Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tithe: a modern faerie tale by Holly Black

Sixteen-year-old Kaye Fierch has spent the last six years away from her home in New Jersey. She has followed her mother Ellen around from bar to bar as she toured with her latest band trying to make a go of the music scene. When Kaye stops Ellen's boyfriend and bandmate from attacking her mother, Kaye and Ellen leave Philly behind and head back to Jersey. While staying with her grandmother, Kaye is reunited with her childhood best friend Janet and her new acquaintances.

On the way home from a party with Janet's friends, Kaye comes upon an injured man in the woods, Roiben. Kaye soon realizes that Roiben is a fairy knight in the service of the Queen of the Unseelie Court. But this is not her first experience with fairies, although she learns that her childhood fairy friends weren't a figment of her imagination. Kaye's "blond Asian" look is really the first outward sign that she too is a fairy; a changling in fact who has been hidden in the human world by a powerful glamour. Her imaginary friends have always been keeping an eye on her.

Now Kaye's fairy friends have arranged for her to act as the human tithe to the Unseelie Queen. By tricking the Queen and not scarificing a human, the Solitary Fey won't be under the Queen's rule for the next seven years. After a harrowing near death experience, Kaye and Roiben escape. But Kaye soon learns that not all of the Solitary Fey are good like her friends and the mortal world is in danger. Can Kaye and Roiben set things right again?

Holly Black's descriptive writing makes the reader feel as if they are walking through the Unseelie Court right along Kaye. Worth checking out even if you don't like fairies. Visit Holly Black's website.

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