Synopsis: After traveling around the country with her mother, Kaye returns to her hometown, the place where she had imaginary friends as a kid. After saving a mysterious boy one night, a plot to overthrown a faerie kingdom is set into motion.
Spoiler Free Review:
Tithe is Holly Black’s first novel, as well as her first of many YA novels. I have read most of her other YA books (other than The Curse Workers series, which I just found out about), so I am used to her more recent style of writing, like in The Folk of Air series. I think my expectations were set a little too high, being that this was published in 2003 and the oldest book I’d previously read by her was published in 2013.
This book definitely felt very 2003, from the dialogue and cultural references to the tropes and cliches used. I didn’t really feel super connected to the characters. However, I still loved Holly’s faeries. There is something just so magical and dark about them that absolutely captures me every time.
I thought the romance was also a little unbelievable. I wouldn’t say it’s insta-love, but the relationship definitely happened faster than I would have liked and what I’m used to. Overall, I don’t think romance is Holly’s strength because I haven’t loved any of the romantic relationships in her books.
My absolute favorite character was Corny. I just truly did not care about him one bit. I don’t think the story was really long enough to let anyone really care about him. I didn’t care about Kaye that much because she sometimes made bad decisions, but I could occasionally sympathize with her circumstances.
I think fans of Holly’s other books would enjoy this book. The Modern Faeries Tales series, The Darkest Part of the Forest, and The Folk of Air series all take place in the same universe, so there are some references in all of them to the other books. I am interested in reading the rest of the series, regardless of the fact that I own the bind-up edition with all three books, so it would be in my best interest to read the rest of the series.