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Literature / Greystone Valley

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Our heroine and her tiny dragon. And yes, those are pajamas.

Greystone Valley is a 2013 children's fantasy novel by Charlie Brooks. The story follows the adventures of a plucky 12-year old named Sarah, who finds herself retreating into fantasy literature after the death of her father. After thinking about the world "she wished she could be in all the time" when the clock chimes 12 after midnight, she finds herself in the titular fantasy world, where she winds up teaming with a nearly illiterate wizard, a hemophobic swordsman, and a miniature dragon against a warlord who seeks to conquer multiple worlds. And she has to do all this while still in her pajamas.

A sequel, Conquest of Greystone Valley, was released in 2016.

Greystone Valley contains examples of:

  • A Child Shall Lead Them: Everybody seems quite accepting of the fact that they’re following a 12-year old girl.
  • Action Girl: Sarah, eventually.
  • All There in the Manual: The author’s website offers a lot of additional lore about Greystone Valley and the characters that is only touched upon in the books, as well as what might be a few potential sequel hooks.
  • All Trolls Are Different: As explained in the supplemental material, trolls develop rapidly and adapt to their surroundings. This creates stupid but deadly mountain trolls and tiny but good-hearted house trolls, among others.
  • Blood Knight: Baelan. He's frustrated with the lack of battles worth fighting in Greystone Valley and wants to open up the valley's access to other worlds specifically so he can build new armies and spend the rest of his life in battle.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Each of Sarah’s companions, in their own way.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Dax, who seems crazy and harmless at first but winds up being the best swordsman in the land. Arguably Kay and Keeley as well, both whom have their moments.
  • The Dragon: Aries, to Baelan.
  • The Eeyore: Dax. And how.
  • Every Proper Lady Should Curtsy: Sarah does this specifically because it seems like the proper thing to do, given the pseudo-medieval setting.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Played straight with Aries, whose voice is described as similar to a rumbling volcano.
  • The Fair Folk: Greystone Valley (and other worlds as well) are home to the fey, which cover most traditional fair folk in mythology. They do have a temper, though.
  • Kid Hero: Sarah especially, but Kay as well.
  • The Load: Kay, to an extent. His spells get Sarah into more trouble than not, although he does come in handy from time to time.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Keeley the tiny dragon.
  • Pajama-Clad Hero: Sarah spends about two-thirds of the book running around in dirty blue pajamas.
  • Plucky Girl: Sarah herself. And, if Adlin’s account of the Emerald Enchantress are true, Sarah’s mom once upon a time.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Nobody among Sarah’s companions seems to know how to handle their powers completely. Of the four main companions, only Dax is shown as extremely competent, and he spends so much time complaining that it’s hard for anybody to notice his impressive skills.
  • Secret Legacy: Despite being totally new to Greystone Valley, Sarah finds that she can cast spells very easily. Turns out she got this ability from her mom, who was the original Emerald Enchantress.
  • We Can Rule Together: Baelan offers Sarah this opportunity, although its questionable whether he really meant it.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: Sarah finally does make it home after several days of adventuring, only to find that it's only been an hour in her world.