Monday 23 February 2009

Tithe by Holly Black

Tithe by Holly Black

Pages 310

Challenges 100+, New Authors, Young Adult, Library and A to Z Title.

I had heard that this book was good and I was intrigued to read it as it was labelled as a modern faerie tale. I was entranced by this story and was dragged into the book, managing to read it in two sittings.

This is a dark and sinister faerie tale, and in no way should you expect it to be full of happy endings.

The story begins with the main character sixteen year old Kaye, who travels from city to city with her mother's rock band, until a nasty attack on her mother, pushes them to return to their hometown to live with her grandmother.

Once Kaye returns to her hometown, the faeries of her childhood come back to haunt her. This is no fairy tale this time and they are not as cute as she remembered. Kaye is dragged into a rather dangerous and frightening world, where she will become the Tithe, a sacrifice of a talented and beautiful mortal. If you don't want to know anymore about the story, I would stop reading now.
As the story moves forward, Kaye agrees to the sacrifice,when she realises it won't happen, as she has now found out that she is not a mortal, she is actually a green pixie, who was swapped at birth. All this time, she has been living behind a glamour, so she never really saw herself as she really was. Kaye now has to come to terms with the fact that her whole life is a sham and she has to learn to live with her real identity. On top of that, she saves the life of a rather sinister knight called Roiben, who brings her no end of trouble.
She becomes involved in an ancient power struggle, where she is pulled between two rival faerie kingdoms, neither set worrying if she dies in the struggle.
I really enjoyed this book. It was completely different from what I had expected. It is a lot darker than I thought it would be, so it is definitely not a faerie story for the faint hearted. Certain scenes in it, seemed quite harsh to me and had me cringing a little.
The author Holly Black,also wrote the now very famous Spiderwick Chronicles, as well as other books in the Tithe series. Tithe was the first book she ever wrote in 2002, closely followed by Valiant and Ironside.
I definitely intend to read more of her books, as I found Tithe to be entertaining and refreshing. The book was action packed right from the beginning and I felt quite exhausted for Kaye by the end of it. The storyline seemed unique to me and I could actually believe that faeries could exist at the bottom of the garden. Though if they do, after reading this, I will be very wary, because they sound like nasty little critters!
Here is a link to Holly Black's site.
If you have read any of Holly Black's books including the Spiderwick Chronicles, do leave a comment, as I would like to know what you thought of them.
That's all for today. Happy reading.


  1. It does sound like a very fun book. Before the spoilers, I was thinking this book sounded like The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly, which was one of my favourite books last year. But then it went all fairies and pixies!

  2. "Certain scenes in it, seemed quite harsh to me and had me cringing a little."...I know just what you mean! In fact, I think sometimes to me it felt a little overdone, if you know what I mean. And I'm not one who generally minds such things. Anyway, while I enjoyed it, I didn't absolutely love it. I haven't read any more of her young adult books, but I did read The Spiderwick Chronicles to my then 7-year-old son. I really enjoyed's as if she was able to take all those wonderful magical things and just "tone it down" a bit. Not that nothing bad happens in them, but they're definitely not like Tithe. (My son, by the way, LOVED them!)
    By the way, I loved reading your review!

  3. This one sounds good. I've read Spiderwick Chronicles and enjoyed it lots. :)

  4. this does sound very good, and I like the cover too ;)
    great review.


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