I often find myself reading books that were published a while ago, but I never got to read them. It always feels strange reviewing these books, because often the hype surrounding them came and went. However, I think it is useful to still review these books, because maybe other people will find them who haven't read them yet. And so, I am starting a weekly feature on my blog entitled "Belated Books" where I will do just this- review the books that I somehow missed.
The first book I have chosen is Tithe by Holly Black. This is the first book in the Modern Faerie Tales trilogy (book 2 is Valiant and book 3 is Ironside). Tithe was first published in 2002. I chose to read this book because Cassandra Clare fans are always talking about Holly Black, and I hadn't read anything by her. My BFF MRT recommended that I start with The Modern Faerie Tales, so I requested a copy from the library.
Tithe is a very dark urban fantasy tale about a young teenage girl who has spent her childhood traveling with a dysfunctional mother pursuing a singing career. Kaye is very mature and somewhat jaded as she has had to care for her mother, helping her when drunk, etc. When Kaye's mother is almost killed by strange attack, they move to her grandmother's house where Kaye lived as a child. Kaye is clearly, from the beginning, not an ordinary teenage girl, and we hear about strange imaginary friends that she had as a child. When Kaye rescues a handsome, otherworldly knight in the woods while walking home, a series of events follows that quickly spiral out of her control.
As I said before, this is a super-dark story. I had trouble with the first few chapters because I wanted to clean the whole time. I wanted to pick up the trash on the ground. I wanted to clean Kaye's room. I wanted to scrub her hair, and most of all, I wanted to wash her clothes. Once I got past the grime, I really enjoyed the story. Although I could never live such an edgy, grungy life, it was fun to experience. The scary and sometimes grotesque imagery made the story reminiscent of a freak show at times.
I have to say that I really do not like Corny. He is just a little bit to grody for me. Again, please take a shower. He did add a great element to the story, and I like that he is an unlikely male supporting character because of his... pathetic-ness, but ew. I would like to make him wash his hands.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for something to try in between CC books- it's very different from anything that I have read before. I give it 4 stars and look forward to reading book 2.
Visit Holly Black's website to read an excerpt!