Author: Holly Black
Book: Tithe (Modern Faerie Tales #1)
Published: April 2004
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Kaye is a sixteen-year-old vagabond. Forced to live a nomadic life with her mother’s rock band, she grows into a stereotypical rebellious teen. When they are attacked on the road, they are forced back to Kaye’s grandmother’s New Jersey town. Amid the blue-collar backdrop, Kaye’s life is turned upside down when she saves a Faerie Knight from death. Kaye finds that she is not who she thinks she is. Worse, she finds herself becoming a pawn in an ancient power struggle between the Unseelie Court, the Seelie Court, and unaffiliated Faeries. Each faction has their own agenda. Kaye’s life hangs in the balance.
A common theme in some of the other reviews on Goodreads is that people either love or hate this story. On the plus side, I am always intrigued by modern renditions of the tale of Tam Lin. The elements of the old Childe ballad were there. The characters seemed real, and I found them intriguing.
In the minus column, Holly Black tried to make Kaye and her human friends gritty. The effort was unbalanced and often seemed over the top. The rebellious teenager was overdone. While the characters seemed real, I still had a hard time finding them sympathetic until I was almost halfway through the story. All in all, it was decent urban fantasy, well worth a read.