Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale by Holly BlackTithe: A Modern Faerie Tale by Holly Black

Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale

byHolly Black

Paperback | April 1, 2004

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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.
Holly Black spent her early years in a decaying Victorian mansion where her mother fed her a steady diet of ghost stories and faerie tales. An avid collector of rare folklore volumes, spooky dolls, and crazy hats, she lives in West Long Branch, New Jersey, with her husband, Theo.
Title:Tithe: A Modern Faerie TaleFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:336 pages, 7 × 5 × 1 inShipping dimensions:7 × 5 × 1 inPublished:April 1, 2004Publisher:Margaret K. McElderry BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0689867042

ISBN - 13:9780689867040

Appropriate for ages: 14



Rated 4 out of 5 by from Holly black I was pleasantly surprised by way holly black created her version of the fairy world.
Date published: 2018-08-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from It was good. Not quite as good as Holly black's other books but still alright. I found the plot a little slow.
Date published: 2018-07-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it! One of my favourite books by Holly, I loved Kaye and Roiben, you won’t be disappointed!
Date published: 2018-06-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Modern and AMAZING I read this book out of a recommendation and I don't regret it. I love every character, and really connected with Kaye. One of the first half Asian major characters that I've ever seen. I adore this series.
Date published: 2018-05-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent fantasy This book was very relatable. Even though the main character, Kaye, is part of a world of faerie political plots and royal drama, I felt like her reactions and personality made so much sense. A lot of young adult books that are more recent than this (this book came out in 2004) contain a heroine who is very easily swayed and pretty vapid to be honest. But with Kaye, I felt like she was a real teen who took charge of her situation and stuck up for herself and her friends. I found the plot to be enjoyable, and dark enough that you could really tell that faeries are a deadly race. There is enough romance where you feel satisfied and not too much that it literally runs the plot (I'm looking at you, twilight). I am excited to start the second book and see how things progress. Highly recommend.
Date published: 2018-04-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Quick read Surprisingly dark, but I got used to it. At first I was a little confused about some of the parts, but overall pretty good.
Date published: 2018-02-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Discover the Beginnings of Holly Black's Faerie World As promised after my review of The Cruel Prince, I went way back in time and found Holly Black's 2002 faerie novel, Tithe. I'm not sure if my review of this story is fair, because The Cruel Prince is such a more developed book (as it should be since it was published 15 years later and writers should grow into their craft). While the story of Kaye, a changeling girl who is just discovering who she really is, was engaging and I finished the book in record speed, I was left wanting ... more. More tension, more character development, more suspense. For me, this was an exercise in discovering Holly Black's roots. I certainly will read more of her books. She is an absolute guru on everything faerie and her ability to transport the reader to the world of fae is masterful, even in her early work. If you are curious as to the roots of Black's faerie world, or if you are like me and need more after reading The Cruel Prince, do check out Tithe. I will definitely be reading more of Black's work and seeing how she evolved as a writer into the Queen of all things Fae.
Date published: 2018-01-24
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Didn't Like it :( Usually I like books about faeries and whatnot, but I just couldn't finish this one. There was too much swearing and I couldn't really connect with the characters. Disappointed, since I usually like Holly Black's novels.
Date published: 2018-01-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from This was so much fun! I started out very unsure about this. Since it was recommended to me by an Iron Fey fan, I was expecting something else. But Tithe is far darker than The Iron King. So much so, that I would hesitate to call it YA. I know I wouldn't let my kids read it. It was very thematic and I was thrown off by the heroine's heavy drinking, smoking, swearing, and shoplifting, a girl of 16. But once I got acquainted with it's world I realized different is not bad (although I still don't like her lifestyle). Kaye attracts the attention of a gorgeous fey of the Unseelie Court, a knight. But Roiben is very different from Ash. They both have the whole victim-of-circumstances vibe down, but I was actually a little scared of Roiben in the beginning. He seemed so evil and menacing. I was hesitant to start liking him, but eventually I couldn't resist him anymore. The romance was well played out, better than some YA, but still not as realistic as The Iron Fey. I don't know if anything will ever beat The Iron Fey in my mind. Being only my second faerie series, it was interesting to see the similarities and differences from The Iron Fey. I was not previously familiar with ideas of faerie glamour, and the courts, and I didn't know how much was unique to The Iron Fey. So that was interesting and I now have a better grasp of it. I found the story very interesting and exciting with a lot of twists and turns. Although I will admit, I still don't fully understand what happened. It wasn't explained as well as it could have been. But the very best part is the end. It ended on such a great note I couldn't stop giggling.
Date published: 2018-01-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from a quick and enjoyable read I really enjoy Holly Black's writing. This book is quite a bit darker than the Spiderwick Chronicles as it is geared to an older audience. If you enjoy faeries and their realm then you will enjoy this book.
Date published: 2017-11-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dark and gritty Usually not a fan of teen fantasy fiction, but Holly Black writes masterfully. This was my first Black novel and I have been a fan since. Often when fantasy novels, I find it to be cheesy and clocked, Black uses folklore to weave a wonderful story.
Date published: 2017-11-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Kaye fan I bought this book a few years ago and loved it at first read. I find myself coming back to read it almost every fall. I love Kaye's character and story. I think Holly Black is truly a fantastic fantasy writer.
Date published: 2017-10-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Entertaining read. great characters. Entertaining read. great characters.
Date published: 2017-09-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my favourite fantasy books A problem I often find when reading fantasy novels is the cheesiness of the writing - dime-a-dozen books. This book does not come near to this problem! It's gritty, captivating, and hard to put down. I read it as a teen, but continue to read it from time to time as an adult.
Date published: 2017-08-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This is my favourtie book out of all the fantasy book I have read, this is my favorite.
Date published: 2017-04-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from My honest opinion I enjoyed the grittiness of this novel. It was an interesting read long before this became a genre unto its own. There are alot in this genre now, but I still like the way the author tells this story. Love a good faerie novel. There is a second part as well
Date published: 2017-03-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Another Faerie novel Okay read. Nothing special. Just another take on the fairy world.
Date published: 2017-03-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It was Ok Good Holly black has a very strong habit of enticing her readers with strong magical flow of description. Her mind must have a secret obsession for clawing into her reader?s minds and allowing us to feel a story unfold. This book is an excellent feel for imagination, other-worldly and romantic adventure. When it came to the flowing imagery, lengthened by creative narrative and characteristic bombarded description, she never disappoints. Though I feel that the emotional substance of her characters get lost in her description. I should have felt more emotional and stricken with remorse for Janet Stone. When she died or was cheated on. I didn?t even feel sad for her or angry at Kaye when she allowed Kenny to kiss her. I just went along reading, without emotional connection to the characters. This is where I felt the book was lacking. The other-worldly life that is explained to us is enthralling and alluring. My favorite parts were when we as the reader got to see how the fairy worlds lived. Explanation of the rules, of their lifestyles that distinguished the two kingdoms was clear and concise. Evil or insidious creature mixed with honest loving ones; mixing in one realm. These realms help bring the story alive and push the reader to read on; wanting to see more. To me as a reader, I want to feel connected to the characters. I want to feel emotions when reading the romance between characters. In this plot there were Kaye and Roiben (Rath Roiben Rye). I had mixed judgment while reading this. I bounced between feelings and lack of for this couple. Sometime I was annoyed, but as soon as they were in the Tithe world, I felt more for them. In conclusion, I would have liked to feel emotion towards the characters. I did enjoy the visualization of the Tithe world and her strong depictions of characters and life. I could tell the hard work of research and imagination. I would suggest this to someone who likes books that build more of a fantasy adventure then a character relationship.
Date published: 2014-08-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It was Ok (Good) Good Holly black has a very strong habit of enticing her readers with strong magical flow of description. Her mind must have a secret obsession for clawing into her reader?s minds and allowing us to feel a story unfold. This book is an excellent feel for imagination, other-worldly and romantic adventure. When it came to the flowing imagery, lengthened by creative narrative and characteristic bombarded description, she never disappoints. Though I feel that the emotional substance of her characters get lost in her description. I should have felt more emotional and stricken with remorse for Janet Stone. When she died or was cheated on. I didn?t even feel sad for her or angry at Kaye when she allowed Kenny to kiss her. I just went along reading, without emotional connection to the characters. This is where I felt the book was lacking. The other-worldly life that is explained to us is enthralling and alluring. My favorite parts were when we as the reader got to see how the fairy worlds lived. Explanation of the rules, of their lifestyles that distinguished the two kingdoms was clear and concise. Evil or insidious creature mixed with honest loving ones; mixing in one realm. These realms help bring the story alive and push the reader to read on; wanting to see more. To me as a reader, I want to feel connected to the characters. I want to feel emotions when reading the romance between characters. In this plot there were Kaye and Roiben (Rath Roiben Rye). I had mixed judgment while reading this. I bounced between feelings and lack of for this couple. Sometime I was annoyed, but as soon as they were in the Tithe world, I felt more for them. In conclusion, I would have liked to feel emotion towards the characters. I did enjoy the visualization of the Tithe world and her strong depictions of characters and life. I could tell the hard work of research and imagination. I would suggest this to someone who likes books that build more of a fantasy adventure then a character relationship.
Date published: 2014-08-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Tithe Holly black is a fantastic writer. Somewhat reminiscent of Francesca Lia Block. Not quite as gritty but wonderfully real nonetheless.
Date published: 2013-06-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Was blown away. For a few years now I have been meaning to go back and read some of Holly Black's earlier works. Both her Spiderwick books and her Modern Faerie Tales were on my TBR (To Be Read) pile, but because they were older books, they kept getting pushed down on my reading list as new titles came across my desk and new authors were discovered. I have no one to blame but myself; I should have known better and read these works much, much earlier. Black shows amazing diversity in her writings and this trilogy is no exception. Kaye Fierch is an 'Asian Blond' sixteen year old, who spends most of her time in bars with her rocker mom. She doesn't know it yet, but she is not who she thinks she is. She is not even human. She has interacted with faeries since she was young, and even though she was bugged at school and by others, she has always believed in them. Then after returning to her grandmother's home, she rediscovers the other world, and they have a plan to achieve freedom with Kaye's help. In a world where the faerie and ours overlap much closer than anyone thinks, Black weaves a tale of mystery, deceit, danger and destruction. C.S. Lewis is quoted as stating: "Some say you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again." He also states "At all ages, if [fantasy and myth] is used well by the author and meets the right reader, it has the same power: to generalize while remaining concrete, to present in palpable form not concepts or even experiences, but whole classes of experience, and to throw off irrelevancies. But at its best it can do more; it can give us experiences we have never had and thus, instead of 'commenting on life', can add to it." Black definitely achieves that in most of her writings and especially in this book. Every time I read something else by Black I am blown away by her skill with the pen.
Date published: 2011-05-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really enjoyable! I haven't read any faerie books in a while, so I was excited to try this one out. I definitely wasn't disappointed. Holly Black writes in a very captivating style. The characters are strong, but flawed, and the plot was paced out very nicely. I think the romance could've been panned out a little more, but it still made for a good little subplot. The series as a whole is very good, so all three of them are definite reads!
Date published: 2011-03-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read! At first when I started this book I thought "great I just wasted my money!" As an avid reader it really irks me when I purchase a book and it turns out to be a dud....But I spoke...or should I say thought too soon :o) This book turned out to be really good, it started off a bit slow for me but once the faeries and their world came into the picture I couldn't put it down! I love reading about the faery world, I will definately be purchasing the other 2 books in this series!
Date published: 2010-12-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Tithe by Holly black -- Kaye’s life had always been moving and changing, but now the one thing that had remained a solid memory – was turning into something she could never thought it could. Now she struggles to find the truth about the cruel faerie world that she once had thought was about innocent fun. Kaye has to cope as she gets wedged in the middle of two sides that are constantly at a secret war. As everything she knows topples over, and she slowly falls for a brave and confusing dark Knight. How will she ever untangle herself from the Fey world? -- LOVED this book. It vas very good, yes? Yes. I’ve never really found a book about faeries that I really liked, but this one was wonderfully written. The plot line seemed to on forever, but only because there were so many twists and turns that it kept on going even after I thought it would be the end of things. It kept me on my toes, and it kept me longing and hoping for more romance stuff, because fantasy and romance work well together. Even though the faerie land was beautiful and very alluring, but the realness of Kaye’s previous life is also something that is really interesting to read about. How she moves around so much, and how bad her mom is at parenting her, it just fits the whole story together very nicely. I give this book a well deserved 4. Here is her website, http://www.blackholly.com/
Date published: 2010-10-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Enjoyed... When it comes to faerie books, I usually avoid them for some reason. For me, they send a vibe that says 'Stay Away', but I still found myself enjoying the story and reading quickly to see what would happen next. The beginning was rather slow for me but once the faeries start coming into the picture, things start getting interesting... in a good way. 16-year old Kaye has been moving around from city to city for most of her childhood with her mother's rock band until one night, her mother's boyfriend suddenly tries to stab her mom. Yikes! Finding themselves with nowhere else to go, Kaye and her mother return back to New Jersey where Kaye's grandmother lives. Kaye doesn't mind being back home... in fact she's looking forward to seeing her old friends, including her faerie friends (who everyone else thought were only imaginary). But one night, Kaye meets an injured, handsome faerie named Roiben... and its after their encounter that Kaye soon finds herself thrust into the world of the fae and a power struggle between the Seelie and Unseelie courts. I didn't think Tithe was as good as the few other fairy books that I've read, but I still enjoyed it.
Date published: 2009-12-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awsome book Kaye is a regular teenager (for the most part), when her life suddenly takes a sharp turn, and she becomes aware of a dark, magical world around her. As her normal life begins to unravel, Kaye is drawn deeper and deeper into this wholly undiscovered world. What I enjoyed most about this modern Faery tale is Holy Black's unconventional style of writting. The plot, combined with the creepy feel of the book, make this a nice change from the usual Twilight-esque stories created now-a-days.
Date published: 2009-09-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best series ever! the Tithe series by Holly Black is one of the best i have ever read! it has the rght amount of violence and romance. it is also very modern and has great twists in the plot! defintatly a series for fantasy lovers
Date published: 2009-07-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it I really enjoyed this book and read it more than once. It was an easy read and I thought it was well written.
Date published: 2009-07-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Scary Fae! Holly Black really outdid herself when she wrote Tithe! It's a great and dark fantasy, with some romance and some hilarious and unforgettable charactars :) It drags you in and leaves you hungry for more. Other things about this book; Beware,I don't reccommend anybody really young to read this book unless they're mature. There is some sexual content, and lots of f bombs, otherwise it's pretty good.
Date published: 2009-06-28
Rated 1 out of 5 by from What a waste of paper. Those poor trees This book was trying too hard to be cool and completely failed. With the language and the subject matter used, this should not be a young adult book. It read like really bad fanfic and Holly Black is a very sub-par author.
Date published: 2009-06-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Overall good read Overall this book was a good read it captured your interest from the very beginning and built up the characters fairly well...i would have enjoyed reading more about lutie spike and gristle but maybe in the other 2 books. It got confusing at some parts but bear with ti because it gets better and the ending was awesome!!! i did not see ti coming so overall worth the time and money and id defiantly plan to finish the series :D
Date published: 2009-05-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Great Faery Tale Despite some of the flaws in this book I still loved it. Yes, it was a little predictable, but Holly Black made the story work using her own definitive style. The grungy feel the book had gave it an edge that made it all the more special. I felt myself drawn into the story as it had a good flow to it and had interesting enough characters. I also felt that it was a fresh addition to the more recently tired genre to which it belongs. The cliched, predictable, supernatural, teen romances out there are getting more and more ridiculous (there is an insufferable amount of them nowadays) and Tithe makes me have a little more respect for said genre. So, when comparing it to my opinions of those other books I'd have to say that I loved it and that you should read it and the two sequels that follow (Black is a consistent writer and they are both just as good).
Date published: 2009-05-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from a GREAT modern faerie tale As a newbie, when it comes to faerie tales, i have to say that this book out of the 3-5 books i've read so far dealing with faeries, this by far one of the best ones. Holly Black is a great writer, and i really enjoyed this book from the get-go. In this book, we are dealing with Kaye, a young 16yr old who has bounced around from place to place until she ends up back at her New Jersey childhood home. Kaye has always had the ability to see faeries, having grown up with select faeries in New Jersey, until the moving around began. Once she is back, she is thrown back into it through a chance encounter with Roiben, where she actually saves him, and once again she encounters her childhood faerie friends. From that point forward, she is totally immersed into the world of faeries, and discovers a lot about herself, about her abilities, friendship, rival courts, and of course love. I will say that this is darker tale, and involves a lot more edge. There is a fair amount of swearing for a YA book, and at times i feel that this is not a book for readers who are not fans of darker undertones of violence, language, sexual tension, with the inclusion of some graphic scenes of sort, and so on. It is not over the top for the stuff mentioned, but it is there, so heads up!!! However, if you do enjoy a solid faerie tale - then you should definitely enjoy this little adventure. Although i am rather vague on the details of the book - i think it's best that i stay mumm and encourage you to read the book and discover it for yourself! Enjoy!
Date published: 2009-04-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I actually loved this book Out of the series, Tithe was my favourite. I loved it........ from beginning to end. Yes, it was a little strange in parts but that's what makes it interesting! i laughed and even cried! (pathetic I know) I, 100%, recommend this book. Also, the only bad thing about this book was the swearing........ but if you can get by that, there is no other reason why to not love it! (in my opinion anyway)
Date published: 2009-02-08
Rated 2 out of 5 by from over rated This is another over rated book. I found the main character - Kaye to be a bit dirty in a bad hygiene kinda way. I found some parts silly and annoying. I don't understand why so many females have enjoyed this book. The Twilight Saga was a million times better but I guess you can't compare.
Date published: 2009-01-23
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Ugh...faeries. Okay, so after reading this and wicked lovely i’ve come to a decision: i don’t really like faerie books. I found myself struggling to finish this book. It was basically all over the place for me. I kind of felt like i was missing something about the book. I don’t know, i guess i just don’t really like the fae. But don’t get me wrong! If you like faeries, then you’d definitely like tithe.
Date published: 2009-01-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good Attempt My initial reaction after reading this story is I’m not sure if I liked or disliked this book. It was mostly a jumbled mess of a fairy-tale, with some characters thrown in, and a random plot that was hard to keep track of. The secondary characters basically got no development. I’m hoping for more back story in the next book of the series. Sometimes, it seemed as though I missed a paragraph or two, the dialogue wasn’t as smoothly written as it could have been, and that left the novel feeling like it could have been a bit longer perhaps. It wins points, though, for being a darker teen supernatural novel, which is a nice change of pace. And for having a cute love interest. (No matter how unoriginal that is.) Recommended For: 13+
Date published: 2008-11-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fearies Kaye, a fifteen year old girl who has been forced to drop out of school because her mother insists on living her dream of being a singer, finds herself back in her hometown of New Jersey. She meets up with old friends, makes new ones and rediscovers herself. As a kid, she used to have faeries as friends...now they are back. Kaye, all confused and happy to see them encounters a mysterious man who she aids him with an injury. Kaye is thrust into the Faery world to discover who she really is and to liberate all those who want freedom. *This book contains language not suitable for all readers, it is recommended for the ages 14 and up.
Date published: 2008-10-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Black succeeds again! It is interesting to see how this category that we now call "Young Reader" is really just what we used to call plain ol' fiction - it is differs from current fiction in its brevity and its devotion to both character and plot. Far from the bloated bestsellers we see at the store, these little gems bring back memories of the masters (Asimov, Leiber, Vance, etc) of decades past who made every word and page count. Holly Black is similar in her style - she wastes neither time or words on peripherals. This book grabs you from the get-go and never lets up. Highly recommended for fantasy readers of ALL ages.
Date published: 2008-08-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dark, twisted and simply magical! I absolutely looved this book! Its one of my favourites. The world that Holly Black has created just pulls you right in, i read it all in one sitting. Will not disappoint!
Date published: 2008-08-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Strange and confusing. I read this book a year ago and i still am unsure whether or not i liked it. I found myself confused, and wasn't quite sure what was going on. I don't think I will read it again. But to those who are set on reading it, keep and open mind.
Date published: 2008-04-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exhilarating The first time I read Tithe, I couldn't put it down. The characters, I found, were very well developed and one of a kind. Reading on, you find yourself entering a new world; one of pixies, goblins, elfs and all fairies. Tithe shows both the good and dark sides of fairy tales and the price of living in one, which we tend to forget. Though it is somewhat of a fantasy, it is also both modern and down to earth- only with a slight twist. Holly Black's style of writing is refreshing and one of a kind. Basically, Tithe leaves you wanting more without disappointing its readers.
Date published: 2008-02-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beware the faerie ring Holly Blacks writing style is very interesting, and is one of the few authors I've encountered that has a definite style. Her story flowed seamlessly, if predictably, to its conclusion. The characters were a little two dimensional but otherwise, a wonderfully enjoyable read that doesn't require too much thinking.
Date published: 2008-01-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Somewhere between DeLint and Lia Block Holly Black's first "Spiderwick" readers aren't little children any more, and it would seem that she intends to grow up her writing in tandem. "Tithe" explores the same world "Spiderwick" did, but with a much darker, sexual, and transformational vision. Typical of the contemporary fairy tale for teens, it follows the standard "edgy" young adult protagonist who skips school, drinks, smokes, and is sexually aware (if not active). However, while Black starts out following in the footsteps of Francesca Lia Block with her rock and roll urban fantasy world, she deviates about mid-way through from her psychadelic predecessor's path, straying more into the world Charles De Lint has been perfecting for the bulk of his writing career. It's not brilliant, but it is fun, and lives up to the press of being a modern "faerie" not fairy tale. The world Black takes us into is definitely the perilous realm, where not everyone necessarily lives happily ever after.
Date published: 2007-11-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Great Addiction! I fell in love with Tithe the first time I read it. Holly Black's style of writing has a way of grabbing you into the story and leaves you wanting more! It seems to be my summer hobby of rereading Tithe, every summer it gets me into the reading mode during the summer holidays. I've owned the book for about 3 years and always have it handy when I need something to read. I've lent Tithe to a lot of my friends and they all love it. As soon aS Valient came out I bought it just because I loved Tithe so much and was wanting to be able to find another amazing book. It didn't disappoint me. Holly Black is a writer whose book will always leave you wanting more because they are that enjoyable!
Date published: 2007-06-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stunning and Satisfying I wasn't initially enticed by the prospect of a supernatural world of warring faery kingdoms. However, Tithe is much more than what the publisher and critics give it credit for. A stunning plot, satisfying characters, structure, and ending make this one of the most pleasurable teen books ever. Easily matching the status of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series, I would recommend Tithe to any teen girl interested in being immersed in an unforgettable world of adventure.
Date published: 2007-05-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from You'll ADORE it!! This is faery tales like you have never seen (or read lol). Holly Black describes a 'faeryland' that is completely different. i loved how uncomprimising she was throughout the whole story. Even if you absolutely can't stand anything having to do with faeries believe when i say that you're going to enjoy it anyway. So yes, go read it ;)
Date published: 2007-02-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Must read Somewhat dark and gothic Tithe will draw you into a rich and colorful world of magic and faeires. A fantastic read that's more "Brothers Grimm" that "Disney", and that has an intriguing and convoluted plot. A definite must read for fans of fantasy.
Date published: 2006-07-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!! this is definetly one of the best books ever..i can't wait to find another Holly Black book......my favourite charactor was Roiben by far......he's totally awesome......excpet for the part where he got...oops don't want to give it away for people looking into this book....... it was a absolutely stunning read and its defintely recommended by me!
Date published: 2006-07-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic This book brought out life and personality of the characters. It pulls the reader into a world we can only dream about. If you like faerie books you love this one!
Date published: 2006-06-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AbFab (lol) This book was amazing! I've never read anything like it before, just the twists, the way that Black described the faeries, it all came together so well. It just goes to prove that you're never to old for faeries, or a faerie tale
Date published: 2006-03-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from OMG!!! I can't even explain in words what i felt while and after reading the book, I can only say that its a master piece, I love it !!!! maybe even too much if you know what i mean. But honestly, even with these words its not enough to show how great the book is, cause its too much. So for all the ppl that can understand how I'm feeling or just understand just a little, you know that its just fabulous and you wanna read it again and again and again. OMG I JUST LOVE IT!!! lol, sry but hey honestly i hope I keep this book all my life.
Date published: 2005-09-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The best ever Ok, this book is by far the best book I have ever read, and I have read a LOT of books! I've read it over and over again and think Holly Black is a genius for writing it! If you like romantic horror, this is the book for you! It's my favorite and it's just so amazing. The main character Kaye is totally outgoing and out of the ordinary, and when she meets Roiben, the book gets better! It's your modern day faerie tale, dark and edgy!
Date published: 2005-09-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Omg Wow, when i read this book i couldnt keep my eyes of.. i thought it was amazing, and everytime i read it i can help my self but cry every time, this is by far one of my favourite books. What a great read it was.
Date published: 2005-07-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantasy meets modern style this book is the perfect combanation of Fantasy and modern life. Combining Faries and swearing not many people would ever think to i give this book a 10/10 on account of being Awesome. I can't wait to read her newest book.
Date published: 2005-07-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! Holly Black was able to capture that precise combination of magic and reality to make the book absolutely perfect. From faeries to romance, this book was, without a doubt, one of the best books i've ever read and im absolutely ecstatic about the idea of reading Valiant!
Date published: 2005-07-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale This book was one of the best I have ever read so far. I would have to say the only one that I think would hold a candle to this book, would be Darren Shan's books. They would be #1 on my list of books I like. I can't wait for the second book to come out.
Date published: 2004-10-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Times This book was excellent. It dives into the world of Faeries, and although it is fantasy I found it totally believable. I would recommend it to anyone who likes reading. Holly Black should definitely write a sequel!
Date published: 2004-08-27

Read from the Book

Chapter 1"Coercive as coma, frail as bloominnuendoes of your inverse dawnsuffuse the self;our every corpuscle become an elf." -- Mina Loy,"Moreover, the Moon,"The Lost Lunar BaedekerKaye 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. Waves tossed themselves against the shore, dragging grit and sand between their nails as they were slowly pulled back out to sea. The moon was high and pale in the sky, but the sun was just going down.It was so good to be able to breathe, Kaye thought. She loved the serene brutality of the ocean, loved the electric power she felt with each breath of wet, briny air. She spun again, dizzily, not caring that her skirt was flying up over the tops of her black thigh-high stockings."Come on," Janet called. She stepped over the overflowing, leaf-choked gutter along the street parallel to the boardwalk, wobbling slightly on fat-heeled platform shoes. Her glitter makeup sparkled under the street lamps. Janet exhaled ghosts of blue smoke and took another drag on her cigarette. "You're going to fall."Kaye and her mother had been staying at her grandmother's a week already, and even though Ellen kept saying they'd be leaving soon, Kaye knew they really had nowhere to go. Kaye was glad. She loved the big old house caked with dust and mothballs. She liked the sea being so close and the air not stinging in her throat. The cheap hotels they passed were long closed and boarded up, their pools drained and cracked. Even the arcades were shut down, prizes in the claw machines still visible through the cloudy glass windows. Rust marks above an abandoned storefront outlined the words salt water taffy. Janet dug through her tiny purse and pulled out a wand of strawberry lipgloss. Kaye spun up to her, fake leopard coat flying open, a run already in her stocking. Her boots had sand stuck to them. "Let's go swimming," Kaye said. She was giddy with night air, burning like the white-hot moon. Everything smelled wet and feral like it did before a thunderstorm, and she wanted to run, swift and eager, beyond the edge of what she could see."The water's freezing," Janet said, sighing, "and your hair is fucked up. Kaye, when we get there, you have to be cool. Don't seem so weird. Guys don't like weird."Kaye paused and seemed to be listening intently, her upturned, kohl-rimmed eyes watching Janet as warily as a cat's. "What should I be like?""It's not that I want you to be a certain way -- don't you want a boyfriend?""Why bother with that? Let's find incubi.""Incubi?""Demons. Plural. Like octopi. And we're much more likely to find them" -- her voice dropped conspiratorially -- "while swimming naked in the Atlantic a week before Halloween than practically anywhere else I can think of." Janet rolled her eyes. "You know what the sun looks like?" Kaye asked. There was only a little more than a slice of red where the sea met the sky."No, what?" Janet said, holding the lipgloss out to Kaye."Like he slit his wrists in a bathtub and the blood is all over the water.""That's gross, Kaye.""And the moon is just watching. She's just watching him die. She must have driven himto it.""Kaye..."Kaye spun again, laughing. "Why are you always making shit up? That's what I mean by weird." Janet was speaking loudly, but Kaye could barely hear her over the wind and the sound of her own laughter."C'mon, Kaye. Remember the faeries you used to tell stories about? What was his name?""Which one? Spike or Gristle?" "Exactly. You made them up!" Janet said. "You always make things up."Kaye stopped spinning, cocking her head to one side, fingers sliding into her pockets. "I didn't say I didn't." The old merry-go-round building had been semi-abandoned for years. Angelic lead faces, surrounded by rays of hair, divided the broken panes. The entire front of it was windowed, revealing the dirt floor, glass glittering against the refuse. Inside, a crude plywood skateboarding ramp was the only remains of an attempt to use the building commercially in the last decade. Kaye could hear voices echoing in the still air all the way out to the street. Janet dropped her cigarette into the gutter. It hissed and was quickly carried away, sitting on the water like a spider.Kaye hoisted herself up onto the outside ledge and swung her legs over. The window had been long gone, but her leg scraped against the residue as she slid in, fraying her stockings further.Layers of paint thickly covered the once-intricate moldings inside the carousel building. The ramp in the center of the room was tagged by local spray-paint artists and covered with band stickers and ballpoint pen scrawlings. And there were the boys."Kaye Fierch, you remember me, right?" Doughboy chuckled. He was short and thin, despite his name."I think you threw a bottle at my head in sixth grade." He laughed again. "Right. Right. I forgot that. You're not still mad?""No," she said, but her blithe mood was gone, leaving her drained and anxious. Janet climbed on top of the skateboard ramp to where Kenny was sitting, a king in his silver flight jacket, watching the proceedings. Handsome, with dark hair and darker eyes. He held up a nearly full bottle of tequila in greeting.Marcus handed Kaye the bottle he was drinking from, making a mock throwing motion as he did so. A little splashed on the sleeve of his flannel shirt. "Bourbon. Expensive shit."She forced a smile as she took it. Marcus resumed gutting a cigar. Even hunched over, he was a big guy. The brown skin on his head gleamed, and she could see where he must have nicked himself shaving it."I brought you some candy," Janet said to Kenny. She had candy corn and peanut chews."I brought you some candy," Doughboy mocked in a high, squeaky voice, jumping up on the ramp. "Give it here," he said.Kaye walked around the round room. It was magnificent, old and decayed and fine. The slow burn of bourbon in her throat was perfect for this place, the sort of thing a man in a summer suit who always wore a hat might drink. "What flavor of Asian are you?" Marcus asked. He had filled the cigar with weed and was chomping down on one end. The thick, sweet smell almost choked her.She took another swallow from the bottle and tried to ignore him."Kaye! You hear me?""I'm half Japanese." Kaye touched her hair, blond as her mother's. It was the hair that baffled people."Man, you ever see the cartoons there? They have them little, little girls with these pigtails and shit in these short school uniforms. We should have uniforms like that here, man. You ever wear one of those, huh?""Shut up, dickhead," Janet said, laughing. "She went to grade school with Doughboy and me."Kenny looped one finger through the belt rings of Janet's jeans and pulled her over to kiss her. "Yeah, well, damn." Marcus laughed. "Won't you hold up your hair in those pigtails for a second or something? Come on."Kaye shook her head. No, she wouldn't.Marcus and Doughboy started to play Hacky Sack with an empty beer bottle. It didn't break as they kicked it boot to boot, but it made a hollow sound. She took another long sip of bourbon. Her head was already buzzing pleasantly, humming in time with imagined merry-go-round music. She moved farther back into the dim room, to where old placards announced popcorn and peanuts for five cents apiece. Against the far wall was a black, weathered door. It opened jerkily when she pushed it. Moonlight from the windows in the main room revealed only an office with an old desk and a corkboard with yellowed menus still pinned to it. She stepped inside, even though the light switch didn't work. Feeling in the blackness, she found a knob. This door led to a stairwell with only a little light drifting down from the top. She felt her way up the stairs. Dust covered the palms of her hand as she slid them along the railings. She sneezed loudly, then sneezed again.At the top was a small window lit brightly by the murderess moon, ripe and huge in the sky. Interesting boxes were stacked in the corners. Then her eyes fell on the horse, and she forgot all the rest. He was magnificent -- gleaming pearl white and covered with tiny pieces of glued-down mirror. His face was painted with red and purple and gold, and he even had a bar of white teeth and a painted pink tongue with enough space to tuck a sugar cube. It was obvious why he'd been left behind -- his legs on all four sides and part of his tail had been shattered. Splinters hung down from where his legs used to be.Gristle would have loved this. She had thought that many times since she had left the Shore, six years past. My imaginary friends would have loved this. She'd thought it the first time that she'd seen the city, lit up like never-ending Christmas. But they never came when she was in Philadelphia. And now she was sixteen and felt like she had no imagination left.She tried to set the horse up as if he were standing on his ruined stumps. It wobbled unsteadily but didn't fall. Kaye pulled off her coat and dropped it on the dusty floor, setting the bourbon next to it. She swung one leg over the beast and dropped onto its saddle, using her feet to keep it from falling. She ran her hands down its mane, which was carved in golden ringlets. She touched the painted black eyes and the chipped ears.The white horse rose on unsteady legs in her mind. The long curls of the gold mane were cool in her hands, and the great bulk of the animal was real and warm beneath her. She wove her hands in the mane and gripped hard, slightly aware of a prickling feeling all through her limbs. The horse whinnied softly beneath her, ready to leap out into the cold, black water. She threw back her head."Kaye?" A soft voice snapped her out of her daydream. Kenny was standing near the stairs, regarding her blankly. For a moment, though, she was still fierce. Then she felt her cheeks burning.Caught in the half-light, she could see him better than she had downstairs. Two heavy silver hoops shone in the lobes of his ears. His short, cinnamon hair was mussed and had a slight wave to it, matching the beginnings of a goatee on his chin. Under the flight jacket, his too-tight white T-shirt showed the easy muscles of someone who was born with them. He moved toward her, reaching his hand out and then looking at it oddly, as though he didn't remember deciding to do that. Instead he petted the head of the horse, slowly, almost hypnotically."I saw you," he said. "I saw what you did.""Where's Janet?" Kaye wasn't sure what he meant. She would have thought he was teasing her except for his serious face, his slow way of speaking.He was stroking the animal's mane now. "She was worried about you." His hand fascinated her despite herself. It seemed like he was tangling it in imaginary hair. "How did you make it do that?""Do what?" She was afraid now, afraid and flattered both. There was no mocking or teasing in his face. He was watching her so intensely that he seemed drained of expression."I saw it stand up." His voice was so low she could almost pretend that she didn't hear him right. His hand dropped to her thigh and slid upward to the cotton crotch of her panties.Even through she had seen the slow progression of his hand, the touch startled her. She was paralyzed for a moment before she sprang up, letting the horse fall as she did. It crashed down, knocking the bottle of bourbon over, dark liquor pouring over her coat and soaking the bottoms of the dusty boxes like the tide coming in at night.He grabbed for her before she could think, his hand catching hold of the neck of her shirt. She stepped back, off-balance, and fell, her shirt ripping open over her bra even as he let go of it.Shoes pounded up the stairs."What the fuck?" Marcus was at the top of the stairwell with Doughboy, trying to shove his way in for a look.Kenny shook his head and looked around numbly while Kaye scrambled for her bourbon-soaked coat.The boys moved out of the way, and Janet was there, too, staring."What happened?" Janet asked, looking between them in confusion. Kaye pushed past her, shoving her hand through an armhole of the coat as she threw it over her back."Kaye!" Janet called after her. Kaye ignored her, taking the stairs two at a time in the dark. There was nothing she could say that would explain what had happened. She could hear Janet shouting. "What did you do to her? What the fuck did you do?"Kaye ran across the carousel hall and swung her leg over the sill. The glass she had carefully avoided earlier slashed a thin line on the outside of her thigh as she dropped among the sandy soil and weeds.The cold wind felt good against her hot face.Cornelius Stone picked up the new box of computer crap and hauled it into his bedroom to drop next to the others. Each time his mother came home from the flea market with a cracked monitor, sticky keyboard, or just loads of wires, she had that hopeful look that made Corny want to hit her. She just couldn't comprehend the difference between a 286 and a quantum computer. She couldn't understand that the age of guerilla engineering was at a close, that being a motherfucking genius wasn't enough. You needed to be a rich motherfucking genius.He dropped the box, kicked it hard three times, picked up his denim jacket with the devil's head on the back, and made for the door."Can you use that stuff, honey?" His mother was in Janet's room, folding a new pair of secondhand jeans. She held up a T-shirt with rhinestone cats on it. "Think your sister will like it?" "Thanks, Ma," he said through gritted teeth. "I got to get to work." He walked past The Husband, who was stooped over, getting a beer from the case under the kitchen table. The white cat was waddling along the countertop, its belly dragging with another pregnancy, screaming for canned food or pickles and ice cream or something. He petted its head grudgingly, but before it began rubbing against his hand in earnest, he opened the screen door and went out into the lot.The cool October air was a relief from the recirculated cigarette smoke. Corny loved his car. It was a primer-colored Chevy blooming with rust spots and an inner lining that hung like baggy skin from the roof. He knew what he looked like. Beaky. Skinny and tall with bad hair and worse skin. He lived up to his name. Cornelius. Corny. Corn-dog. But not in his car. Inside, he was anonymous. Every day for the last three weeks he had left a little earlier for work. He would go to the convenience store and buy some food. Then he would drive around, cruise past all the local rutting joints, imagining he had a semiautomatic rifle in the car and counting how many he could have gotten. "Pow," he'd say, softly, to rolled-up windows as a brown-haired boy with broad shoulders and a backwards baseball cap ran up to the giggling girls behind the window of a red truck. "Pow. Pow."Tonight, he bought a cup of coffee and a package of black licorice. He lingered over a paperback with an embossed metallic dragon on the cover, reading the first few sentences, hoping something would interest him. The game was becoming boring. Worse than boring, it made him feel more pathetic than before. Nearly a week before Halloween and all, this was the point when a real maniac would go and get a gun. He sipped at the coffee and almost spat it out. Too sweet. He sipped at it some more, steeling himself to the taste. Disgusting.Corny got out of his car and chucked the full coffee into the parking lot. It splashed satisfactorily on the asphalt. He went inside and poured himself another cup. From behind the counter, a matronly woman with frizzy red hair looked him over and pointed to his jacket. "Who are you supposed to be, the devil?""I wish," Corny said, dropping a dollar twenty-five on the counter. "I wish."Copyright © 2002 by Holly Black

Bookclub Guide

A Reading Guide for TITHE, VALIANT, and IRONSIDE By Holly Black ABOUT THE BOOKS Holly Black's first Young Adult novel, the urban fantasy/faerie tale Tithe, focuses on a sixteen-year-old girl named Kaye who is actually a pixie, only at first she doesn't know it. Kaye starts to piece together the strange story of her real identity when she and her mother return to the New Jersey town where she grew up, and Kaye comes in contact with the faeries she used to play with as a child and a wounded knight, Roiben, who will change her life forever. Black's second book, Valiant, picks up where Tithe leaves off, but follows a different girl -- a human named Val -- who catches her boyfriend and her mother in a compromising position and runs away from home. In New York City, Val hooks up with a strange group of homeless teens and joins them in living in an abandoned subway station. It's not long before Val learns that these teens are not like anyone she's ever met -- they work as couriers for a troll and come in contact with faeries on a regular basis. Ironside, Black's third book, returns readers to Kaye's story, beginning two months after the ending of Tithe. Roiben is about to take the throne of the Unseelie Court and there will undoubtedly be a war, but then Kaye makes a foolish declaration and is sent on an impossible quest. Luis and Dave from Valiant become an integral part of the story as Kaye is forced to visit Silarial, the Seelie queen, to try to save Roiben and herself. DISCUSSION TOPICS How does Tithe compare with other fairy tale books you've read in the past? Did you like the modern setting? If you were Kaye, what gift would you have given to the kelpie if the broken carousel horse had not been available? What other orders would you have asked Rath Roiben Rye to carry out if you suddenly knew his full name? (Don't forget his skill of turning leaves into money!) For New Jersey and New York readers: Name all of the real locations that were mentioned in the three books -- for example: Allaire State Park, Café des Artistes, etc. If you were able to choose, would you want to be a part of the Seelie court, the Unseelie court, the solitary fey, or the human world? Why? At the end of Tithe, what do you imagine happened to Roiben and Kaye? Before you read the sequel, how did you feel about the ending of Tithe? Would you have ended the book differently? Were you excited to see cameos by some of the characters from Tithe in Valiant? Who is your favorite character from Valiant? Why? What qualities does this character possess that make him/her most interesting to you? If Valiant was made into a movie, what current film or TV stars would you cast as Val, Lolli, Dave, Luis, Ravus and the others? Put yourself in Lolli's shoes -- tell the story of Valiant from her point of view. What do you think happened to Lolli at the end of the book? What did you think of the use of the faerie drug "Never" in the story? Did you think that the book showed enough of the downside of using drugs? If Dave had never taken the drug, how do you think his story would change? What about Lolli? Val? We know that Kaye got her GED during the two months between the end of Tithe and the beginning of Ironside. What else do you think happened during this interim? How did Kaye cope with the loss of Janet, her mom moving away, her relationship with Roiben, etc.? Ironside obviously takes place in December -- what are the clues that tell you what time of year it is? If you were cursed like Corny, would you immediately get to the ocean to cure yourself or would you attempt to touch someone or something? Whom or what? Do you think it was a mistake for Kaye to have the young human brought back to Ellen? Do you think the girl will grow up to be a normal person? If you were in Kaye's position with no need for college and the ability to create a new life for yourself, what would you do? What do you think of Kaye's coffee shop plans and her idea of dividing her time between it and Roiben? Which adventurous duo do you think had a more challenging or exciting task: Val and Luis going after Mabry for Ravus's heart or Kaye and Corny traveling to the Seelie Court to strike a deal with Silarial? Should there be additional books in this series? How would the story continue? Which character besides Kaye or Val would you like to see explored in another book? Were any of the quotes at the beginning of each chapter familiar to you? Choose a few of your favorites and discuss how they relate to what happened in the story at that point. RESEARCH AND ACTIVITIES Create a Tithe board game that follows Kaye's travels between the Seelie and Unseelie courts and the human world. Playing pieces can represent something about each character -- Kaye's purple cat suit, Roiben's long white hair, Corny's beat-up car, etc. Use obstacles like iron, thorns, ogres, and the Unseelie queen. Make minor characters part of the game (Janet, Kenny, Ellen) by detouring major players to save them from the kelpie. Be creative! Make a clay sculpture, a painting, a drawing, or other piece of art of your favorite character from any of the books. What do you think they would actually look like? Make an Unseelie feast! Re-create dishes that Kaye sees when she sneaks into the Unseelie court, then invent your own interesting recipes. Write a spell for creating a glamour, then read it aloud to the group. Describe the new look you have created. Choose your favorite scene and act it out in front of the group. If several people wish to be involved, choose a scene that features many characters. Make your performance as simple or as elaborate as you choose by adding costumes and props or just reading dialogue aloud from the book. Assuming that Kaye's grandmother lives in Long Branch, New Jersey, get an atlas and map out the route that Kaye and Corny (and later, Luis) took during the course of their travels in Ironside. Design your own sword -- either patterned after the glass one Ravus used to teach Val how to fight or one of your own creation. Draw a detailed picture of your design.

Editorial Reviews

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.