I came by owning this book quite accidentally. I bought Faerie Wars by Herbie Brennan, which also features a cover with a butterfly on it, and then at a closing sale for my hometown’s mall Borders, I bought what I thought were the sequels to that, but were of course Holly Black’s Tithe trilogy. And so I used my Borders Bucks and bought Tithe itself. I’d been meaning to anyway, I’d heard good things about it, and I generally like to see what the fuss is about when there is fuss.
Sadly, I can’t say that I enjoyed it. Well, that’s not exactly right. I enjoyed bits of it. The Faerie world in it was certainly attractive and mesmerizing… but the human world seemed… just plain off. Like Black was trying too hard to contrast the two, and had to up the harshness of the human world to an unrealistic level. Besides the main character, I simply didn’t buy that these kids were kids. They all seemed far too jaded, and a little caricature-ish. And everything in the Faerie world seems… oh a bit too awful. I mean, I never was the type who’d pretend faeries were supposed to be pretty, nice little things, but I’ve always felt that there had to be some niceness to them, otherwise why would people be so enamored with them? I’d think you’d get tired of the cruelty to the point that the physical beauty simply couldn’t make up for it.
There’s something particularly dark going on with one of the main character’s human friends, too, that I really just don’t even know if I want to see where it leads to. It can’t be anything good, at this rate, and again, what is the appeal of something that can’t lead to any good at all? As I already own the sequels, however, I will probably read them at some point. I don’t have a lot of hope that they’ll get better though.
I give this a disappointed B-… leaning towards a C+. Some people love it though… maybe one of you can tell me what I’m missing?