Yes, so it is true. I am on a Holly Black kick!
After loving Valiant so much, of course I had to pick up Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale. With Sketchy Dave and Lollipop still hanging out in my head days after finishing the book, I couldn’t imagine reading anything else except some more Holly Black.
Much like Valiant, Tithe is dark and edgy – the main protagonist Kaye is sixteen and half Japanese, or so she thinks…her slanted eyes are blond hair are actually traits of pixie. She smokes like it’s going out of style, lives on coffee, doesn’t go to school, and lives with her alcoholic mother/rock band lead singer – Ellen.
There are some great supporting characters in this novel like Kenny, her best friend’s Janet’s boyfriend, who falls under Kaye’s pixie spell of lust. There are some unforgeable sexually charged scenes with Kenny throughout the book. Then there’s Corby – the all American tough guy (complete with job at gas station), who turns out to be gay, and quickly becomes attached to Kaye and her faerie persona (nicely done Ms. Black).
Tithe was was Holly’s first book and it was great in a lot of ways. One thing I did not find necessary was the prologue (although the prologue itself was amazing). I am nit picking here. I think after reading Mary Kole’s post on prologues and how they are a crutch for back story, I have to agree and have grown a definite aversion to them.
I can definitely see the difference between Tithe and Valiant. Tithe was Black’s first book, and although pretty amazingly written, with good plot/story/characters – her story in Valiant runs a little smoother and is just a little darker, edgier, and crossover than Tithe is. Just a tad. We are talking Holly Black here, and you guys know how I feel about her! Love her!
But I did want to point that out because as writers, I think it’s important to see how other writers evolve. It gives me, at least, a lot of hope with my own craft – knowing that I am getting better and better as I find myself more and more through my writing.
I give Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale nine magic wands out of a possible ten!