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Tithe: A Modern Faerie Taleby Holly Black
A dark, twisting faerie adventure in modern-day New Jersey, featuring a dysfunctional teen living an illusion, Tithe is filled with haunting characters, from a beautiful man she can't seem to get rid of (and isn't sure she wants to) to her childhood "imaginary" friends. Danger is imminent, ready to rain blood and chaos down on the American countryside with unknown forces. This is sure to be a mystic tale you just can't put down.
Synopses & Reviews
Welcome to the realm of very scary faeries!
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.
"Tripping the dark fantastic with newcomer Black means pixie dust may very well include blood spatter, sharp thorns and bits of broken glass. At the center of this edgy novel is Kaye Fierch, a 16-year-old 'Asian blonde' who spends most of her time taking care of a would-be rock star mom. When her mom's latest boyfriend turns homicidal, they return to Gram's house at the New Jersey shore, where Kaye hooks up with childhood friend Janet and her gay brother, Corny Stone. Stark images ripple through the third-person narrative, offering clues to Kaye's internal state (e.g., 'She loved the serene brutality of the ocean'). A covert sexual overture from Janet's boyfriend precedes Kaye's nighttime encounter at the edge of the woods, where she meets and rescues Roiben, a mysterious Black Knight with silver hair. Throughout, the author subtly connects Kaye's awakening sexual feelings in the real world and Roiben's sudden appearances. Kaye soon discovers that she is a changeling — and that her one-time 'imaginary' faerie playmates want her to pretend to be a human, so they can use her as the Tithe ('the sacrifice of a beautiful and talented mortal') to earn their freedom for seven years. The author's Bosch-like descriptions of the Unseelie Court, with its Rackham-on-acid denizens, and the exquisite faeries haunt as well as charm. When fate intervenes, sudden tragedy teaches Kaye about the high cost of straddling the faerie and human worlds (and sets the stage for a possible sequel). A gripping read. Ages 12-up. " Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[A] stunning debut....Black has an eye for the telling detail that brings the most minor character to life. A labyrinthine plot with Goth sensibility makes this a luscious treat for fans of urban fantasy and romantic horror." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"Tithe is beautifully written. Black has a rare gift for descriptive language and a deliciously creative imagination..." Green Man Review
"The plot moves quickly, and the secondary characters are appealing, if not always entirely believable. Occasional awkward changes in point of view won't discourage readers who enjoy dark, edgy fantasy." School Library Journal
"Dark, edgy, beautifully written, and compulsively readable, this is sure to be a word-of-mouth hit with teens, even a few usually unmoved by magic and monsters." Gillian Engberg, Booklist
"An unusually powerful YA contemporary fantasy, and an outstanding first novel." Locus
"Not only are the descriptions of our world and the world of Faery crisp, delicious, and detailed, but the characters are intriguing and complex, also. I like that these are feral, amoral faeries and not the tame, innocent Victorian version, and that the teenagers aren't tame, either." Annette Curtis Klause, author of Blood and Chocolate and Silver Kiss
Sixteen-year-old Kaye, who has been visited by faeries since childhood, discovers that she herself is a magical faerie creature with a special destiny.
About the Author
Holly Black spent her early years in a decaying Victorian mansion where her mother fed her a steady diet of ghost stories and faerie tales. An avid collector of rare folklore volumes, spooky dolls, and crazy hats, she lives in West Long Branch, New Jersey, with her husband, Theo.
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