By Holly Black
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
Review: Kaye spent her entire life thinking she was just an ordinary teenager...if you cold call an only child of a rock-n-roll mother who travels from venue to venue, living in squalid apartments and hanging out in bars, an ordinary life. That all changes when her mother is attacked by her boyfriend/bandmate in a bar in Philly one night and it sends both Kaye and her mother back to Kaye's grandmothers' house in Jersey. After re-uniting with friends from her childhood, things start getting a little weird for Kaye. After a weird incident with a boy her best friend Janice is in love with, she runs into a man with ghost white hair and what appears to be armor covering him, but that armor hasn't stopped him from being gravely injured. This man is name Roiben, and he is a fairy knight. This doesn't shock her nearly as much as it should have, because she has been seeing faeries her entire life. Little did she know she was actually a faery herself, and one that was being used to end a long-standing oppression of the solitary Fae from the dark court, called the Unseelie Court. Led by a horrible Queen, they are as they are called, dark. They enjoy pain, blood and torture, and are amused by things that would make most humans squirm. This is the court that Roiben belongs too, but not by choice. After some awful events, Kaye does free these solitaries, but to what end?
I really liked Kaye as a character, she was strong, independent and smart. Her fae category is a pixie, but the most important part about her in regards to the story is that she is a changeling. Now, a changeling is defined in the book as a faery switched with a human child when they are very young, but it doesn't really give much more information about why, how or what that means for Kaye and it never really gets answered at all, hopefully in the next book it will. The other part about being a changeling that I thought was strange was that she took it really well, and when I say "really well" I mean SHE DIDN'T REACT AT ALL. I don't know if this makes her really strong or really dumb because I would be flipping out if I found all this out, but she doesn't even blink an eye. Don't get me wrong, I said I really like Kaye but I did want to smack or shake her at some point to maybe wake her up to what was going on in her life.
She also falls in love with Roiben and I couldn't be happier about this pairing. She is a kind, young and sorta giddy new faery and he is the old, honorable and stiff faery. They are like the ying and yang of a faery tale and I loved every minute they were together. He has to take orders from a sick Unseelie Queen, who makes him do horrible things, but he still maintains a sense of knighthood by being chivalrous yet unyielding. On the inside he hasn't let the Unseelie court break him, even after all these years, and having Kaye come into his life almost saves him from being broken, which was swoon worthy. Because of her bravery and whit, Kaye frees him but he in turn saves her life and we all know that is a Happily Ever After waiting to happen.
I can't deny that I love a good faery story and Tither did not disappoint. I think anybody could read this story and find something they enjoy about it. It has its' intense moments and some heart break, but a great book will take you on a roller coaster of emotions, and Tithe does this and more. - My Opinion: Buy!