Thursday, June 15, 2006

Book Review: Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale


Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale is a brooding, intense, fascinating story. The rich descriptions and complex characters support a plot that will hold your attention.

Sixteen-year-old street-wise Kaye finds herself living with her grandmother on the Jersey shore after a nomadic existence with her mother’s rock band. Kaye used to see fairies when she was younger, but she has come to accept them as the product of a fertile imagination, until she meets Roiben, a darkly intense and attractive faerie knight, and becomes a pawn in a war between two rival faerie courts.

Holly Black’s world of Faerie is dark - very dark - a place where perfect horror intermingles with perfect beauty. Her human world isn’t any better: a bleak and gritty world where troubled humans try to make the best of their meager lives. But within those dark worlds, there is hope, and heroism comes from unexpected places.

It’s in the characters that Holly Black really shines: human and fairy are rich and complex, and sometimes show unexpected depth. Don’t take anyone at face value in this book!

I can't help wondering if there's a little bit of Puck in Roiben. His name is similar to Robin, and in fact Kaye tells her friends that she's met a man named Robin (Puck is also called Robin Goodfellow in A Midsummer Night's Dream). Roiben is the chief knight to one of the two Faerie queens (there doesn't appear to be a king here) and he is known to act sometimes in unpredictable ways. All that makes me think that Puck was an influence here. Or maybe it's just that I'm seeing Puck everywhere, now.

This is not a book for children. There are some pretty grisly scenes, and adult situations. But older teens will connect with this book in a big way. Holly Black obviously remembers what it’s like to be a teen: the pain of teen relationships, the struggle for identity, and the lack of understanding from authority figures.

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12 comments:

Christine said...

I loved it!! I think it sucks so much ass that Valiant is going to be made into a movie before Tithe. What do you think of Valiant?

Sheila said...

I loved Valiant. Actually, I liked it even better than Tithe. I hadn't heard that it's being made into a movie. Thanks for letting me know.

Anonymous said...

i love Tithe! it expresses so much love and halps me to un derstand hoe a teens life really works...i have not yet read valiant but would love to very soon

Anonymous said...

Tithe was a fantastic novel, but I favored Valiant. I'm overjoyed that it is being made into a movie; I just hope they don't mess it up.

And no; Tithe is certainly not a book for children. But this dark fantasy is worthwhile to read.

Erica said...

I want Tithe to be made in to a movie! I fell in love with the story line. i have not gotten to valiant yet... but i am sure i will not love it as much as tithe

Sheila said...

You might be surprised, Erica, and find that you like Valiant. Valiant is very different from Tithe, but just as good. Some people like it better. I don't have a favorite; I like all three books!

Anonymous said...

I thought that Tithe was amazing! It really captures your attention and keeps you turning pages until the story ends. I also loved Ironside. I didnt think that another book could be as good as Tithe, but it was very good. I didnt really like Valiant because I liked the characters in the other two books better. I really hope that Tithe and Ironside are made into movies. But if they are, I hope that the movies are exactly like the books, and I hope they dont change any part of the stories.

Nikki said...

Valiant was my favorite, and I passed it along to all my friends. I wonder if Holly's books have a fansite....

Anonymous said...

I finally picked up Ironside yesterday at the library, after remembering Tithe. I couldn't put it down, and finished it the same day I got it at the library!

The fact that this is the last book in the series makes me sad...

Anonymous said...

I read Tithe after my friend told me I reminded her of Kaye and lent me the book =L

I finished Tithe in one day, then went on to read Valiant and Ironside.

I dont really have a particular favourite, but I prefer the characters in Tithe and Ironside, just as I felt that we learned more about them.

I heard that Valiant is being made into a movie, but I would think that they would make Tothe one first, as it is the first book. =S

Still, I hope they do go ahead with a movie of any book, as I love Holly Blacks faeries =)

Anonymous said...

all three books are amazing. i really wish that they would come out with movies about them all. it is really hard to choose a favorite.:) and if they are making a movie about these books i really wish that they will come out in theaters very soon.:)<3

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed reading these books. it is hard to choose a favorite as all three books are simply amazing. I really wish that a movie would come out about all three books,but if only one movie is made about one book that would still make me happy. If they do make a movie about these books i hope they will make them just like the books and keep the book about how we all imagined them to be. Since i have read all three of these books i have become more interested in all of Holly Blacks books. Holly black is ingenious <3