From the first page of Holly Black's Tithe, the reader is assured that this is not a land full of friendly faeries with shimmering wings cavorting in a meadow. It's not for little girls dressing in pink and wearing tiaras. These faeries, they are dark. They've got a sacrifice to make, they are angry and they are devious.
But so is the girl who will lead us into their world. Kaye's been hopping about the country with her mother's rock band and has finally settled down (for the moment) with her grandmother in a rather bleak sounding New Jersey. She's spent some time there in the past, so she has a few friends to turn to, but she's not quite ready for what happens when the faeries she thought she grew out of return. Turns out she's the only one who can help them, but helping them will risk her life.
Dark, dark, dark. Smoking, stealing, swearing, drinking. None of that is anything when compared to the depravity of the faerie court. Now that's some scary stuff.
Also? Best outing ever.
"Yeah, the whole family knows. It's no big deal. One night at dinner I said, 'Mom, you know the forbidden love that Spock has for Kirk? Well, me too.' It was easier for her to understand that way" p 63 of the hardcover. hahaha
I love Corny (unfortunate name, though), I was pretty sad that the poor guy disappears for most of the story. I get it, though. Why. I can see how that character would make that decision. So that's really what matters.
Be sure to join the Reader Girlz chat with Holly Black tonight, at 7 pm PST, 10 pm EST. You'll have to have a MySpace account, but otherwise it's quite easy. You might even see me there. Although, I haven't read the other two books in the series, and I'll admit to some fear of spoilers...
If chatting with the author isn't enough, and you've blown through the sequels Valiant and Ironside and all the other Reader Girlz picks, do try Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr. Methinks you'll like it. Ach, then, if you are still hungry and in a vintage mood (hehe) perhaps pull up the unsanitized Grimm Fairy Tales... that'll help you sleep. (hey - It's better than zombie cupcakes!)