Thursday, July 28, 2011
Tithe by Holly Black
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Publish Date: March 23, 2004
Cover Illustration and Design: Sammy Yuen Jr.
At first I had a bit of trouble getting into this story. I just didn't feel any connection with Kaye at all. I put the book down for a couple of days and when I came back and started to read, it unfolded for me. For me, the backdrop was something like The Crow movie. I immediately fell in love with it.
Kaye Fierch is a 16 year old girl, she is part Asian and blonde. She dropped out of high school to work and support her alcoholic rock-n-roll mom. When the story opens, her mom's boyfriend is flipping out and trying to kill Kaye. Kaye and her mom ditch out and go to live at Gram's for awhile. Gram does not appreciate the fact that her granddaughter is a dropout, or a smoker, or wanders about all night.
Kaye leaves a party after a mishap with her friends boyfriend and a broken carousel horse. She, quite by accident, finds the Black Knight Roiben and assists him. Her journey with the Fey begins there. The more time she spends with the Fey (the ones she thought she daydreamed as a little girl and Roiben), the more she realizes who she is and what she can do. She is caught in the middle of a quiet war between the Seelie and Unseelie Courts - possibly as the human tithe to keep the underlings free for the next 7 years.
I read Ms. Black's newer books first, this one is just as beautifully written although completely different. The characters are amazing: formed in your mind by a phrase here, a line there - it's an amazing skill to have. If you haven't read TITHE, you should go back and pick it up. It's a delightful story - if you liked Brenna Yovanoff's Mackie, you'll love Kaye!