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Tithe (Modern Faerie Tales #1)

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3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  56,413 Ratings  ·  2,947 Reviews
See the alternate cover edition: here

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 f
...more
Paperback, 331 pages
Published April 1st 2004 by Margaret K. McElderry Books (first published 2002)
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Blakeley Jolliff I suppose that is mostly up to their parents discretion. I read this book when I was about 15 but if I was any younger my parents would not have been…moreI suppose that is mostly up to their parents discretion. I read this book when I was about 15 but if I was any younger my parents would not have been happy. There is alcohol consumption by teenagers almost immediately in the book as well as swearing and some sexual themes. Tithe contains the situations that most teenagers would come across in normal high school life, except for the faeries of course. Whenever you're dealing with a gritty faerie tale it's important to remember that these are not your average Disney fairies. The Unseelie fae are cruel and violent and even your "good" Seelie faeries have a twisted sense of right and wrong. There is also a death in the story. It has been a few years since I have read this so I might be forgetting a few things. Of course it is up to you if you think your 11 or 12 year old can deal with these themes but I would personally wait until my children are a little older.(less)
Blakeley Jolliff They are both equally amazing and entertaining authors though their writing styles are very different. I find Holly Black's writing to be slightly…moreThey are both equally amazing and entertaining authors though their writing styles are very different. I find Holly Black's writing to be slightly more descriptive and almost musical or poetic in the way she writes. To me it is slightly more difficult to read but still easy to understand. I read these books in just a few day I loved them so much. They both develop their characters and worlds incredibly well; you feel as if you are in the story and I definitely fell in love all the characters, even the ones in the background. I think that you'll enjoy this series if you like The Mortal Instruments (or any other series from Clare).(less)
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The Best Urban Fantasy
22nd out of 2,899 books — 10,200 voters
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Books about Faery
3rd out of 906 books — 1,971 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Shannon
Jun 18, 2015 Shannon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, reviews
I'm going to be up front... this series? You will either love it or hate it. I personally really love gritty real-life/fantasy stories when they're written well, and I think Holly does the combination so much freaking justice. It doesn't try too hard to be overly bad-ass. Kaye is such a great lead. Although I don't always see myself in her actions, I still liked her because she was real -- I didn't get the sense that Holly was trying to impress me. She was just writing about a real girl. And hon ...more
Julie Kagawa
May 29, 2009 Julie Kagawa rated it really liked it
Tithe is a very raw, very dark faerie tale. While not suitable for younger readers (lots of swearing, random torture and violence, and mature themes), I loved its take on the darker side of faerie. It deals with faerie themes like Changelings and the knowing of one's True Name very well, and Roiben is probably my favorite faery hero of all time. (Kind of like Sephiroth. If you know who Sephiroth is, you'll understand.)

The writing was a teensy bit sporadic and hard to follow at first. I found my
...more
Mary-Beth
Nov 28, 2007 Mary-Beth rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy, fiction, romance
Kaye is obviously incredibly lovely and then it turns out she's a magical fairy. Sure her life is hard, but it's the fairies making it that way because she's so important that they're all out to get her. Look, what I'm saying is, it's like the author tried to think of all the coolest latest trends among teenagers and tried to mash them into a fairy story. Kaye is also not anyone's typical teenager. She has super special protagonist syndrome.

I found the Faerie described by the author quite intere
...more
Amanda
Ugh. I don't know where to start with this one so I'm gonna jump right in. I didn't like it. It was all just a raging bunch of WTF?! for me. I mean, it was random. My brain hurts so this isn't going to be a very coherent review.

Before I go to my detailed ravings, it's best if I gave a brief overview of what this book was about. It's the story of Kaye, a changeling, who was put under a glamour to hide her true green-skinned self and lives with her rockstar wannabe "mother", Ellen. Her life ultima
...more
Amber Baker
Jun 24, 2008 Amber Baker rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Amber by: list on Amazon
If I could have given it 0 stars I would have. To publish this as a young adult novel is horrifying. I wouldn't read past 30 pages it was too offensive and to think it was published as content for young adults is terrible. It would be R rated as a movie. Not only was the f word used liberally throughout the few pages I read, teens were drinking, smoking and hinting at being sexually active. NOT something I would want my kids to read, or myself. I normally wouldn't dream of rating a book without ...more
Cait (Paper Fury)
I was warned Tithe was going to be dark. To which I thought, "Ooh, yes likee me please. DARK BOOKS ARE GREAT." Buuuut I have to admit, it wasn't THAT dark. After one reads books like Red Rising and An Ember in the Ashes....ha. It takes a lot to chill me. BUT ANYWAY. I did like Tithe even though I thought it was going to be more evilly darker. Obviously there are plenty of creeptastic faeries and death everywhere and blood splatters and YEAH IT WAS QUITE GOOD AND I LIKED IT. I confess I didn't lo ...more
Juushika
Mar 06, 2008 Juushika rated it liked it
Shelves: status-borrowed
As a child, Kaye had faery friends; throughout her life, she has always been unusual. Now, following an barfight, Kaye and her would-be-rock star mother return to Kaye's childhood home. There, Kaye meets another faery, and discovers that her childhood friends really do exist and that she is far more unusual than she ever suspected. She soon falls into the middle of the power struggle between two rival faery courts, a struggle which could easily spill into the human world. Tithe is a mix of wonde ...more
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
So, I originally read this book in middle school and didn't like it at the time. I had written another, very negative review of this book years ago, and it had gathered some pretty nasty comments. To be fair, my review was probably not very constructive or well-written. But I thought, "I don't know, maybe I missed something. Maybe these people are right, and I am blind and stupid for not liking this book." After a while, I also figured maybe I'd been too young the first time I read it, since it ...more
Thomas
Nov 21, 2010 Thomas rated it did not like it
"Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale" is about sixteen year old Kaye Fierch, a girl who has been moving around with her single mother for her entire life. At a young age she has been able to see and interact with these things called faeries, although no one believed her. Then one day, she enchants a boy into falling in love with her and makes a broken, splintered horse move. Soon after that event she meets a young faerie night named Roiben, and that is just the start of her faerie adventure.

Hm... okay,
...more
Natalie
Apr 18, 2009 Natalie rated it really liked it
I ended up reading this book by accident. It was recommended to my 14 year old, Gini. She began the book and then brought it to me saying that she didn't feel it was appropriate for kids and that she, personally, had no interest in a heroine who consistently made such poor life choices. Well! I decided to read it to see what the deal was. This book was recommended for kids 14 and up and Gini has read books that were definitely adult reading level and she LOVES faery.

The problem with this book f
...more
Rachael
Apr 29, 2008 Rachael rated it it was amazing
Kaye has always been different. She’s Japanese and a natural blond. She stopped going to school when she was fourteen because her musician mother kept them moving around. But what made the other kids really back away were the stories about her friends Gristle, Spike, and Lutie-loo. Everyone thought they were imaginary because no one besides Kaye could see these creatures. That’s because Kaye’s friends were part of the world of Faery.

Kaye is dragged farther into this dangerous world when she save
...more
Kimberlayy º
Dec 13, 2008 Kimberlayy º rated it did not like it
Shelves: horrible, sci-fi
i couldn't finish this book and i WON'T finish it. it is horribly stupid and swears like 10 times a page. it is all about cigarettes, drinking, and freakky people in dark alleys. WHAT THE HECK?! i couldn't believe what was happening in the book; it was disgusting!! ew! ew! i learned a lesson from this book: DON'T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER!
Heather
Mar 05, 2009 Heather rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, urban-fantasy
I find it rather hard to choose what type of review I would like to write, positive or negative. I suppose mine will be a bit of both.
One the one hand, I have to give Holly Black credit for attempting to write characters that do not fall within the norm. Not everyone is of a certain race, hair color, eye color, personality type, etc. and it is refreshing to read something other than a Mary Jane. I can also appreciate any author who is daring enough to include sex, cussing, and drugs into their
...more
Seth
Dec 03, 2007 Seth rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Summary: comfortably predictable storyline with some huge plot holes, but more than fun enough to read. Just make sure it doesn't put off Weetzie Bat or other masterpieces of the YA genre.

This book is marred by one major flaw that doesn't affect most of the YA set: bad things happen--both on- and off-stage--to sympathetic characters around our protagonist and no one cares. Several "best friend" character die, the two mothers are left bereft of their children, a small child is abandoned to the f
...more
Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
Hidden Gem buddy re/read with the YA & Beyond crew!

I find it highly intriguing how John Milton & Paradise Lost show up in this book right when I'm starting Traitor Angels. Just a thought.

It went fast, but I'm glad I decided to reread this. I blew through nearly half of it in two hours last night and wrapped up the rest this afternoon -- I think it's a testament to Holly Black's skill that even though I flew through this book I was never bored and skimmed minimally. I liked how the world
...more
C
Sep 10, 2007 C rated it really liked it
Romantic without being too soft and edgy without being too harsh, Holly Black's first entry effortlessly draws you into the alluring and alternately horrifying world of the fey.

When I first began reading Tithe, I was afraid that Kaye's background/lifestyle would be too gimmicky, but Black gives her just enough depth to be likable (though I personally never felt intimately connected to her). Corny, on the other hand, is such an odd combination of qualities that I found him very believable and mor
...more
Andrea
Aug 20, 2007 Andrea rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-young-adult
Call me conservative, but I just can't believe this was a young adult book! There was so much swearing in it (more than most adult books) that just wasn't needed that it distracted from the plot of the book. That doesn't generally bother me...but it did with this book.
DarkHeart "Vehngeance"
I was really looking forward to this book, despite the mixed reviews, and I wasn't disappointed. Black created a wonderful and gritty world. I know some reviewers have complained that Kaye and her life were unrelatable - but that's okay. Not everyone's life is perfect, and some teens do cuss and drink and dabble in drugs. (It's got the same dark quality as Melissa Marr's books - more favorites of mine.) I actually think that made her more interesting and realistic.

Kaye's transformation into the
...more
Bark's Book Nonsense
Mar 30, 2011 Bark's Book Nonsense rated it really liked it
Shelves: dark-fantasy
4 1/2 stars

Tithe's inner blurb states that it is a young adult fantasy tale written by a brand new author with an exciting and imaginative voice and, for a change, the raves are true! If you're into darker edged fantasy, where the faeries are more likely to wound tender flesh than sprinkle one with faery dust, where sex, violence and various debaucheries are all part of a typical day in the faery kingdom, then do yourself a favor and buy a copy of Tithe. It's the perfect book to chase away the
...more
Angela
Bad execution of a good idea, 1.5 stars, December 9, 2009

Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale, the first book in Holly Black's faery trilogy, introduces readers to a dark and twisted world of Faerie. Sixteen-year-old Kaye is the daughter of a rocker mom who moves from town to town before an act of violence pushes them back to New Jersey. Kaye thinks the faeries of her youth are a thing of the past, but soon, her world starts changing as she learns that she has been chosen as a sacrifice between faery co
...more
Meep
Apr 22, 2008 Meep rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fantasy fans, people looking for interesting female protagonists
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
I really did not expect to enjoy this book. I thought it was going to be really lame, but I was pleasantly surprised. I checked it out from the library one afternoon and finished it that day. I found myself feeling like Kaye's friend, sympathizing with her while she lusted after Roiben (a trait I normally cannot stand in a female protagonist, but because she had a personality and Roiben was, well, very attractive, I found it really compelling).

My favorite part was when she mentioned shounen-ai.
...more
Meredith
Mar 27, 2008 Meredith rated it really liked it
The best thing about this book was by far the poetic style; the phrasing and descriptions were beautifully atmospheric and generally readable. As a teenager, I must say I found the excessive swearing, violence, and sexual references a relief; the teen characters were all the more relatable for the omnipresent language and innuendo. Holly Black definitely remembers how teens think. I don't care if it was just there for the shock value; I rather enjoyed reading a book that wasn't (unintentionally) ...more
Roshani Chokshi
Apr 04, 2016 Roshani Chokshi rated it it was amazing
I used to be ridiculously anti-social at family parties and hide out with this book. TITHE was so formative for me as a writer. Unapologetic and gorgeous. TITHE tore off the wings of fairytales and gave them fangs, claws and thorns. I wanted to be Kaye so badly I'd sometimes wander around in my backyard looking for a wounded elf prince. Sadly, no paranormal paramour for me. Although I did date a boy with werewolf sideburns. (I still am, but his sideburns have lost their lycanthropic enthusiasm).
Mizuki
Holly Black's modern faeries tale series ( Tithe, Valiant and Ironside) focuses on sparkling fairies and Black managed to make them cool in a scary, dark way. The romantic plots in the stories are good; there also are a few nice twists and turns through the books. We even get a cute little gay romance because one of the supporting characters is gay. What more can I ask for?
Megan
Tithe is a difficult book for me to rate and review. While reading this, I couldn't help but feel that I would have had a much more enthusiastic reaction to it had I read it when it was first published. But now, nine years later, protagonist Kaye comes off as slightly Mary Sue and Tithe doesn't quite stand up to some other YA books with a urban fantasy/paranormal twist. Furthermore, this book involved a lot of older teen issues (such as drinking, sexuality, skipping school) yet the fantasy aspec ...more
Arielle Walker
Any book that becomes hyped up to the point of legend is a bit nerve-wracking to read. If it's great then, well, all as expected. If it's bad, the let-down is disproportionately huge. And if it's neither? Even worse - if it's... both? How to respond?!

For me, Tithe is one of those super-hyped books that I expected to be utterly perfect and instead left me feeling totally ambivalent towards. Parts were wonderful, deliciously dark faerie fantasy. Other bits I did not care for at all. "Corny" was on
...more
Chantele Sedgwick
Not finished due to profanity. Among other things. :(
Gina
Jan 01, 2010 Gina rated it did not like it
Wow...three words sum this book up: purple cat suit.

Yes, in between the obscene amount of swearing, sex, and drug use in just the first few pages of this book, there is also, no joke, a girl who actually wants to wear a purple cat suit. At this point in the book, I realized that this was not the book for me, or for anyone who had actually read a good book for once in their lives.

There was no redeeming quality to this book. The plot is laughable and confusing. The characters are annoying and flat
...more
Michelle
Feb 22, 2008 Michelle rated it it was ok
Being a huge fan of the Spiderwick Chronicles, I was rather delighted to find that Holly Black had put out some books of her own. I decided to devour Tithe first--and let's just say I got food poisoning.

The story is hardly inviting, even from the beginning. I continued to read on, still slightly interested to see where it was going. I kept praying for it to get better. Unfortunately, it never did.

What I ended up reading felt like the outline for an R-rated Barbie Fairy Princess movie. In short,
...more
Alyssa (BookWormCutie)
Not interesting. I didn't even make it past page 150.
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Holly Black is a best-selling author of contemporary fantasy novels for kids, teens, and adults. She is the author of the Modern Faerie Tale series (Tithe, Valiant, and Ironside), The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), and The Good Neighbors graphic novels (with Ted Naifeh) The Poison Eaters and Other Stories, a collection of short fiction, and The Curse Worker series (White Cat, Red Gl ...more
More about Holly Black...

Other Books in the Series

Modern Faerie Tales (3 books)
  • Valiant (Modern Faerie Tales, #2)
  • Ironside (Modern Faerie Tales, #3)

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