Review: Tithe

12:00 AM Serena 0 Comments

Tithe by Holly Black
Format: Owned, paperback (hardback originally published in 2002)
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Part of a series? Nope! 

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.


I'd like to start out by saying that this is the very first book I'm reviewing for the Dive Into Diversity challenge! The reason I consider this a diverse book is because of a gay somewhat-main character. We'll get to him later. But first, let's talk about the story.

In some ways, Tithe is Not Your Average Fairytale. In other ways it totally is. It's cruder and darker than anything you'd want to want to read to a child, for one. Our main character, Kaye, is not a damsel in distress, for another. After that it stars to take on characteristics of other faerie tales. You have your pixies and sprites and kelpies and other typical fae folk. There's also two warring kingdoms and a knight who saves the day. And let's not forget the weird girl with imaginary friends who, surprise! (not really), is actually a changeling. Predictable? Yes, but I liked it all the same. 

Remember that somewhat-main character I mentioned earlier? I'm going to bring him up again because he's important. I say somewhat-main because Corny, our illustrious, anime reading, mildly murderous gay pseudo hero had all the makings of a secondary character, but then he ended up being kind of important. It'll make a lot more sense if you read it, I think. Also, I'd like to point out that this book is almost thirteen (13!) years old, and it features a gay character. Holly Black was a pioneer in the art of diverse literature, let me tell you. Moving on. I liked Kaye as an MC, but I also didn't. But I know I most definitely liked Roiben, the hot fae knight because duh. I like my fae men. 

Now we have to talk about the writing because this is a Holly Black novel, and that's obviously going to be a thing I do. This is only the second full novel I've read by Holly, but I can already say that I adore her writing style. She is a true fairytale writer, and even though I didn't think the story was amazing, the writing definitely was. 

Tithe was predictable, crude, and a little weird, but I enjoyed reading it anyway. I think it's one of those books that people will either really like or completely hate; I think it's worth a try.