Tithe by Holly Black

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: October 1st 2002


“I thought weirdness was a good thing. I don’t mean that defensively, either. I thought it was something to be cultivated.”

Kaye has never had a very stable life. She travels city to city with her want-to-be rock star mother until circumstances force them back to her grandmother’s house, where she spent most of her childhood. Back in New Jersey Kaye finds out that her imaginary faerie friends weren’t so imaginary, and all of them are in a lot of trouble.

I did enjoy this book, but the main character was a bit off-putting. She had a very “not-like-other-girls” vibe, not only because she was raised poorly by her mother. Kaye is just not a particularly good friend or person. She’s strange, sneaky, self-indulgent and brave sure, but brave doesn’t make her at all likable. She’s maybe fifteen and thinks she knows the world, refusing her grandmother’s reasonable requests at every turn. In fact most of the main characters fail at being sympathetic so their plights didn’t really concern me. The main romance feels contrived and rushed.  The book seems quick to flit from one thing to another without looking at lasting damage or trauma events might have.

There is a lot that could have been done better (and had been done better by Black in later books) but the pure whimsicality of Black’s faeries and their world makes the book enjoyable. I want to know more about these faeries. Roiben, Spike, Lootie-loo and the others are fascinating. With more development given to that world and maybe characters outside of it the sequel could yet redeem the series.


Read this if you’re a fan of: Throne of Glass


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