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Tithe (Modern Faerie Tales #1) by Holly Black
Publication: April 2004
Genre: Ya Fantasy
Welcome to the realm of very scary faeries!
Sixteen-year-old Kaye is a modern nomad. Fierce and independent, she travels from city to city with her mother’s rock band until an ominous attack forces Kaye back to her childhood home. There, amid the industrial, blue-collar New Jersey backdrop, Kaye soon finds herself an unwilling pawn in an ancient power struggle between two rival faerie kingdoms – a struggle that could very well mean her death.
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UN-FREAKING-BELIEVABLE. Like wow. Dead. On the floor. I loved this book so much. I can’t wait for books two and three (I already got them on audible). Holly Black truly is the queen of faerie books. I had so much fun reading this/listening to this. This story follows a girl named Kaye, a boy named Corny, and a faerie knight named Roiben. Kaye and Corny get caught up in a crazy scheme between the Seelie and Unseelie court. I loved that this was a faerie story where the main character knows all about them. There were some fun plot twists that I did not see coming. I was honestly sold from the moment Roiben bit Kaye in the ass because when you use his real name and command him he literally has to do it. This is a book people will love or hate but I personally loved it. The plot is a lot of fun and the teens felt very real and authentic.
Black has a very whimsical style of writing that I just adore. It works really well with faerie style books because of who she is writing about. It’s pure magic on the page. This style is very raw and dark. You have swearing, violence, torture and some mature content. I love how gothic the aesthetic is. Her world-building is always so fun and vivid. I can always easily inserting myself into her worlds. The world of Tithe is dark and twisted and you probably shouldn’t want to live there but I do.
Kaye is a typical teen. She is mouthy, insufferable, and always thinks she’s right BUT, I loved her. She is very genuine and authentic to the story. Kaye is a girl who knows this world is real but is living in a world where people think faeries are a children’s tale. There are things Kaye and the reader don’t really know about her until it is revealed and it’s really fun when it is made known. Corny is the typical teen boy who really doesn’t question this world and just wants to immerse himself in it. He unknowingly and mistakenly gets himself intertwined in a dangerous game at faerie court. He was so adorable and a really likable character. Roiben is my sunshine who I want to protect from anyone who does him harm. He is a ball of sunshine but he will NOT let you know that. When he cares for someone he truly cares for them. I just loved how interesting he was to read about.
This was so sexy and fun. I mean it’s Holly Black. There are pinning and weird ways of showing you like someone. Kaye and Roiben are a wonderful slow-burn/insta-love. I know what you’re thinking. How can it be both? I don’t know but it was. You can tell instantly that these two wanted the other but it also didn’t happen right away. They instantly thought about each other but of course, they wanted to “hate” each other. So many moments made me go dshjcvark and so many moments made my heart swell with happiness. I loved these two a lot.
“And pleasant is the faerie land But an eerie tale to tell, Ay at the end of seven years We pay a tithe to Hell; I am sae fair and fu o flesh, I’m feard it be mysel.” – Young Tam Lin
“Kiss my ass Rath Roiben Rye.” He grabbed her by the arm before she even saw him move. She raised her hand to ward off the coming blow. He threw her forward. She shrieked. Her hand and knee connected hard with the stone floor. She looked up half expecting to see the gleam of a sword but instead, he pulled her jeans hard at the waistband and pressed his mouth against the exposed swell of her hip.
If curiosity killed the cat, it was satisfaction that brought it back.
Letting her kiss him as if he could taste the truth on her tongue.
“There is something of yours that I would like to return to you.” Roiben’s voice made her jump. How had me managed to get so close without her hearing? Still, she couldn’t help smiling vapidly anymore than she could scold herself for doing so. “What?” He leaned across the distance between them and caught her mouth with his own. Her eyes fluttered closed and her lips parted easily as she felt the kiss sizzling through her nerves rendering her thoughts to smoke.
“I would like you to take it back please.” “I am your servant,” the King of the Unseelie court said. His lips a moment from her own. “Consider it done.”