Backlist Bonus: Tithe

titheby Holly Black
YA Fantasy / Paranormal Fantasy
4 of 5 stars
Debut novel: October 1, 2002

I tend to love the author’s worlds and writing style, but her books have polarizing reviews, so if you like one you’ll probably love them all–if not, well, maybe try something else. She typically has a semi-creepy hook with magic in a modern setting and her characters are brash and brave by turns.

Her debut novel features traditional faery mythology set in New Jersey as Kaye has a chance encounter with a faery in the woods. By unintentional cleverness, she claims the faery’s name for saving his life, not realizing the power she now holds over him. To make matters more complicated, the faery’s new ties to Kaye make the faery queen jealous, and she sets her sights on Kaye completing an ancient and deadly faery ritual to give her power over both the Seelie and Unseelie courts. Kaye would be concerned if she wasn’t dealing with the sudden appearance of wings on her back and her skin turning green…

It’s a fast-paced novel that’s a bit rough around the edges but shines with the story and the clear evidence of the author’s talent. This is a fun place to start with Black’s work, but I always like seeing an author’s debut work to compare with their current books. If you enjoy faery mythology you should give this a try.

If you’d like to see more reviews or buy a copy for yourself, Tithe is available on Goodreads and on Barnes & Noble’s website here. Please consider supporting your local bookstore!

Similar reads:

  • The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black – I feel like this is the story that Black was trying to write when she wrote Tithe. They’re very similar but this one is better and shows off her signature style. See my review here.
  • Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception by Maggie Stiefvater – Deirdre discovers her musical talent is drawing the attention of mischievous (and possibly malevolent) faeries. See my review here.
  • The Named by Marianne Curley – A group of teens and adults named in a prophecy struggle to keep the timeline as it should be when the Order of Chaos seeks to disrupt historical events. Time-travel adventures and plenty of drama as well, super fun!
  • The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey – Although not the most original urban fantasy, the characters are great and the fast-paced mystery to find the Firebird had me enthralled. Echo is a runaway thief in New York living among the Avicen, who are at war with the Darkharin, and she decides to steal the Firebird–the ultimate weapon to end the war. I can’t wait for the sequel! See my review here.
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman – Probably closest in writing style in my mind, this creepy novella takes magic in our world to the next level. See my review here.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception | To Live a Thousand Lives
  2. Trackback: A Court of Thorns and Roses | To Live a Thousand Lives

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