Author: Holly Black
Release Date: March 23, 2004
The protagonist of Holly Black’s Tithe is sixteen-year-old Kaye, who travels with her mother’s rock band from city to city, until an attempted murder by a fellow band member forces Kaye back to the town where she grew up. There, Kaye learns about her dark past, as well as the secret world of the fae residing side by side with her own. Caught up in a dangerous power struggle, Kaye must fight to survive and protect the ones she cares about from the fallout that ensues.
Tithe was a very different type of fantasy book then most. Holly Black’s fairies resemble the fairies in Julie Kawaga’s Iron Fey series, except perhaps slightly more twisted. Kaye is also not the usual protagonist. She is a somewhat trashy yet intelligent dropout who’s actions and responses can be a little surprising, as she thinks very differently from the female protagonists in most YA novels. Her character gives the story originality and makes it fresh and exciting, although it did make the story a little disjointed at times. Her character can be hard to relate to for some, because of how the way she grew up shapes her lifestyle and choices in the novel. This is especially apparent in the very beginning of the book, before the homicidal fairies make their first appearance. Don’t let this deter you from reading on.
Tithe was an intriguing read with many different elements (Kaye’s dysfunctional family, her friends, homicidal and not alike, the warring sects of Fairy, and her dark secret) expertly mixed together in a 336 page novel to create a beautifully written story that will leave you aching for the sequel.
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