Tithe (Modern Tale of Faerie Series #1)

Tithe (Modern Tale of Faerie Series #1)

4.3 683
by Holly Black
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Welcome to the realm of very scary faeries!
Sixteen-year-old Kaye is a modern nomad. Fierce and independent, she travels from city to city with her mother's rock band until an ominous attack forces Kaye back to her childhood home. There, amid the industrial, blue-collar New Jersey backdrop, Kaye soon finds herself an unwilling pawn in an ancient power

Overview

Welcome to the realm of very scary faeries!
Sixteen-year-old Kaye is a modern nomad. Fierce and independent, she travels from city to city with her mother's rock band until an ominous attack forces Kaye back to her childhood home. There, amid the industrial, blue-collar New Jersey backdrop, Kaye soon finds herself an unwilling pawn in an ancient power struggle between two rival faerie kingdoms — a struggle that could very well mean her death.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Publishers Weekly, starred review A gripping read....[T]he exquisite faeries haunt as well as charm.

Kirkus Reviews, starred review Debauchery, despair, deceit, and grisly death — what more could you ask for from a fairy tale?...A luscious treat for fans of urban fantasy and romantic horror.

Publishers Weekly
An edgy 16-year-old discovers that she is a changeling-and that her one-time "imaginary" faerie playmates want her to pretend to be a human so they can earn their freedom for seven years. In a starred review, PW called this book "a gripping read." Ages 12-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews

Debauchery, despair, deceit, and grisly death -- what more could you ask for from a fairy tale?...A luscious treat for fans of urban fantasy and romantic horror.

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Kaye is 16 when she finally learns why she's such a strange young woman: she's a changeling pixie under a spell. A move home to the New Jersey shore brings her back in touch with her childhood friends, the solitary fey, who want to end their servitude to the higher-born faeries by foiling the sacrifice of human blood known as the Tithe. Kaye offers to masquerade as a human for the Tithe and is swept into a complicated net of politics and treason between two rival courts of faeries. Grim scenes from Kaye's life in the human world pile up at the beginning of the story in what initially seems a gratuitous manner (her mother is almost stabbed by her current boyfriend, Kaye steals for thrills, a new acquaintance tries to rape her), but the details all have explanations later on in the equally grim world of the faeries. The plot moves quickly, and the secondary characters are appealing, if not always entirely believable. Occasional awkward changes in point of view won't discourage readers who enjoy dark, edgy fantasy. However, the excessive use of obscenities adds little to character development. Thegreatest strength of the story lies in the settings, particularly the descriptions of the debased Unseelie Court.-Beth Wright, Fletcher Free Library, Burlington, VT Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780689867040
Publisher:
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication date:
03/23/2004
Series:
Modern Tale of Faerie Series, #1
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
119,767
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
14 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 2


"The stones were sharp,

The wind came at my back;

Walking along the highway,

Mincing like a cat."

-- Theodore Roethke, "Praise to the End!"


The wind whipped tiny pebbles of rain across Kaye's face. The droplets froze her hands, making her shiver as they slid down her wet hair and under the collar of her coat. She walked, head down, kicking the scattered trash that had eddied up on the grassy shores along the highway. A flattened soda can skittered into a sodden chrysanthemum-covered foam heart, staked there to mark the site of a car crash. There were no houses on this side of the road, just a long stretch of wet woods leading up to a gas station. She was over halfway home.

Cars hissed over the asphalt. The sound was comforting, like a long sigh.

I saw you. I saw what you did.

Awfulness twisted in her gut, awfulness and anger. She wanted to smash something, hit someone.

How could she have done anything? When she tried to make a magazine page turn on its own or a penny land on heads, it never worked. How could she have made Kenny see a broken-legged carousel horse move?

Never mind that she might as well assume that Spike and Lutie and Gristle had been imaginary. She'd been home for two weeks, and there was no sign of them, no matter how many times she had called them, no matter how many bowls of milk she left out, no matter how many times she went down to the old creek.

She took a deep breath, snorting rain up her nose. It reminded her of crying.

The trees seemed like flat lead panels missing the stained glass to fit between their branches. She knew what her grandmother was going to say when she got back, stinking of liquor with a torn shirt. True things.

The same things that Janet would say tomorrow. There was no way to explain what had happened without admitting to something. His hand on her leg was what Janet would really care about -- that, and that she had let it rest there, even if only for a moment. And she could imagine what he was telling Janet now -- flushed, angry, and drunk -- but even a badly managed lie would sound better than the truth.

I saw it stand up.

But even if he didn't go that far, who would believe that he touched her crotch on purpose, but ripped her shirt by accident? No, he must have told an entirely different story. So what was Kaye supposed to say when Janet asked what happened? Janet thought she was a liar already.

She could still feel the heat of Kenny's hand, a stroke of fire along her thigh in contrast to her otherwise rain-soaked skin.

Another gust of rain stung her cheeks, this one bringing a shout with it from the direction of the woods. The noise was brief, but eloquent with pain. Kaye stopped abruptly. There was no sound except the rain, hissing like radio static.

Then, just as a truck sped past, kicking up a cloud of drizzle, she heard another sound. Softer, this one, maybe a moan bitten off at the end. It was just inside the copse of trees.

Kaye moved down the slight slope, off the short grass and into the woods. She ducked under the dripping branches of an elm, stepping on tufts of short ferns and looping briars. Weeds brushed across her calves, leaving strokes of rain. The storm-bright sky lit the woods with silver. An earthy, sweet odor of rot bloomed where she disturbed the carpet of leaves.

There was no one there.

She half turned toward the highway. She could still see the road from where she was standing. What was she doing? The sound must have carried over from the houses beyond the thin river that ran along the back of the woods. No one else would be dumb enough to go trooping through wet, dripping woods in the middle of the night.

Kaye walked back up to the road, picking her way through spots that looked somewhat drier than others. Burrs had collected along her stockings, and she bent down to pull them off.

"Stay where you are." She jumped at the voice. The accent was rich and strange, though the words were pronounced precisely.

A man was sprawled in the mud only a few steps from her, clutching a curved sword in one hand. It shone like a sliver of moonlight in the hazy dark. Long pewter hair, plastered wetly to his neck, framed a face that was long and full of sharp angles. Rivulets of rain ran over the jointed black armor he wore. His other hand was at his heart, clutching a branch that jutted from his chest. The rain there was tinted pink with blood.

"Was it you, girl?" He was breathing raggedly.

Kaye wasn't sure what he meant, but she shook her head. He didn't look much older than she was. Certainly not old enough to call her "girl."

"So you haven't come to finish me off?"

She shook her head again. He was

long-limbed -- he would be tall if he were standing. Taller than most people, taller than any faerie she had ever seen -- still, she had no doubt that was what he was, if for no other reason than the pointed tops of his ears knifing through his wet hair -- and that he was beautiful in a way that made her breath catch.

He licked his lips. There was blood on them. "Pity," he said quietly.

She took a step toward him, and he twisted into a defensive crouch. Wounded as he was, he still moved swiftly. Hair fell forward across his face, but his eyes, shining like mercury, studied her intently.

"You're a faerie, aren't you?" she said soothingly, holding her hands where he could see them. She had heard stories of the court fey -- the Gentry -- from Lutie-loo, but she had never seen one. Maybe that was what he was.

He stayed still, and she took another half step toward him, holding out one hand to coax him as if he were some fascinating, dangerous animal. "Let me help you."

His body was trembling with concentration. His eyes never flickered from her face. He held the hilt of his sword in a white-knuckled grip.

She did not dare take another step. "You're going to bleed to death."

They stayed like that a few more minutes before he slumped down to one knee in the mud. He bent forward, fingers clutching the leaves, and spat red. The wet lashes over his half-closed eyes were as silver as a safety pin.

She took two steps and knelt down next to him, bracing herself with shaking hands. This close, she could see that his armor was stiff leather sculpted to look like feathers.

"I cannot draw the arrow myself," he said softly. "They are waiting for me to bleed a little more before they come against my blade."

"Who is waiting?" It was hard to understand that someone had shot him with a tree branch, but that seemed to be what he was saying.

"If you would help me, draw this arrow." His eyes narrowed, and he shook his head. "If not, then push it in as deep as you can and hope that it kills me."

"It will bleed more," Kaye said.

He laughed at that, a bitter sound. "Either way, no doubt."

She could see the despair in his face. He obviously believed her to be part of some plan to kill him. Still, he slid his body back until he could lean against the trunk of an oak. He was braced, waiting to see what she would do.

She thought of the faeries she had known when she was a child -- impish, quick things -- no mention of wars or magical arrows or enemies, certainly no lies, no deception. The man bleeding in the dirt beside her told her how wrong her perceptions of Faery had been.

Her fingers flinched away from the wound in his chest. Her lungs turned to ice as she looked at the grisly wound. "I can't do it."

His voice stayed soft. "What do they call you?"

"Kaye," she said. There was silence for a moment as she noticed the cold cloud of her breath rise up with the word.

"I'm Roiben." Faeries didn't give their names easily, even part of their names, although she had no idea why. He was trying to show her that he trusted her, maybe trying to make up for the assumptions he had made about her. "Give me your hand."

She let him take her hand in his and guide it to the branch. His hand closed over hers, both of them chilled and wet, his fingers inhumanly long and rough with calluses. "Just close your hand on it and let me pull," he said. "You don't even have to look. As long as I'm not touching it, I might be able to draw it out."

That shamed her. She had told him that she wanted to help him, he was in a whole lot of pain, and it was no time for her to be squeamish. "I'll do it," she said.

Roiben let go of her hand, and she gave a sharp tug. Although his face constricted with pain, the branch only pulled out a short way.

Were there really other faerie folk in the trees, waiting for him to be weak enough to defeat? Kaye thought that if so, now was a great time for them to come down and have a go at it.

"Again, Kaye."

She took note of the angle of the armor this time, changing her position so that the branch couldn't catch on one of the plates. She raised herself to one knee, braced, and then stood, pulling upward as hard as she could.

Roiben gave a harsh cry as the branch slid free of his chest, its iron tip black with blood. His fingers touched the wound and he raised them, slick with blood, as if suddenly disbelieving that he had been shot.

"Very brave," he said, touching his wet fingers to her leg.

Kaye tossed the stick away from her. She was shuddering, and she could taste the ghost of blood in her mouth. "We have to stop the bleeding. How does your armor come off?"

He seemed not to understand her at first. He just looked at her with a kind of incredulity. Then he leaned forward with a groan. "Straps," he managed.

She came and sat behind him, feeling over the smooth armor for buckles.

A sudden wind shook the branches above, raining an extra shower of heavy droplets down on them, and Kaye wondered again about faeries in the trees. Her fingers fumbled in her haste. If those faeries were still afraid of Roiben, they didn't have to worry for much longer -- she was betting that it would be only a few more minutes before he passed out entirely.

To get off his breastplate, she not only had to detach it from the backplate at his shoulders and sides -- there were also straps that connected it to the shoulderplates and to his legplates. Finally, she managed to peel it off his chest. Underneath, the bare skin was mottled with blood.

He tipped back his head and closed his eyes. "Let the rain clean it."

She pulled off her coat and hung it on one of the branches of the tree. Her shirt was ripped already, she reminded herself as she took it off. She tore it into long strips and began winding them around Roiben's chest and arms. He opened his eyes when she touched him. His eyes narrowed, then widened. Their color was mesmerizing.

He straightened up, horrified. "I didn't even hear you rip the cloth."

"You have to try to stay awake." Kaye's cheeks felt so warm that the cold rain actually felt good against them. "Is there somewhere you can go?"

He shook his head. Fumbling near him, he picked up a leaf and wiped it against the underside of the leather breastplate. It came away shining red. "Drop this in the stream. I -- there is a kelpie there -- it is no sure thing that I will be able to control her in this weather, but it is something."

Kaye nodded quickly, although she had no idea what a kelpie was, and made to take the leaf.

He did not let it go immediately. "I am in your debt. I mislike not knowing how I must repay it."

"I have questions..."

He let her take the leaf. "I will answer three, as full and well as is within my power."

She nodded. Like a faerie tale. Fine; it wasn't as if she had wanted anything from him anyway.

"When you drop the leaf in the water, say Roiben of the Unseelie Court asks for your aid."

"Say to what?"

"Just say it aloud."

She nodded again and ran in the direction of the water. The steep bank of the stream was choked with vegetation and broken glass. Roots, swept bare of the mud that should have surrounded them, sat above the bank like overturned baskets or ran along the ground like the pale arms of half-buried corpses. She forbade herself to think of that again.

She squatted down and set the leaf, blood side down, into the water. It floated there, spinning a little. She wondered if it was too close to the bank, and tried to blow it farther out.

"Roiben of the Unseelie Court asks for your help," she said, hoping that she had gotten it right. Nothing happened. She said it again, louder, feeling foolish and frightened at the same time. "Roiben of the Unseelie Court needs your help."

A frog surfaced and began to swim in her direction. Would that have something to do with a kelpie? What kind of help were they supposed to get from a shallow, polluted stream?

But then she saw that she had been mistaken. What she had taken for the eyes of a frog were actually hollow pits that quavered as something swam through the water toward her. She wanted to run, but fascination combined with obligation to root her to the spot. Hollow pits formed into flaring nostrils on the snout of a black horse that rose up from the black water as if created from it. Moss and mud slid from its dripping flanks as the thing turned its head to regard Kaye with luminous white eyes.

She could not move. How many minutes passed as she stared at those mottled gray flanks, smooth as sealskin, and stared into the impossible glow of those eyes? The creature inclined its neck.

Kaye took a half step backward and tried to speak. No words came.

The horse-thing snuffled closer to her, its hooves sinking in the mud, snapping twigs. It smelled of brackish water. She took another careful step backward and stumbled.

She had to say something. "This way," she managed finally, pointing through the trees. "He's this way."

The horse moved in the direction she pointed, speeding up to a trot, and she was left to follow it, nearly shaking with relief. When she got to the clearing, Roiben was already straddling the creature's back. His breastplate had been haphazardly strapped on. She let out a breath she hadn't known she was holding.

He saw her emerge from under the canopy of branches and smiled. His eyes seemed darker in the moonlight. "Were I you, I would stay clear of the Folk in the future. We are a capricious people, with little regard for mortals."

She looked at him again. There were scratches on his armor that she didn't remember. Could he have been attacked? He could barely lift his head before -- it was impossible to believe that he could have fought with someone. "Did something happen?"

His smile deepened, wiping the weariness from his face. His eyes glittered. "Don't waste your questions." Then the horse rode, moving like no living thing, darting between trees with unearthly speed and grace. Leaves flurried from kicks of its hooves. Moonlight glowed along its flanks.

Before she could think, she was alone in the wood. Alone and shivering and proud of herself. She moved to retrieve her coat, and a glimmer of light caught her eye. The arrow.

She knelt and picked up the branch with its iron tip. Her finger ran up the rough bark and touched the too-warm metal. A shudder went through her, and she dropped it back in the mud. The woods were suddenly menacing, and she walked as quickly as she could back toward the road. If she started running, she didn't think she'd be able to stop.


Kaye dug her feet into the muddy slope that marked the edge of her grandmother's lawn and heaved herself up. She slid past the overflowing trash can, the broken-down Pinto, the rusted coffee cans wired together as a fence for a wilted herb garden.

All the lights in the house seemed to be on, highlighting the grubby curtains. Blue lights flickered in the living room where the TV was.

She opened the backdoor and walked into the kitchen. Pots and pans, crusted with food, were piled in the sink. She was supposed to have washed them. Instead, she went to the cupboard and took out a bowl, filled it with milk, then put a piece of stale white bread on top of it. It would have to do, she thought as she carefully opened the door and set it on the step -- after all, the only things likely to come for it anymore were neighborhood cats.

Kaye crept into the living room.

On the other side of the staircase, Ellen was sitting in front of the television, eating one of the miniature Snickers Grandma had bought for the trick-or-treaters. "Leave me the fuck alone," she muttered to the drink in front of her.

"You think I don't know anything. Okay, you're the smart one, right?" Kaye's grandmother said in that too-sweet voice that pissed off Kaye so much. "If you're so smart, then how come you're all alone? How come all these men just use you and leave you? How come the only one to take you in is your old, stupid mother?"

"I heard you the first million fucking times you said it."

"Well, you're going to hear it again," Kaye's grandmother said. "Where is your daughter tonight? It's almost one in the morning! Do you even care that she's out gallivanting around who knows where, trying her damnedest to turn out just like -- "

"Don't you start in on my daughter!" Kaye's mother said with surprising vehemence. "She's just fine. You leave her out of your bitching."

Kaye bent her head down and tried to walk up the stairs as quickly and quietly as she could.

She caught her own reflection in the hallway mirror, mascara and glitter eyeshadow smeared across her cheeks and under her eyes, running in crusted and glittering streaks that looked like they were made by tears. Her lipstick was smudged and dull, arching across her left cheek where she must have wiped it.

Kaye turned to take a furtive look into the living room. Her mother caught her glance, rolled her eyes, and motioned her up the stairs with a furtive hand movement.

"While she's in this house she's going to live by the same rules that you lived by. I don't care that she's spent the last six years in a rat-infested apartment with whatever hoodlums you took up with. From now on that girl's going to be raised decent."

Kaye crept the rest of the way up the stairs and into her room. She closed the door as quietly as she could.

The tiny white dresser and too-short bed seemed to belong to someone else. Her rats, Isaac and Armageddon, rustled in their fish tank on top of the old toy box.

Kaye stripped off her clothes and, not caring about the wet or the mud or anything, climbed into the small bed, wrapped a blanket around herself, and folded her legs so that she fit. Kaye knew what obsession was like -- she saw how her mother craved fame, pined over men who treated her like shit. She didn't want to want someone she would never have.

But just for tonight, she allowed herself to think of him, to think of the solemn, formal way he had spoken to her, so unlike anyone else. She let herself think of his flashing eyes and crooked smile.

Kaye slid down into sleep like water closing over her head.

Copyright © 2002 by Holly Black

Meet the Author

Holly Black is the author of bestselling contemporary fantasy books for kids and teens. Some of her titles include The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), The Modern Faerie Tale series, the Curse Workers series, Doll Bones, and The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. She has been a finalist for the Mythopoeic Award, a finalist for an Eisner Award, and the recipient of both an Andre Norton Award and a Newbery Honor. She lives in New England with her husband and son in a house with a secret door. Visit her at BlackHolly.com.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Tithe (Modern Tale of Faerie Series #1) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 683 reviews.
Fantasy_Queen More than 1 year ago
I love this book. This book is the best Faerie book I have ever read. It has great characters, plots, etc. Very edgy and dark. Excellently written. If you are not a person to enjoy a book with drug use, sex, graphic description, and or plain dark novels/series, then dont read it.
Other than that, its an awsome read. No doubt about it.
SavyLeArtist More than 1 year ago
I love Holly Black for her "Spiderwick Chronicals." So when I picked up Tithe, I thought, "Cool! Holly Black, faries, teenager's level, it can't get any better!" But I had to put the book down and give it away within the first ten pages. I can understand that for some adult writters to write for teenagers today, but it feels like Holly Black is trying way to hard. It also felt like Black was trying to use every curse word in her memory banks within the first chapter. Does she think all teens are over sexed, bad mouthed hoolagins? If your looking for 'edge', maybe you'll like this book. But if you want a good story, with substance, read "Graceling".
3monstersmom More than 1 year ago
It's amazing what you can find in the young adult section of your favorite book store. Normally I try to avoid this section. I find the books unsatisfying and the characters dripping with morals and ethics that are usually to adult based. For many young adult fiction writers, their characters seem to be wallowing in the 50's ideology and naivety. I know it's been a while since I was in high school, but I seriously doubt the Cleavers or the Brady's took over while I was gone. Hell yes teenagers smoke, drink, party, steal, skip or dropout of school, some are gay, some do drugs, and many even have sex. Why try to portray it differently, no matter what fantasy is playing out in a novel. Thus what I enjoyed most about Tithe was it's characters believable personalities. Tithe is a beautifully crafted tale of 16 year old Kaye who has had a difficult life with nomad rocker mom Ellen. Kaye has always been a bit different, from the strange things that happen around her, to her ability to see and converse with faeries. Forced to move back into her hometown, Kaye reunites with her old friends both human and faerie, stumbles across Roiben, the handsome and mysterious Unseelie Knight, and discovers a secret that reveals her true nature. Now Kaye will need all the strength and clever wit she posses if she wishes to save her friends and herself. I must say that Tithe is a beautifully dark, wondrous story that will captivate readers of any age. My only complaint being that the book is to short! I didn't want to leave the world of the faeries, and I am looking forward to reading Holly Black's next two books in the series. Tithe is a story to be put in the must read pile.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Okay I became interested in this series because someone told me that a few of the characters were in Cassandra Clare's books The Mortal Instruments (I absolutely loved them and cannot wait for more!!). As I began reading I was shocked at how morbid this book was. I know it's referred to as a modern day story but as a mother I wonder if it is a little too negative for my early teen daughter. Kaye is a high school drop out, smokes, hangs out with teens that are getting drunk in abandoned buildings and having sex (only implied). I know this is really common amongst youth today but I hope that there are several young women out there that are not giving in. Overall I liked the writing and the storyline. I hope I get to know more about the characters and their storylines continue!!
Lunanshee More than 1 year ago
Sixteen-year-old Kaye has seen fairies all her life, what she doesn't know is that she is not actually human. Tough, a bit uncouth and not interested in following the rules, Kaye has never really been part of anything. But now she finds herself embroiled in the battle between the Seelie and Unseelie courts. Kaye is an interesting character, but very different from many "fairytale" heroines; she's no one's princess. The characters both fey and human are well developed and interesting. Black's world is gritty, dark and at times over developed, but it works for the story. This is no light-hearted fairytale; some hefty issues are discussed and dealt with in this novel. Recommended for readers who enjoy their fantasy with a dose of darkness.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book. Yes, it has drugs and curses but all in all the story line was good, if a bit confusing.
7hir7een More than 1 year ago
I have a special place in my heart for this book. If I remember correctly, this book initiated my long-lasting love affair with urban fantasy. I almost certain that this was the first book I had ever read in the genre. I remember seeing and being interested in the cover (the original one, with the butterfly) in the young adult section of the bookstore before, but I didn’t end up buying it at the time. Shortly thereafter, I noticed one of my best friends reading the book, and she recommended I read it the very instant she was done. I’m glad I did. This novel is a gritty, dark look into the world of faeries in a modern, urban setting. Kaye is not what you would call the traditional teen protagonist, but it is somewhat refreshing to show a heroine with a dark past. I also really liked the characters of Roiben (the conflicted love interest) and Corny (Kaye’s friend’s gay brother with whom she develops a special relationship). I enjoy Holly Black’s style and I think that she is a fantastic world-builder. There are a couple plot gaps and some lacking character development, but it didn’t detract from the book for me. If you are someone that expects a cookie-cutter protagonist and happy endings, then no, I wouldn’t recommend this book to you. However, if you like urban fantasy (or think you might like it), like a good, dark tale, and want an easy, enjoyable read, then I definitely recommend you check it out.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was overwhelmed with the amount of high ratings given to this book. How in the world do so many people like tithe! I admit that it has been some time since I last read it, but a single fact still remains: this was a rather poorly written story. I was barely able to get through it, and only my stubbornness to always finish a book allowed me to finish. There were so many things I felt were wrong. Let's start with one of my biggest peeves: Corny Stone. Ignoring his name for fear of laughter, Corny is the main character's (Kaye) best friend's brother. To say it bluntly, he is the token gay in the story. Heavens know that I have no problem with this, I mean, I would be hard-pressed to have a problem. However, what the author does with said character is demeaning. Corny is used so cruely and without care. I was really upset by how Black used Corny being gay to do whatever the hell she wanted. And though highly amused by the shounen-ai and manga references, they were superflous and a faulty attempt of connecting to the audience. Next, let's examine the plot, or lack there of. I understand how Black wanted to tie in 'fantasy' with 'real life situations' but it does not, and cannot, work because neither exists. Her fantasy is vague and hastily written, without any real cause for it being there in most cases. (That merry-go-round horse, though a great idea, was silly to have been included. Why it was there in that warehouse still a mystery to me. Why it was needed for the plot, I dare not explore.) Then, her real life is ridiculously overworked and extreme. From neglected teens to raves (I am still feeling the horror of her description of what I treasure so) to misconduct of reckless, annoying teenagers. Such actions were together a complete and utter misrepresentation of what a teenager is. Sidetracked as this paragraph may seem, this is all that is left after the absent plot is removed. It was simply not rememberable. And breaching off from that: the sheer YA-ness of this book was what kept me from at least accepting this book as a novel. There was little original with this story, characters and descriptions. It was dry. Okay, the guy was really hot. Okay, okay. The girl can be pitied. And, yeah, we got the token gay. But there was nothing else. I was personally disgusted by how little Faye cared about her friend's end. Oh, she cried! But there was nothing at all beyond that. Then, there was no attention given to breaking past the expectations of a young adult story. The ending was so bland I was laughing at its lack of anything and everything. Ugh. I cannot stand to remember how dull it was. I understand that this is the Holly Black's first novel. But I know that there are plenty of first-timers that write beautiful stories that are actually worth your time. I only suggest this book to mindless, teenaged girls that are so silly as to ignore the actual content and only see the 'OMG! Roiben's soooooo h0t! LOL!!!' part of the story. I think the most interesting thing to happen to this book was Conry 'I actually really did like him' and perhaps that reference to Star Trek's infamous couple.
Venus_Doom More than 1 year ago
I am in love with tales of the fey, and this has got to be my all time favorite. Holly Black's urban fairy tale is exquisite. The grungy view of life is perfect coupled with the beautiful darkness of the Unseelie court. Roiben is the perfect, beautiful dark faerie and I can easily imagine myself as Kaye. I have reread this book so many times it is falling apart. The characters are all beautiful in their own messed up ways. This book takes me to the Unseelie court, and immerses me in the dark and delectable, horrifying world, which parallels with our own beautifully. I highly recommend this series whether you are 14 or 35. If you love faeries, you'll love this book.
chapterxchapter More than 1 year ago
Curiousity got the better of me, and I decided to give this book a try. It was not what I had expected. I had heard mixed reviews about this book, and decided to try it out for myself. If you're looking for the classic faerie type book, all skipping and flowers and la la la . . . this is not the book for you. If you're looking for a dark, teen angst, raw novel then voila. I enjoyed reading this book. I liked how there was swearing and drinking and drugs because it made the characters seem more real. You may not relate to them, but you could build a better picture of what was going on in the story. Black's writing style is honest. No sugar coating, or dancing around, she wrote passionately. I loved how she described the world of the Fae. The oddity of the people in the court, and how she incorporated folklore about faeiries. And of course I liked Roiben. Edgy, sexy Roiben. I did swoon over him. I couldn't resist him! This may not be a book for everybody, but you should definitely give it a try. It may open your eyes to whole different of genre.
tpg00 More than 1 year ago
I was excited to read this book, the summary seemed right up my alley of interests and it is written by Holly Black. So needless to say I was expecting greatness. What I got was disappointment, this book lacks magik. I read it with a friend, and if it hadn't been for that I would have layed the book down early on. So with that said let me tell ya - Tithe lacked the magik other books have that pull you into the world. I didn't feel any connection for any of the characters, and they in turn lacked empathy. A Little past the middle of the book the story-line picked up with action which helped move it along since it was a chore to pick it up and read at this point. Thankfully it went at a faster pace then and I was able to finish finally. Ms. Black did me a favor by ending this book wrapped up. I have no reason nor desire to read another in this series.
Poizonivy More than 1 year ago
Although i am not a teen I love to read fantasy that is less sexual.. as alot of our adult books are... I love the series read it all and loved it passed it to my sister and friends.. anyone who wants a good fairy tell it is here:)

I have listed some other series I have read...
Guest More than 1 year ago
I typically really like Holly Black's work, but this particular novel does not live up to her talents. I really enjoy dark fantasy novels, but this one is poorly written. The book is so full of description that it detracts from the storyline, which is not the most gripping as it is. The main character, Kaye, is not all that sympathetic and her sidekick Corny is just pathetic. I can't say that I had a problem with the foul language or the violence, but I really don't think those aspects added that much to the story. I think the only reason why this book was published was because her Spiderwick series did so well.
Anonymous 6 months ago
I love holly black. I have several of her series and stand alone books. I also love dark faerie stories but for some reason I was iffy about picking this one up. This is one of Blacks earlier works and it takes a lot of its cues from her curse worker series, using some of the exact same imagery in fact which was a little annoying. The main character tries very hard not to be a stereotypical ditsy goody two shoes girl and just ends up being a stereotypical 'edgy' lost teen. Which to be frank is a lot more unlikable as I'm sure 75% of the people reading this book scream at almost every major life descision she makes. Her personality is about as solid as wet newspaper and despite "living the hard life" on the wrong side of the tracks she is constantly being tricked and completely trusting people she hasn't seen since she was six with her life. The plot flops all over the place like a dying fish not really settling on anything throughout the while book, and thus lending no support to why there should even be more books in the series, and the romance is the most stereotypical twilight thing you can have. All in all one of Blacks weakest books. I'm not going to be picking up the rest.
ksprings 10 months ago
This review was first published on Kurt's Frontier. Synopsis: Kaye is a sixteen-year-old vagabond. Forced to live a nomadic life with her mother’s rock band, she grows into a stereotypical rebellious teen. When they are attacked on the road, they are forced back to Kaye’s grandmother’s New Jersey town. Amid the blue-collar backdrop, Kaye’s life is turned upside down when she saves a Faerie Knight from death. Kaye finds that she is not who she thinks she is. Worse, she finds herself becoming a pawn in an ancient power struggle between the Unseelie Court, the Seelie Court, and unaffiliated Faeries. Each faction has their own agenda. Kaye’s life hangs in the balance. Review: A common theme in some of the other reviews on Goodreads is that people either love or hate this story. On the plus side, I am always intrigued by modern renditions of the tale of Tam Lin. The elements of the old Childe ballad were there. The characters seemed real, and I found them intriguing. In the minus column, Holly Black tried to make Kaye and her human friends gritty. The effort was unbalanced and often seemed over the top. The rebellious teenager was overdone. While the characters seemed real, I still had a hard time finding them sympathetic until I was almost halfway through the story. All in all, it was decent urban fantasy, well worth a read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Too many plot holes and too many scenes stopped short. It was like the characters never finished their conversations. Sometime great description but not where it counted. Story needs revisment it felt rushed and needs more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Likes puting gay guys in hrr book! I readthe darkest part of the forest (great book) and Ben AND (huge spoiler!) Severin are gay! We get it, Holly Black is okay with people being gay but she doesnt have to put a gay in every book (who am i to talk im a lessy)! But this is a great read. I read it in one sitting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey, SavyLeArtist, Do you mean Graceling by Kristin Cashor (I'm not sure if I spelled the last name correctly)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mistress_Nyte More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite books! It's got faeries, and it's set in modern times, and in my mind's eye, the main fae, Roiben, is mega-hot! :P I've read this one more than once, and I love it every time I read it. I think that the imagery is very clear and it makes it very simple to imagine the story as you read it. I highly recommend this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite books. I love when a writer addssome realism to something magical!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Your dumbass.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really the plots are all the same. A girl has seen the fae all her life and now she has to sacrifice herself to save her little brother or frind or to stop a faery war because she is fae too. In this e they just swore more.