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by Holly Black

Category: Fiction / Fantasy
310 pages; ISBN: 0689849249

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


For six years, Ellen accompanied by her daughter Kaye and the members of her band, Stepping Razor, tour seedy bars and worse joints in an attempt to become rock stars. However, everything suddenly collapses when Kaye, now sixteen, intercedes when another band member wields a knife towards the back of her mom. Ellen concludes this is a prudent time to go home so she and Kaye return to her mother’s New Jersey house where they used to live.

Near the Jersey shore, Kaye thinks she is finally gaining a bit of normalcy when she meets her childhood friend Janet. However, the wished upon ordinary vanishes with an encounter in the woods. Kaye rescues Roiben, a mysterious looking Knight and finds her fabrication of reality altered. Kaye learns that she is a changeling-and her childhood imaginary faerie playmates were not only real, but pushed her to pretend to be a human purebred. They want to sacrifice her to pay the TITHE in exchange for seven years of freedom.

Fans of dark fantasies will want to pay the TITHE in order to read a powerful, deep adult fairy tale. The story line is exciting and turns quite vivid when Kaye travels to the Unseelie Court. Fairies seem so real with interwoven items like a clear social structure adding layers to their existence. However, what makes Holly Black’s novel worth reading is the heroine who struggles with her new discoveries and her tribulations of keeping one foot in each realm.

Harriet Klausner


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