June 20, 2012 by thebookslayer
Tithe by Holly Black
Have you ever read a book that felt like a fairy tale? You know the kind I am talking about. A Princess is usually involved with some sort of Evil Villain and let’s not forget about Prince Charming. The damsel in distress is rescued by her Prince. I know it is a tale as old as time, but it’s a favorite.
Every time I read Tithe it takes me back to those movies/books. Now don’t worry, this book throws a modern wrench in the plot.
If you want to read about a misfit girl who gets the chance to glimpse another world and live to tell about it than give this book a try. Add to that, that our white knight in shinning armor isn’t actually so white at all. The Evil Villain is one that I wouldn’t ever want to tangle with.
I give you Tithe!
Kaye has never had a normal life. Her mom wanders from boyfriend to playing in a band at a whim. This has left Kaye with a very unstable home and less friends or any connections to ground her. The only time she seemed to have this was the time spent living at her Grandmother’s house when she was a small girl.
Kaye had a secret. She would go down by the stream and talk to Fairy’s when she was a little girl. They would dance, sing and do all sorts of fun things. Her mother and Grandmother thought she was like every other little girl and so did Kaye until that fateful day.
Years later Kaye and her mother have to move back in with her Grandmother. Kaye, now sixteen years old, is trying to get to know old friends that she has kept in contact with. Janet, the one friend she is excited and nervous to see, asks for her to come out to play with the gang.
While out with them Kaye has some weird things start to happen. A moving Carousel Horse that is broken, guys strongly coming on to her and more. Kaye knows weird things happen around her but she really wants to have some friends and fit in some where.
This is why Kaye takes off after the disaster with Janet and Janet’s boyfriend. Yup, there is drama, drama for Kaye right off the bat. Since Kaye runs out on them she finds herself walking home along the road side when she hears something in the woods.
I know the first rule when you are alone by woods is ignore all strange noises. Stay close to civilization. But where would the book go if we didn’t get to have a little fun. Anyway, Kaye goes to investigate and finds …. an injured man.
She can tell something isn’t right due to his outfit and the fact he is carrying a sword. She makes the connection with Fae, which for her isn’t too hard since they were practically her best friends growing up, and decides to help him. This mysterious stranger offers to answer three questions for her troubles. Well Kaye knows that he would have to be truthful and figures it isn’t such a bad idea. So the pact is made and Kaye has yet to find out that the stranger she just met actually murdered a friend.
Roiben, the stranger, turns out to be the knight for the Unseelie Court. He has murdered in the name of the Queen many times. All Fae are scared of him. He is shunned by his side and the Seelie, especially the Seelie.
“You’re not the way everyone says you are,” Kaye said, looking at him so fiercely that he couldn’t meet her gaze. “I know you’re not.”
Ironically we find out that he was not always from the Unseelie Court. But I don’t want to give too much away.
Kaye also becomes friends with Janet’s brother Corny. He grew on me over the course of the book with his fantasy addiction and flamboyant personality.
“Yeah, the whole family knows. It’s no big deal. One night at dinner I said, ‘Mom, you know the forbidden love that Spock has for Kirk? Well, me too.’ It was easier for her to understand that way.”
Yes, Corny is gay and I found him to be endearing because he can relate with Kaye and how she is shunned from society.
Since it is a Faerie Tale we all know that the guy gets the girl but really this ride is worth taking. I have found that this is a great short read if you are looking for dark and twisted. This book has profanity, alcohol and drugs in it. If you want a book about a girl with the perfect house and white picket fence don’t look here.
Overall, I would say that if you are looking for a book about the Fae give this a try. You might be surprised how much you will enjoy it.
“If curiosity killed the cat, it was satisfaction that brought it back.”
If you find you like this book you can skip Valiant and go straight to Ironside. ;o) I always do.