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Tithe by Holly Black


by Holly Black

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Modern Tales of Faerie (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,0541621,254 (3.78)223
  1. 121
    Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr (allisongryski, fayeflame)
  2. 70
    Sabriel by Garth Nix (wosret)
  3. 70
    Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones (runningondreams)
    runningondreams: Both "Tithe" and "Fire and Hemlock" are modernized and somewhat modified forms of the Ballad of Tam Lin, and concern the dangerous and fantastic mixing of the mortal and faerie realms. If you enjoy both of these books I would also recommend "The Perilous Guard" by Elizabeth Marie Pope- the first I read of this story's re-tellings.… (more)
  4. 60
    City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (wegc)
    wegc: Both Tithe and City of Bones are about a girl who discovers she is part of a hidden supernatural world full of rivalries and danger.
  5. 71
    The Blue Girl by Charles de Lint (Kerian)
  6. 40
    City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare (allisongryski)
  7. 40
    Dangerous Angels by Francesca Lia Block (sylvatica)
    sylvatica: Sometimes dark, sometimes magical, sometimes funny.
  8. 40
    War for the Oaks by Emma Bull (TheBooknerd)
  9. 20
    Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things by Ted Naifeh (Jannes)
    Jannes: Goblins and gouls in suburban america. The Crumrin books and Tithe share a view on adolescence that is slightly grittier than the norm as well as an obvious fascination with folklore and myth.
  10. 10
    The Various by Steve Augarde (JenMillar)
  11. 10
    The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue (kittycatpurr)
  12. 00
    Wings by Aprilynne Pike (JenMillar)
  13. 00
    Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor (Aerrin99)
    Aerrin99: A fantastical collection of three short stories, all of which mix romance and magic and our world in chilling, wonderful, engaging ways.
  14. 00
    Spells by Aprilynne Pike (JenMillar)
  15. 00
    Foiled by Jane Yolen (fyrefly98)
  16. 00
    Grimms Grimmest by Grimm/dockray (wosret)
  17. 00
    The War Of The Flowers by Tad Williams (Jannes)
    Jannes: Both novels does the "modern faerie" thing, but in very different ways. Both manages a genuine sense of awe and magic, which is rare enough in fantasy today, so they're well worth checking out.
  18. 00
    Lament by Maggie Stiefvater (inblackink)
  19. 22
    Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire (Aerrin99)
    Aerrin99: An excellent urban fantasy with a creepy and fantastic faerie world, a kick-ass heroine, and a building romance.
  20. 00
    The Hunter's Moon by O. R. Melling (madmarch)

(see all 23 recommendations)


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» See also 223 mentions

English (161)  Spanish (1)  All languages (162)
Showing 1-5 of 161 (next | show all)
I really enjoyed this one. The writing is fluid and descriptive. Black weaves in a ton of faerie lore. Best of all, the characters all feel like real people. These are teenagers who act like kids - not the bland, personality-devoid, pretty-pretty Mary Sues that tend to inhabit the pages of YA fiction.

Kaye is half-Japanese with striking blonde hair. Her mom’s been chasing rockstar dreams with creepy boyfriends and bands that never make it big. Kaye drinks and smokes and has dropped out, because it was a hassle to stay in school with her mother’s hectic urban nomad lifestyle. She’s aimless and spiralling when her mom’s latest boyfriend apparently snaps and they’re forced to move back in with Kaye’s grandmother, in a big, old house by the sea.

Kaye has always seen things that other’s don't and returning to her grandmother’s house in the countryside reminds her of when she was a little girl with “imaginary” friends. But the faeries that played with her as a child were not imaginary, as she soon learns when she comes across a wounded faerie knight in the woods. Roiben is beautiful but deadly as she soon learns he is responsible for the death of one of her precious childhood faerie friends. Kaye finds herself caught in the middle of a war between faerie courts as she learns secrets about her own nature.

I loved the secondary characters as well. Corny is one of Kaye’s friends, he’s an outcast kid who’s family is poor and live in a trailer park. Though smart and good with computers, he’s lonely and depressed and growing more bitter about the pretty, popular people who have shut him out. Beneath the bitterness is a yearning to be loved and he easily falls under the enchantment of another handsome faerie knight, Nephamael of the thorn-cloak.

The imagery in this is beautiful - spooky, gothic, magical and enchanting. The fae are as they should be - diverse, wicked and wild. This book is so much fun - a roller coaster plot, beautiful/deadly faerie knights, yes, yes, yes, more please! I will definitely get my hands on the next two books in this series - Valiant and Ironside! ( )
  catfantastic | Mar 15, 2015 |
Warning: This review contains potential spoilers. Nothing too detailed though.
This book was interesting but lacked depth. With some promising ideas left unexplored, the book was mostly dialogue and whiny thoughts from the perspective of a seriously limited teenage girl. One who thinks she knows everything. Perhaps that's actually realistic. But seriously, the story actually did have some interesting parts, but I really felt like the author could have explored some things a lot better, like Kaye's relationship with her irresponsible rock-star mother, the changeling child she finds who is her mother's actual child, or her seriously dark and disturbing friend Corny who apparently wants to commit a mass shooting and is very easily swayed into becoming a sex slave. All these things are only briefly mentioned in passing rather than explored as they deserve. That being said, it was an interesting book, and didn't disappoint me too badly in terms of being an entertaining way to spend time. ( )
  loewen | Mar 5, 2015 |
Tithe is exactly my kind of fairytale - gritty, real, and creepy as hell. The vivid writing is by turns enchanting and disturbing. In many ways, this is a story about power and what we choose to do with it. I enjoyed it immensely. I’m already looking forward to reading more from Ms. Black. ( )
  les121 | Oct 27, 2014 |
Meh. The writing was pretty bad. It plainly said that it was unsure of its audience. One minute it read like it was for 9-year-olds and the next they're talking about uncircumcised penises and people poking out the eyeballs of innocent children. (Those two things aren't related by the way. Just thought I'd let you know, in case you were wondering.)

I didn't care about Kaye's smoking, drinking, shoplifting and truancy etc. It didn't bother me because it was realistic, and I sympathised with the situation concerning her mother.

Kaye's sexuality seemed stifled even for a young adult book, which frustrated me because it was difficult to figure out whether she was actually attracted to Kenny or Roiben. Corny (what a nickname, but then who wants to be called Cornelius?) however - yay for a gay character who doesn't fit a particular stereotype. He's just an ordinary guy with insecurities.

But there was one thing that baffled me. One of Kaye's friends drowns but she doesn't think to give them mouth-to-mouth and try and revive them. Guess they weren't that good of a friend.

I liked the descriptions of the Unseelie Court and it's fey but most of the book was set in Ironside (our world). Kaye didn't slip down the rabbit hole until halfway, when I was about give up on this due to boredom.

Speaking of the rabbit hole, Tithe reminded me of [b:Alice in Wonderland|13023|Alice in Wonderland (Alice, #1)|Lewis Carroll|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1166512952s/13023.jpg|2933712] except Kaye/Alice is fey rather than human so she's an outsider in the human world despite growing up there and an outsider in the fey world because she doesn't understand all of the rules there.

The different elements of this book didn't really come together in a way that worked. It was unsatisfying. The highest praise I can give it: I love the beautifully striking cover accurately representing what's inside.

Out of the all the characters Roiben and Kaye's mother were the most fleshed out, the others were thin throwaways. The ideas in Tithe were interesting but the writing could've been better. I'm the first to admit that the fey aren't my favourite supernaturals but I didn't completely hate Black's incarnation of them. Despite my less than warm reception of the book, I do believe it would make a good movie (by Tim Burton?). I won't be reading the sequel. ( )
  Cynical_Ames | Sep 23, 2014 |
Tags: Newbery Award Winner, Fairy Tales, Butterflies

Summary: don't give up on very many books but I just couldn't keep going with this one. Why was the author making it seem like she wanted the main chacter to be as mean and rude as possible?

Personal Reaction: Not wanting to finish a book is strange for me. This book took me to places I had no idea it could based on what I had read and where I stopped reading due to the lack of interest.

Extension Ideas: Not sure how this book won this award or how it relates to what she was trying to get across to us as the readers. ( )
  armyflyingguy | Jul 22, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 161 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Holly Blackprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Yuen, SammyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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And pleasant is the faerie land
But an eerie tale to tell,
Ay at the end of seven years
We pay a tithe to Hell;
I am sae fair and fu o flesh,
I'm feard it be mysel.
And malt does note than Milton can
To justify God's Ways to man.

"Terence, This is Stupid Stuff"
Coercive as coma, frail as bloom
innuendoes of your inverse dawn
suffuse the self;
our every corpuscle becomes an elf.

— MINA LOY, "Moreover, the Moon,"
The Lost Lunar Baedeker
The stones were sharp,
The wind came at my back;
Walking along the highway,
Mincing like a cat.
— THEODORE ROETHKE, "Praise to the End!"
A cigarette is the perfect type of perfect pleasure. It is exquisite, and it leaves one unsatisfied. What more can one want?"
— OSCAR WILDE, The Picture of Dorian Gray
For my little sister Heidi
First words
Prologue: Kaye took another drag on her cigarette and dropped it into her mother's beer bottle.
Ch. 1: Kaye spun down the worn, gray planks of the boardwalk. The air was heavy and stank of drying mussels and the crust of salt on the jetties.
She knew what her grandmother was going to say when she got back, stinking of liquor with a torn shirt. True things.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0689867042, Paperback)

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. First-time author Holly Black explores Kaye's self-discovery and dual worlds in her riveting, suspenseful novel Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale. The book has its faults: it slips into shock-value mode; the descriptions are often overwritten (sunset on the water looks like the sun slit his wrists in a bathtub); the language is overly, unnecessarily explicit; and the writing often unpolished. Still, the story's pull is undeniable, and readers under its spell will be hard-pressed to put the book down.

The novel begins in a bar in Philly, where Kaye's alcoholic rock-singer mother's boyfriend tries to kill her. For their own safety, mother and daughter quickly move back to grandma's on the New Jersey shore where Kaye grew up. This ugly turn of events was all rigged by the Faerie world, as it turns out, a world Black describes in deliciously vivid, if rather overblown, detail. Kaye, a drinking, smoking, foul-mouthed high school dropout in the land of mortals, soon finds herself embroiled--as a human sacrifice, no less--in a battle between Faerieland's Seelie and more malevolent Unseelie courts. The beautiful, mysterious knight Roiben, torn between worlds himself, falls in love with Kaye--the brave, clever changeling--against his better judgment. Throughout the electrifying journey to the horrific underworld of this modern faerie fantasy, teen readers will relate to a hard-luck tough girl who feels alienated, discovers her best qualities in the worst of circumstances, and finally finds a place between worlds where she can feel at home. (Ages 13 and older) --Karin Snelson

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:00:05 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

After returning home from a tour with her mother's rock band, sixteen-year-old Kaye, who has been visited by faeries since childhood, discovers that she herself is a magical faerie creature with a special destiny.

» see all 5 descriptions

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