REVIEW: Tithe by Holly Black
Holly Black originally wrote Tithe, Valiant and Ironside as 3 different books in the same world. In 2019, it was decided to do an omnibus of all three stories and combine them into one book. Thus, Three different reviews are coming your way this week for the same book! Here goes:
Holly Black has been called the Queen of Fae for writing the Cruel Prince but this is where her obsession with writing about the fae began. We follow a 16 year old, Kaye Fierch, She is touring with her mothers band following them whether they go and her mother is attacked suddenly so she is sent to her Grandmothers house in New Jersey. Whilst growing up, she had these friends called Lutie Loo, Spike and Gristle who were all faeries. She decides they must have been a figment of her imagination whilst she was growing up. But then she saves the life of Roiben, a faerie knight that has an iron tipped arrow in his chest. For saving his life, he grants her three truthfully answered questions about anything she wants but she must choose wisely. She chooses for him to be in her debt for a bit longer. Her old friends, Spike and Lutie Loo warn her though about Roiben, claiming that he killed Gristle. She in turn tricks Roiben into telling her his full name, which yields power over the faeries.
She eventually finds out that she is a changeling. A changeling means that she is a green pixie who grew up in the place of a human named Kaye Fierch and that is not truly who she is. She is told that she must remain in her human form so that she can pretend to be human in so they can use her as the tithe. The tithe is a payment that is sacrifice of a beautiful mortal but since she isn’t one, they will be able to earn their freedom for 7 years by tricking those that own them. But she is kidnapped by some other faeries as planned and to go through with the ceremony. When the ceremony is nearly over, Kaye uses Roiben’s true name and orders him to free her before she is killed. She and Roiben flee to safety but now before causing a bloodbath. He kills the queen of the Unseelie court in the midst of this fight.
Eventually after seeing the effects of the faerie world is affecting the mortal world, Kaye and Roiben go to the mortal world to see her mortal friends. But things intertwine with the mortal and fae world and they must go back to the fae. On their way to the Seelie court, they find out that the knight Nephamael was the one that enchanted her mothers boyfriend into attempting to kill her mother and has proclaimed himself king of the Unseelie Court. This is not right. Nephamael has found out Roiben’s true name from Spike before killing him. sad. A fight ensues and Nephamael is killed. The Seelie Queen arrives and tries to claim the throne for herself but Roiben prevents her and claims the thrones as his.
Holly Black is truly the Queen of Fae! She makes me want to experience it all with the way that she writes. I cannot believe, the self-claimed fae lover that is I have not read this until now. I think that’s because Holly Black has always been low-key with this series and it wasn’t until the Folk of Air series gained hype that this one did too, or at least again. But as always, her writing is phenomenal and flows so well.
4 out of 5 stars.