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Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale Paperback – April 1, 2004
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The novel begins in a bar in Philly, where Kaye's alcoholic rock-singer mother's boyfriend tries to kill her. For their own safety, mother and daughter quickly move back to grandma's on the New Jersey shore where Kaye grew up. This ugly turn of events was all rigged by the Faerie world, as it turns out, a world Black describes in deliciously vivid, if rather overblown, detail. Kaye, a drinking, smoking, foul-mouthed high school dropout in the land of mortals, soon finds herself embroiled--as a human sacrifice, no less--in a battle between Faerieland's Seelie and more malevolent Unseelie courts. The beautiful, mysterious knight Roiben, torn between worlds himself, falls in love with Kaye--the brave, clever changeling--against his better judgment. Throughout the electrifying journey to the horrific underworld of this modern faerie fantasy, teen readers will relate to a hard-luck tough girl who feels alienated, discovers her best qualities in the worst of circumstances, and finally finds a place between worlds where she can feel at home. (Ages 13 and older) --Karin Snelson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Kaye is a tough, resourceful, street smart sixteen year old. As the daughter of a flighty, small-time rock singer who rarely stays in one place for more than six months at a time Kaye's life has been filled with chaos. When her mother is attacked after a performance she decides to temporarily move them back into her mother's home. As a child, Kaye loved living in her grandmother's old house and believed she had faery friends.
Kaye has always been able to see things other cannot but it's not until she returns to her grandmother's home that she begins to discover exactly how different she is. In the woods Kaye meets an injured young man with pewter hair and pointy ears named Roiben who requests her help, reluctantly promises her payment and then quickly disappears. Though Kaye refuses to be anything like her worthless mother and will never pine away after a man she can't seem to get thoughts of Roiben out of her head.
Soon after the weird encounter with Roiben, Kaye discovers her imaginary world is not quite so imaginary after all.Read more ›
Unfortunately, this world of Faerie is not very likeable or easy to read. First and foremost, I found the book difficult to read due to the writing style and lack of editing. The writing is unclear in many places, with disjointed sentences and weak dialogue. Transitions between scenes were abrupt, and it was sometimes difficult to gain a coherent understanding of what was happening. Though some settings were described well, the characters were not. Character development was limited, and the relationships between characters seemed weak and unimportant. As described, the love connection also didn't seem believable.
Secondly, Black's world of Faerie is dark, twisted, and cruel. I don't mind darker tales; however, there needs to be a point to it. The book contains vulgarity; smoking, alcohol, and drugs; unhealthy relationships; references to violent, hurtful sex that`s enjoyed; and grisly murder and torture. I knew some of this going in, but I was surprised that none of these issues were used as a means of character development or conflict. None of the characters seemed to have any redeeming or likeable qualities.Read more ›
Most of those reviewers sighted things like "bad language", "adult themes", etc. These elements are certainly present in the book, but the reviewers must be years out of high school if they think teens aren't inundated with them already.
The "F" word; chain smoking; trailer-park living; yaoi porn manga; alcoholic, irresponsible parents; abusive boyfriends; teen dropouts; teen pregnancies; teen gossip: I kid you not. These are things I overhear girls talking about every day at my high school. If anything, this book was more realistic in its portrayal of teens than anything I have read thus far. From what I have observed, my fellow teens drink this kind of ugly mellow drama right up: that is why we have shows like Jerry Springer and all its spin offs.
The flat-charactered teens in Tithe were much like the ones in my high school. Glorifying the petty rebellions of shoplifting and cigarette smoking? Check. Drooling lack of back-bone around a "hot" guy? Check. Petty jealous fights when one girl gets "friendly" with another's boyfriend? Check.
It is enough that I have to listen to such things at school, I don't want to read them in my escapist, fantasy books too.
In conclusion, this is not a book about fairies. It is a book about teen drama in which fairies are added as an appeal to the "Goth" culture that shops (or shop-lifts) at Hot Topic.
(I apologize that this is more of a rant than a review. Feel free to tack on as many "unhelpful" ratings as you want. I feel a certain amount of irony that no matter how many bad reviews this book gets, it will never dip below four stars. After all, Amazon knows: low ratings don't sell books.)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of my favorites even after having read it for the first time years ago.Published 7 days ago by HEATHER
I would describe this as a YA version of Laurel K Hamilton's Merry Gentry series (without the gratuitous sex of course). It's gritty & dark & pretty delightful.Published 4 months ago by CDB
This was an interesting read for me. My only criticism is that the book has the main character smoking cigarettes. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Katt978
Holly Black is amazing! Theses dark tales are absolutely perfect.Published 7 months ago by Michelle Carrell
Tithe is a story about a sixteen year old girl named Kaye who like so many sixteen year olds is often at odds with her family, her friends, her surrroundings and herself. Read morePublished 10 months ago by bb.star
If you follow me on twitter you may have seen me spreading the love for this book over there. This was Holly Black's earliest foray into YA way back in the day and I think more... Read morePublished 10 months ago by SMM