Throwback Review: Modern Faerie Tales by Holly Black


I previously had a different book blog, and I had a bunch of problems with the hosting company I used for the blog, and all of my content was deleted.  I managed to salvage some of my reviews from back then by compiling what  I wrote on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes and Nobles review sections.  See some that I have already posted here.


Goodreads Summary:

Sixteen-year-old Kaye is a modern nomad. Fierce and independent, she travels from city to city with her mother’s rock band until an ominous attack forces Kaye back to her childhood home. There, amid the industrial, blue-collar New Jersey backdrop, Kaye soon finds herself an unwilling pawn in an ancient power struggle between two rival faerie kingdoms – a struggle that could very well mean her death.

My Thoughts:

Tithe is a book I loved back when I was in high school, and decided to re-read. It is a “modern faerie tale” about a teenager named Kaye. I love how this book (and the series) deals with the darker side of the world of faerie. The book is about a struggle between the seelie and unseelie court, and how Kaye is actually a faerie (who was switched for the human Kaye that was taken to live with the faeries.) I love how fae is this world of magical creatures and amazing things that you absolutely would want to go to and experience, even though it is really gritty, and dark, and torturous. A mix of beautiful and haunting, and Kaye personifies that as a “human”.
A lot of people don’t like this book because Kaye and her friends, drink, smoke, cuss, and have sex. I don’t know what sheltered world these people grew up in, because this faery tale is more realistic than their idea that teens don’t do any of that.

Fave quotes:

“Kaye: You know what the sun looks like?
Janet: No, What?
Kaye: Like he slit his wrists in a bathtub and the blood is all over the water.
Janet: That’s gross, Kaye.
Kaye: And the moon is just watching. She’s just watching him die. She must have driven him to it.”

“Crippled things are always more beautiful. It’s the flaw that brings out beauty.”

“You can break a thing, but you cannot always guide it afterward into the shape you want.”

“I thought weirdness was a good thing. I don’t mean that defensively, either. I thought it was something to be cultivated.”



Goodreads Summary:

When seventeen-year-old Valerie runs away to New York City, she’s trying to escape a life that has utterly betrayed her. Sporting a new identity, she takes up with a gang of squatters who live in the city’s labyrinthine subway system.

But there’s something eerily beguiling about Val’s new friends.
And when one talks Val into tracking down the lair of a mysterious creature with whom they are all involved, Val finds herself torn between her newfound affection for an honorable monster and her fear of what her new friends are becoming.

My Thoughts:

The first book was definitely better, but that doesn’t mean this book wasn’t good. Val is a runaway who lives on the streets, and eventually in a subway tunnel. She ends up having to work for a member of the Fae, who normally don’t live so close to iron. He makes glamor for the other Fae in the area, and Val and some other people that are indebted to him make his deliveries. The teens in the book get hooked on the glamor that they call Never. It seems a bit like LCD or some other hallucinogen.
Again, I hate how people are trashing this book, because of the content (sex, drugs, profanity), not the writing style, or the actual story. Not every book needs to be filled with role models, and if you are doing a good job parenting, a book about faeries isn’t going to ruin your children.

fave quotes:
“nothing can stop you from being terrible once you’ve learned how”

“She’d always been a little contemptuous of beauty, as though it was something you had to trade away some other vital thing for.”


Goodreads Summary:

In the realm of Faerie, the time has come for Roiben’s coronation. Uneasy in the midst of the malevolent Unseelie Court, pixie Kaye is sure of only one thing — her love for Roiben. But when Kaye, drunk on faerie wine, declares herself to Roiben, he sends her on a seemingly impossible quest. Now Kaye can’t see or speak to Roiben unless she can find the one thing she knows doesn’t exist: a faerie who can tell a lie.

Miserable and convinced she belongs nowhere, Kaye decides to tell her mother the truth — that she is a changeling left in place of the human daughter stolen long ago. Her mother’s shock and horror sends Kaye back to the world of Faerie to find her human counterpart and return her to Ironside. But once back in the faerie courts, Kaye finds herself a pawn in the games of Silarial, queen of the Seelie Court. Silarial wants Roiben’s throne, and she will use Kaye, and any means necessary, to get it. In this game of wits and weapons, can a pixie outplay a queen?

Holly Black spins a seductive tale at once achingly real and chillingly enchanted, set in a dangerous world where pleasure mingles with pain and nothing is exactly as it appears.

My Thoughts:

If you made it this far in the series, you should already be on board with the writing style, and the gritty characters, so I won’t bitch about other people’s reviews.
This book doesn’t shift you into a third set of people like I thought might happen after Valiant didn’t take place where Tithe left off. This book ties everything back together. Roiben is now king of the Unseelie Court, and war is imminent. Kaye wants to pledge her love to him, but is advised against it. Kaye being Kaye does it anyway, and her task is to find a Fae that can lie. This is impossible, and Kaye can’t see or speak to Roiben until it is completed. I love how Corny’s character really developed in this book also.

fave quotes:

“The more powerful you become, the more others will find ways to master you. They’ll do it through those you love and those you hate. They will find the bit and the bridle that fits your mouth and will make you yield. ”

“Life is like licking Honey from a Thorn”

“I thought you were her knight, but you have become only her woodsman–taking little girls into the forest to cut out their hearts.”




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