Friday, June 3, 2011

Book Review: Tithe

Author: Holly Black
Release Date: March23, 2004
Pages: 336
Read it in: 1 week (it was a busy week!)

Summary: 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.

LC's Take: 

Oh man, I loved this book! Despite my past attempts at reading books about fairies, this one knocked my socks right off. Tithe was dark, mysterious, imaginative and edgy. Yes, it deals with some difficult issues like alcoholic parents, sexual abuse, and blood sacrifice, (yeah, that's right) but it also has a beautiful and enchanting side to it-- and both of these sides fit together really well throughout the story.
Tithe was definitely a page-turner, not simply because there is a lot of drama, action and suspense going on from beginning to end; but also because the author actually took the time to give you the story background that you need in order to understand what's going on. Let me just say that-- from the perspective of someone who doesn't know much about faery lore and was beyond lost when reading Wicked Lovely-- I practically shouted "Hallajulah!" when Tithe gave me understandable explanations and plot depth-- I wasn't left wondering what on earth was happening, and was thus able to fully engage in the story. This-- added to the great deal that was invested in character development-- made reading this book very enjoyable.

The descriptive language that Holly Black uses is just breathtaking-- I was really impressed by how she uses words to paint very imaginative worlds and characters. In fact, she can  describe a scene out of fairyland just as beautifully as she can describe a scene from a run-down trailer park-- now that takes some talent! Likewise, the characters were fantastic. Kaye was an amazing female protag-- Holly Black knew just how to flesh out her character into a believable, three-dimensional person. Kaye is a girl you can absolutely relate to, because she is far from perfect (I hate flawless, cookie-cutter characters!) and she has been through hell and back-- her tough grittiness makes her appealing as a character because it boldly stands out against all those other wishy-washy, bland, wimpy chicks we seem to see a lot of in today's novels. (Also, she is described as an "Asian blond," and that is totally hott.) Honestly, it takes a lot for me to become truly invested in a main character, but in this case, I was hooked.

My only caveat with this book was that I thought the dialogue in faery-world was at times a little forced (I don't like it when modern books use phrases like "verily I say" or whatever, it just sounds kind of cheesy/contrived to me). But really, that was my one and only little complaint-- and the rest of the dialog flows wonderfully and is very realistic (Side note: There are loads of F-bombs, just so you know, and I am super-happy I'm not the librarian who's gotten this one shaken in their face by some P.O.-ed parent lol). All in all, I give Tithe a high rating and cannot wait to read the next two books in this series!

LC's Rating:
Dark and edgy are the two words I would use to describe Tithe- it's not for the faint of heart! If you can handle the uncensored language and hardcore scenarios, this is an awesome story about fairies that stands out from the rest!


  1. Awesome review of one of my all-time favorites! :) I first read this one in middle school, and I've reread it at least three times since. Holly Black is just an amazing writer, and I love what she does with Faerie. No butterfly wings or excessive glitter here, that's for sure!

  2. Happy you liked it, I didn't enjoy it so much here's my review:

  3. I am totally in love with Holly Black and her books! Tithe was fabulous, I loved it, loved it, loved it!!! So suspenseful and gripping.. and sexy!! Isn't Roiben one of the sexiest characters ever?!

    I am so happy you liked it, Lea! Awesome review! <3

  4. Wow, I've been thinking about buying it since forever! Very much liked your review. Now there's just the money-problem. Jeez, I'm so broke. :'D

    The only question left is.. Should I get it for free (library; and in German) or buy it (in English)? Hmm.. :>

  5. I have still to read this one! I keep reading great reviews about it...

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  7. I am so excited for this book. I actually won the series in a giveaway over at Evie-Bookish and I am waiting on pins and needles for it to get here! Fabulous review!

  8. Kat~ I definitely agree, I like the edginess and the dark side that she gives to faerie lore-- sometimes it is great to read something a little dark and gloomy :) Yes, she is a very talented writer!

    Maria~ Thanks for sending me the link to your review, I always like reading what other people thought about the books I just finished ;) It's always interesting to see what some people like and some people don't, isn't it? I will have to pick up Wondrous Strange, I have heard about this one and would like to have something to compare Tithe to!

    Evie~ Glad you liked the review, and oh yeah, Roiben was an awesome character! Congrats by the way on reaching 500 followers!

    Patricia~ As a librarian, I would say go get it for free at the library-- that's where I get all my books from :)

    Bonnie~ Woohoo! That is awesome, congrats on the win! I hope that you enjoy them, I know I am looking forward to reading the rest of this series :)

  9. Jules~ Sorry, I missed you there! I think there are some mixed opinions about this one, although most of them are good reviews-- but if you don't mind something a little on the dark side, you'll probably enjoy this one :)

  10. I've been seeing loads of reviews about Holly Black's books, but hesitated to read any of them because I didn't know if I'd like her supposedly dark and edgy style. After reading your review, I think maybe I should have a shot at Tithe-who can resist a kick-ass tough-chick heroine?!

    Felicia from

  11. It's almost impossible to do so in my little town (in Germany) xD If I was still living in Berlin, there'd be no problem to at least get the German translation of the book. But the library in the town I'm living in is.. well. I don't find any words to describe it. ;)

  12. This book changed my life! It totally opened my eyes to the possibilities of storytelling to teens. I am so grateful to HB for that!


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