Review: Valiant by Sarah McGuire

Book Reviews

Valiant by Sarah McGuire

3.5 Stars

(Originally posted by Ashley on Must Love Books)

Saville’s father is the best tailor in Daniver but he can’t seem to abide by the rules set in place by the cities tailors guild; so he decides to move Saville to Reggan, a city that has no such guild. Shortly after they arrive, the tailor falls ill and becomes completely paralyzed. It doesn’t take long before Saville is almost out of patience, money, and food. Knowing that the only thing she can do to survive is the one thing she hates the most, sewing. She decides to follow through with her father’s plan–get to the king and prove to him that she is the best tailor in all the land then gain his trust–and his money. This proves to be problematic because girls are not trusted to touch the king let alone take his measurements. Saville must dress and act like a boy to wins the commission of the king.

Saville’s only friend is Will, a young homeless boy she takes in off the streets. The duo becomes quite the team and even though Will discovers Saville’s biggest secret but he swears to never tell.

Rumors begin in the city about an impending war with giants as big as trees and a mysterious new Duke who claims he is the rightful heir to the throne. Will is convinced the giants are real but Saville doesn’t believe in giants–they’re just fairy tales right? Wrong. When the giants make their first appearance in the field outside the city, the townspeople are frantic, the giants have picked someone out of the crowd and are tossing them around like a rag-doll. By the time Saville reaches the field, she is horrified to discover it’s Will the giants have in their grasp. Still dressed as a boy, Saville outsmarts the giants and saves Will. When the king finds out what has happened, he rewards the young tailor with the princess’ hand in marriage.

The events that follow will take the reader on a non-stop adventure through the castle’s long lost secret passageways,  over castle walls, and into the giants camp, and up close with the feeble king of Reggan.

My Thoughts

I have to be honest here, the only reason I read this book is because I set up an author event with Sarah McGuire. This book may not have come across my radar any other way, but I am so glad it did!

Before the first chapter was over, I hated Saville’s father the Tailor. He loved his fabrics far more than his daughter and that didn’t sit well with me at all. He is a cold, unloving character and it’s sad that the Tailor is her only family left and he seems to not care for her at all. Perhaps that’s what made Saville the lovable, tough as nails heroine she turned out to be.  I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a good fairy tale with a strong female heroine. I was pleasantly surprised by this debut author and can’t wait to see what else she comes up with!

Book Info

Valiant by Sarah McGuire
Published by EgmontUSA
Pub Date: April 28th 2015
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover | Source: Purchased
Genres: Middle Grade
Buy the book! | Goodreads

Saville despises the bolts of velvet and silk that her father loves- he’s always prized them more than he’s ever loved her. Yet when he’s struck ill, she’ll do anything to survive, even donning boys’ clothes and begging a commission to sew for the king.

Piecing together a fine coat is far simpler than unknotting court gossip about an army of giants led by a man who cannot be defeated. And they’re marching toward Reggen to seize the throne. But Saville knows giants are just stories, and no man is immortal.

Then she meets them, two scouts as tall as trees. She tricks them into leaving, but tales of the daring tailor’s triumph quickly spin into impossible feats of giant-slaying. And mere stories won’t deter the Duke and his larger-than-life army.

Now only a courageous and clever tailor girl can see beyond the rumors to save the kingdom again.

Ashley @ Gone with the Words

4 Responses to “Review: Valiant by Sarah McGuire”

  1. Avatar


    I love a strong female heroine! This sounds like a very interesting read that isn’t too heavy. That’s what I like about reading Middle-Grade books every now and again. I’ll definitely check this one out. Great review Ashley! :)

    • Ashley @ Gone with the Words

      Ashley @ Gone with the Words

      Thank you Catherine! I agree, middle grade is light and often just fun reading. You’ll have to let me know if you enjoy Valiant!

  2. Avatar

    Alexa S.

    I’m really curious about Valiant! It sounds like such a fantastically entertaining novel, and I always love seeing an author’s take on a fairytale. Sounds like I’d really enjoy this one!

  3. Avatar


    I JUST found out about Valiant a few days ago! I guess it’s a retelling of some classic Grimm story called The Valiant Little Tailor. Valiant sounds quite different from the source though. I really need to get a copy of it!

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