Thursday, May 1, 2008

Tithe : A Modern Faerie Tale - Holly Black

Holly Black's bio- and bibliography


Genre :
Young Adults - Fantasy

American publisher : Simon Pulse : 6,99$, 6,99£

Synopsis : Kaye is 16, she follows her mom Ellen and her rock band from town to town, and from pub to pub. After a show, Ellen's boyfriend tries to kill her with a knife, and this event will lead the mother and the daughter to the grand-mother's place, where Kaye grew up, and where she first met her faerie friends that everyone thought were imaginary.
When she comes back there, Kaye tries to call them, but no one answers. Then, one night as she was coming back from a meeting with her friends, she meets Roiben, a knight, who's hurt. Things begin to turn badly when she discovers he killed one of her faerie friends.
But things get much worse when she's told that she's one of them, a pixie, and that the fact she's a japanese with natural blond hair is all magic. She then understands that she's always been a panw in a field where two clans are opposed and struggle for power, and all this could mean she's going to die. But she'll have a surprising help from Roiben...

A passage that made me laugh a lot

"You owe me three questions."
He stiffened, but his face remained blank. "Very well."
Anger surged up in her, a bitter helpless feeling. "Why did you kill Gristle?"
"My mistress bade me do so. I have little choice in my obedience." Roiben tucked his long fingers into the pockets of the coat. He spoke matter-of-factly, as though he was bored by his own answers.
"Right," Kaye said. "So if she told you to jump off a bridge...?"
"Exactly." There was no irony in his tone. "Shall I consider that your second question?"
Kaye stopped and took a breath, her face filling with heat. She was angry that she was shaking.
" Why don't you...," she began, and stopped herself. She had to think. Anger was making her careless and stupid. She had one more question, and she was determined that she would use it to piss him off, if nothing else. She thought about the note she'd gotten in the acorn and the warning she'd been given. "What's your full name?"
He looked like he would choke on the air he breathed. "What?"
" That's my third question : What is your full name?"
She didn't know what she had done, not really. She only knew that she was forcing him to do something he didn't want to do, and that suited her fine.

Roiben's eyes darkened with fury. "Rath Roiben Rye, much may the knowledge please you."
Her eyes narrowed. "It's a nice name."
"You are too clever by half. Too clever for your own good, I think."
" Kiss my ass, Rath Roiben Rye."
He grabbed her by the arm before she even saw him move. She raised her hand to ward off the coming blow. He threw her forward. She shrieked. Her hand and knee connected hard with the stone floor. She looked up, half expecting to see the gleam of a sword, but instead he pulled her jeans hard at the waistband and pressed his mouoth against the exposed swell of her hip.
Time seemed to slow as she slipped on the slick floor, as he rose easily to his feet, as diner patrons stared, as Kenny struggled out from the booth.
Roiben stood over her. He spoke tonelessly. "That is the nature of servitude, Kaye. it is literal-minded and not at all clever. Be careful with your epithets."

What I think : I liked this book a lot. The story's nice, a young girl who falls in love with a faerie knight, and he's not really nice, at least in the beginning. Very beautiful, mysterious, I think even I couldn't have resisted. What I liked is that in the beginning we're just like Kaye, we think we knwo who are the good one and who are the bad ones but soon we find ourselves in a more complex situation, where it is quite difficult to know who we can trust.
Moreover, Kaye discovers that the last 16 years of her life were only lies, she's not human, she took someone's life.But all these years, she grew up as a human, she has thus human values, that faeries don't have.
We find in this book numerous references to the folklore of fairies and pixies. The only thing that could maybe shock some readers is the language sometimes quite rude. But it's a language used by most young adults and it doesn't affect the reading at all. There are a lot of funny passages, for example the one above, I was on the bus when I read it, and I really laughed, the others must have looked at me strangely;o)
I was just a little disappointed by end, which is to fast. Kaye is saved, Roiben becomes King, but what about after? What will Kaye become? Will she assume her pixie part or stay in her human family? Stay with Roiben? But when I looked for information about Holly Black I found out that there are two sequels, so I hope I will have some answers to my questions...

1 comment:

heather (errantdreams) said...

I definitely have this one on my wishlist. One of these days I need to get around to reading it!