Tithe by Holly Black
A Modern Faerie Tale.
Simon & Schuster, 2002.
Urban Fantasy

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0-689-84924-9 / 310pgs.

A telling of the Tam Lin story.

Verse from poems and songs introduce each chapter.

An edgy moderne faerie tale about a changeling, now teenage girl, nomadic and independent and fierce, who gets caught up in an ancient battle between faerie kingdoms.


Kaye is a modern nomad. She is also a changeling. At sixteen and after her mom's continued failure as a rock star, she returns to her grandmother's house — where she grew up and where she used to have faerie friends as a child. After an awful night out with friends, Kaye discovers a beautiful man wounded nigh unto death. She saves him, and though warned to stay away from faerie folk in the future, all too soon she's caught up in an ancient battle between the Seelie and Unseelie faerie courts in New Jersey that could cost her her life.


Kaye Fierch — Asian blonde, changeling child
Janet Stone — Kaye's childhood friend
Cornelius (Corny) Stone — Janet's gay brother
Roiben — elven black knight of the Unseelie Court
Spike & Gristle — Kaye's faerie friends from when she was 9

Quotations from Chapter Headings

"Better to reign in Hell, then to serve in Heav'n." - Milton, Paradise Lost (Book 1) (15)

"All day and all night my desire for you unwinds like a poisonous snake." - Samar Sen, "Love" (4)

"Down the hill I went, and then, I forgot the ways of men for night-scents, heady, and damp and cool wakened ecstasy in me." - Sara Teasdale, "August Moonrise" (6)

"For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror we can just barely endure, and we admire it so because it calmly disdains to destroy us." - Rainer Maria Rilke, "The First Elegy" (8)

"For I have sworn thee fair, and thgouth thee bright, Who are as black as hell, as dark as night." - William Shakespeare, Sonnet CXLVII


Official Site Reviews

Sparking with angst, tripping in dark fantastic, woven with love lines, this sharp story is fast-moving and involving. - esme

Awards & Honors

Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
The New York Public Library's "Best 2002 Books for the Teenage"
YALSA's Teen Top Ten 2003
American Library Association's Best Books for Young Adults
Green Man Review's Best First Novel
Finalist Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children's Literature
Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults 2004

LC Cataloging Info

Summary: After returning home from a tour with her mother’s rock band, sixteen-year-old Kaye, who has been visited by faeries since childhood, discovers that she herself is a magical faerie creature with a special destiny.

{1. Supernatural - Fiction. 2. Fairies - Fiction. 3. Magic - Fiction. }

Offsite Pages

Holly's Tithe Page


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