Tithe by

Image of TitheA Modern Tale of Faerie
ISBN: 0689860420
Read for the Once Upon A Time challenge.
See also: About Holly Black ; Stainless Steel Droppings ; Book~Adorer ; The page wanderer
Other OUAT challangees: bottle of shine ; Stephanie’s books ; Cafe Shree

Kaye took another drag on her cigarette and dropped it into her mother’s beer bottle

Our hero, Kaye, has always seen faeries and their ilk. Her mother dismisses these characters as imaginary friends and Kaye has always accepted her weirdness makes her difference from other people her own age. But when she moves back home and meets up with her old friends she realises just how different she is from her few friends.

I really enjoyed this book. Urban fantasy seems to be one of those growing sub-genres that you really have to watch out for. Sometimes the books are terribly derivative and have obviously been written to cash in on the popularity of the genre. This is not the case with Tithe.

It starts off maybe in the same way as quite a few other books. A girl who is different from others, who is more than what she appears, who never seems to fit in. It isn’t exactly a new idea. But then again, how many new ideas are there really out there? It is what the author does with these ideas that is important. And in this case Black creates a believable teenage character, as well as a believable world and plenty of interesting secondary characters.

For those of you interested in such things, this is a YA novel, however mine carries a parental advisory tag. Which is weird, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a novel with one before.

And I suppose in a way it deserves it, there is plenty of violence and death and whatnot going on. The faeries here are not the fluttery, cute sort. But unlike The Tooth Fairy I felt that in this case their behaviour fit the story and wasn’t just there for the reader to gasp in horror or amazement, or whatever.

I guess you could say thumbs up then, but now I’ve got to go find some more by Black, such are the perils of reading and liking a book :)

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