Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Review: Tithe (The Modern Faerie Tales #1) by Holly Black

Synopsis (via Goodreads):
Sixteen-year-old Kaye Fierch is not human, but she doesn't know it. Sure, she knows she's interacted with faeries since she was little--but she never imagined she was one of them, her blond Asian human appearance only a magically crafted cover-up for her true, green-skinned pixie self.
Umm, since I kinda don't love that synopsis and think it doesn't do the book justice, I'm going to put the synopsis from the back flap up.
In the realm of faerie...

Sixteen-year-old Kaye is a modern nomad. Fierce and independent, she drifts from place to place with her mother's rock band until an ominous attack forces Kaye back to her childhood home.  There, amid the blue-collar New Jersey backdrop, Kaye finds herself an unwilling pawn in an ancient and violent power struggle between two rival faerie kingdoms- a struggle that very well mean her death.
Much better, don't you think?  I do.

My Thoughts: I read this book a few years back and I really liked it but I was hesitant to continue with the series seeing as how book 2 doesn't center around Kaye and Roiben.  Cut to 2011 and I thought, why not?  Why not go back and re-read the first book and dive into books 2 and 3?  So I did.

Oh, this book is enchanting.  It's gritty.  It's full of vicious critters who like to pull the wings off of butterflies (or sprites).  It's got a drinking and smoking teenage main character who has no idea why she doesn't fit in.  It has a fiercely sexy knight who is helpless against his mistress' wishes.  It has magic and mayhem and chaos and learning about yourself.  It's betrayal and love and power.  It's a lot of things, really.

I think I liked it more this time around than I did the first.  Kaye is just so... confused.  She's trying to do the best she can.  She's trying to find herself.  She literally has no idea what she is.  She doesn't understand the power she can access because she doesn't realized that it's a part of her until she gets smacked in the face with it.

Roiben.  Oh, *sigh*.  He's torn between his duty and the feelings he has for Kaye.  He admires her for her bravery and kindness and yet he's afraid to show it because he knows that the Unseelie Court would gladly hurt her if they knew he had a fondness for her.  *swoon*  Say what you will, I adore the guy.  He's managed to survive in a nasty, despicable environment for untold amounts of time and he's strong because of it.  I respect that.

I really, really liked the world that was built here.  It's not pretty yet at the same time it is.  It's brutal.  It's vicious.  Yet, it's faerie.

And I do like my faeries.

More books by Holly Black

Read and reviewed for the YA Reading Challenge, the Horror & Urban Fantasy Challenge, and The Morbid Romantica Challenge


  1. I usually hate faeries, but this is endlessly intriguing! Excellent review, Kelly! I'm adding this to my list :)

  2. I read Tithe went it first came out. Since then I've reread it at least 5 or 6 times. It just never gets old.

  3. I much prefer your synopsis, it makes Tithe sound a lot more edgy than the Goodreads one does! I first read it in 2009, and I'm also planning to read the sequels this year (had to wait a while to get Valiant). Really looking forward to it.