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Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale by Holly Black

Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale (edition 2004)

by Holly Black

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4,4251691,108 (3.77)234
Title:Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale
Authors:Holly Black
Info:McElderry (2004), Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Tithe by Holly Black

  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. 71
    The Blue Girl by Charles de Lint (Kerian)
  5. 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.
  6. 40
    Dangerous Angels by Francesca Lia Block (sylvatica)
    sylvatica: Sometimes dark, sometimes magical, sometimes funny.
  7. 40
    City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare (allisongryski)
  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 Stolen Child by Keith Donohue (kittycatpurr)
  11. 10
    The Various by Steve Augarde (JenMillar)
  12. 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.
  13. 00
    Wings by Aprilynne Pike (JenMillar)
  14. 00
    Spells by Aprilynne Pike (JenMillar)
  15. 00
    The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (Anna_Claire99)
    Anna_Claire99: It deals with the Fae and is a great series.
  16. 00
    Foiled by Jane Yolen (fyrefly98)
  17. 00
    Grimms Grimmest by Grimm/dockray (wosret)
  18. 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.
  19. 00
    Lament by Maggie Stiefvater (inblackink)
  20. 00
    The Hunter's Moon by O. R. Melling (madmarch)

(see all 24 recommendations)


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» See also 234 mentions

English (168)  Spanish (1)  All (169)
Showing 1-5 of 168 (next | show all)
Kaye is a changling who has to help those who reside in faerie when the Seelie and Unseelie courts attempt to take the throats of the free beings. An excellent book. ( )
  J9Plourde | Jun 13, 2017 |
Sixteen year old Kaye Fierch is used to moving to different places at odd times with her mother, a musician in Stepping Razor. When her mother's boyfriend of the moment suddenly tries to stab her, they flee to Kaye's grandmother's house in New Jersey. Kaye reconnects with old friends from when she used to live there and can't shake the memory of her old imaginary friends, Lutie-Loo, Spike, and Gristle. She starts to believe they really were imaginary figments no matter how vivid until she runs into Roiben, an injured fairy knight who she helps in exchange for his full name. Her childhood friends in addition to a whole world of faeries are revealed to be true with Kaye playing a key role in the freedom or subjugation of many.

Kaye is used to a lot of things no sixteen year old should be used to: moving around, working instead of going to school in order to survive, taking care of her mother, and cleaning up her mother's messes (literally and figuratively). She is the authority in her family who makes sacrifices to provide for her family while her mother follows her dreams, a sad reversal of what should be happening. She is also used to strangers' fetishized or flat out racist assumptions about her with her Asian features and blond hair. I love this detail because it points out socially acceptable racism and shows how it hurts people first hand. Corny, her best friend's older brother, befriends her in an unlikely friendship because they have practically nothing in common. Both are outsiders in a way, Corny being gay and antisocial while Kaye is Asian and prone to repelling people with her stories and weirdness. Small things have always happened around Kaye that she couldn't explain, but she dismissed them time after time. Until one day, she makes something happen too big to dismiss and she runs into faerie knight Roiben which sinks her and Corny deep in the faerie world.

The faeries of this world can be good or evil, just like humans. However, the magic is in the shades of grey in between where most of the characters lie. Some are truly evil and some good, but most are stumbling through trying to do the best they can with huge obstacles and supernatural powers which puts them in between. At first, I thought the plot would be pretty straight forward. It's presented as Kaye saving the faeries outside of the Seelie and Unseelie courts from being enslaved by submitting to be the tithe or sacrifice. Unseelie is evil; Seelie and outsider faeries are good. About midway through the book, deceptions are revealed where the faeries inhumanity at a basic level is shown. Faeries are not human and don't hold human morals. Good is seen in the midst of the depravity of the Unseelie court and corruption is shown in the Seelie court despite its perfect facade. Kaye navigates this world imperfectly, but Corny finds himself lost in it, manipulated by a powerful faerie. The stakes are high as the human world hangs in the balance. Some of the most tragic, emotional scenes are when her human friends clash with the faerie world.

This novel came out when I was a teen and I've waited years to read it for some reason. I love every book I've ever read by Holly Black, but for some reason I always put off this series. Now, I wish I had read it when it came out because it would have introduced me to a more realistic, nuanced version of fantasy. Both the teen experience and the faerie world are illustrated realistically. The teens drink, curse, have attractions to each other, and aren't perfect. The faeries have their own sets of rules and laws based in mythology that feel alien to us. Tithe is still a wonderfully dark faerie novel that defies expectations at every turn and brought progressive elements to the teen genre. ( )
  titania86 | Apr 13, 2017 |
I can never resist the bad boys! ( )
  mtlkch | Jun 21, 2016 |
Tithe was certainly not your typical sweet YA. It was more realistic with an edgier and darker tone. I really liked that, it was certainly a refreshing read. These teens were foul mouthed, chain smokers, with real life problems who just happen to be living in the midst of a world with dangerous Faeries.

I've always like the undisneyfied lore of faeries, these tricksters aren't going to help you make a dress unless it's your sacrificial gown. Really appreciated how the author went for it with how not right the Fae can be.

Strong heroine who seems unfocused at first but as the story unravels you start to see the reasons for Kaye's actions and behaviors in a different light; or maybe they have more to do with Kaye's mother's laid-back parenting style.

Add some very flawed characters, intense adventures and just creepy faeries and you get an incredible story. I really liked this one and it will be among my favorite faerie story to recommend to others. ( )
1 vote GigisIrieReads | Apr 20, 2016 |
Sixteen-year-old Kaye, who has been visited by faeries since childhood, discovers that she herself is a magical faerie creature with special destiny.

I begin Tithe yesterday, I decided to read it because I'm re-reading The Mortal Instruments series... again! Because I love The Mortal Instruments a lot, so if Cassandra Clare loves A Modern Faerie Tale Series enough to include it in her books, I need to read it.

Honestly, I decided to read this book with a very open mind and excitement, but now I'm not sure if I will continue or not. The cussing, the dirtiness (literally, no one showers!) and the characters themselves are very unattractive to me! All of that and I only reached chapter 5!

Finally I finished this book!!! Truly, 15 chapters of disgusting scenes and characters!! I disliked this book a lot, it made me question this author!! ( )
  mrsdanaalbasha | Mar 12, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 168 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Holly Blackprimary authorall editionscalculated
Spalenka, GregCover artistsecondary authorsome 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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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:13 -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.

(summary from another edition)

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