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Review: Tithe (Modern Tale of Faeries Series #1) by Holly Black

in a sentence or so: Kaye and her mom move back in with her grandma in Jersey after her mom's latest attempt to be a rockstar doesn't turn out so well. it is when she moves back to the small town of her childhood that she starts to feel faeries on the edge of her existence. she is sure that the world of real life and magic are merging into one when she finds an elf (a pretty handsome one at that) dying in the woods.

Kaye's mom has been the lead singer in many a rock band. this means that Kaye has led a pretty nomadic life and seen her fair share of bizarre, unpleasant, and morally questionable things. but through it all, Kaye has always felt loved and encouraged by her mother. which is not always the case with her best friend in Jersey, Janet. Janet and Kaye go back to the days of elementary school, and so when Kaye returns to Jersey as a sixteen year old, Janet remembers her friend's knack for making up imaginary friends/creatures and seeing things that no one else can see. well, apparently that knack is still with her.

Kaye stumbles upon Roiben, a wounded elf, in the woods. through her help, he is able to stumble back home to his home, the Unseelie court. Kaye is being told by her childhood faerie friends that this handsome elf means to do her harm...something she has a hard time believing. what she can believe is the fact that she is starting to feel strange things happening to her and around her, and that her life is not at all what she thought it to be.

i had a tough time working my way into this book. i think part of that is because this is the first faerie book i've read, so maybe the names and mythology were supposed to be assumed knowledge of the reader and i just didn't have that assumed knowledge. i felt like the framework was established quickly and loosely, and it wasn't until about a hundred pages in that i felt comfortable with the story, the characters, and the direction. it finished strong, so i ended up really enjoying the read.

all of the characters are SERIOUSLY flawed, which is something i dig. they are also seriously humanistic, which is something else i dig. you get why people (faeries, queens, pixies, etc.) act and think the way they do. at times i felt like this wasn't a great read, but overall i enjoyed it more than i expected. after i was hooked into the plot, i was really hooked. i am genuinely interested to read the further adventures of the characters in Ironside.

there are twists and turns a plenty, laugh out loud moments, vivid descriptions of what the faerie realm is like, and the title of the book is the anchor of the plot - which i will not get into because that's a bit spoiler-y. i'd recommend this to fantasy genre junkies like myself for sure.

fave quote: "She smiled ruefully. 'But they never told me. They knew all this time, and nothing - not one hint.'' Kaye looked pensively at the joints of her fingers. Why should one extra joint make them horrifying? It did, though - flexing them bothered her." (119)

fix er up: more explanation on the background of the creatures and the plot development.

title: Tithe (Modern Tale of Faeries Series #1)
author: Holly Black

genre: Fantasy

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. and here i was under the assumption that faeries and pixies were the same thing. what a fool i am.

  2. perhaps reading a little "tithe" will help you out. or wikipedia, whichever is more appealing to you. :]

  3. at this juncture, neither.

  4. I agree with you about flawed characters. I get bored really quickly with books where the characters are perfect, I feel like I can't related to those kind of characters and if I can't relate to them in any way then I usually don't care what happens to them one way or the other.

    Thanks for the review.

  5. The flaws and little character quirks definitely make them more relate-able. Now if only I could read a book a day like you... color me jealous!


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