the giants arrive. . . .
love fairy tale retellings, and this is one I don't think I've seen done
before. McGuire shows a skillful hand at stitching together all of the
elements in the old tale to fashion a full, vibrant novel. I was never
quite sold on the romance, but the romantic portion of the plot is so
slight that enjoyment of the book doesn't hinge on that aspect. All in
all, a promising debut!
(Reviewed from a copy borrowed through my library system.)