Tithe by Holly Black was a book I re-read recently in anticipation of reading The Cruel Prince. And I’m glad I did as Kaye and Roiben from Tithe make an appearance in The Cruel Prince. It’s a YA fantasy novel that blends faeries and the modern world together.
Tithe tells the story of Kaye, a teenage girl with a rocker for a mum who moves from place to place as her mum pursues her music. Like her mum, she’s a bit rebellious. She’s not going to win any prizes for being a model teen as she smokes, drinks and skips school. She also has a big attitude.
Kaye and her mum go back to New Jersey to live with Kaye’s grandmother. When she was a kid, Kaye used to have friends in this place — faerie friends that only she could see. And now that she’s back, strange things start to happen and she begins to explore the powers she’s always had.
One night she stumbles across an injured faerie knight and learns his full faerie name after helping him. Roiben serves a cruel Faerie Queen in a dark court under a hill and Kaye is about to be pulled into that world, as well as finding out her true identity.
I loved this book the first time I read it over ten years ago, but found it not as good during this re-read. I think Kaye may have gotten on my nerves a bit. Plus Tithe lacked the glorious detail of Holly Black’s recent book The Cruel Prince. Still, I liked the grittiness of the story and how Kaye is not a perfect teen. The Unseelie Court occupied by the faeries is a sinister, dangerous place that is thrilling to read about.
Verdict: This book is a great introduction to Holly Black’s twisted faerie world.
Have you read any of Holly Black’s books?