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Tithe by Holly Black review and another book haul

I am slightly obsessed with fairytales so as soon as I saw this book I had to have it. Holly Black is quite a well known author, but I have never read any of her work so I was excited to read Tithe. A WARNING though, this review will contain spoliers. The summary from Goodreads is as follows:

‘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 the sixteen-year-old 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.’

Now I find with books that I immediately either click or don’t really like the character. I immediately didn’t click with Kaye. I felt that she was too try hard – she smoked, she wore a leopard print coat she had rips up her tights. I guess it was meant to make the reader think she was cool, a free spirit who didn’t care about rules but to me it screamed adult writing what she thinks a teenage girl should be. She nearly cheats with her best friends boyfriend, and then doesn’t really seem to feel any guilt. It just seemed weird to me and I found myself not rooting for her.

I could tell from the beginning of the novel the basic plot. As soon as Kaye met Roiben it was clear that she would fall for him. I wasn’t suprised to find out that she was a fairy – the book had being building up to that since the start -she was special, had imaginary fairy friends when she was younger.

I think the thing that really really got to me about this book was the fact that the secondary characters were so underdeveloped I just didn’t care. When Kayes best friend died I didn’t bat an eyelid. When Corny (another friend) is kidnapped by a mad fairy I didn’t care. This was my main problem with the book. Kaye didn’t seem that bothered by the troubles or feelings of anyone else bar herself, so when the other characters were hurt I couldn’t relate to her. I didn’t have that connection with her to care about what was going on with her.

So why did I finish the book? Although I have just slammed it, I have to say it wasn’t all bad. Black’s attention to detail when making the fairy world – both in the Seelie and Unseelie Court – was extrodinary. The mythology was amazing and she certainly knows her stuff. I felt like I was there. Her writing style was good as well, almost poetic at some points. And I have to admit, I finished it in about two days – it was an easy read and perfect for younger teens who are slightly rebellious and looking for a hot guy. There are two more books in the trilogy and I think I will read them –  not for the plot and characters but for the settings. Tithe also had a very interesting concept – I love the idea, I just don’t think it was executed quite right.

At the moment I am halfway through Pyramids by Terry Pratchett so expect a review on that soon! I also accidentally stumbled into Waterstones on Saturday and brought way too many books, all of them Discworld.

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I brought:

Reaper Man, Goodreads summary follows:

‘In the eleventh Discworld novel, Death is missing – presumed . . . er . . . gone.
Which leads to the kind of chaos you always get when an important public service is withdrawn. Meanwhile, on a little farm far, far away, a tall dark stranger is turning out to be really good with a scythe. There’s a harvest to be gathered in.’

Witches Abroad (which I am really excited about – Granny Weatherwax is my favourite character!)

‘When Death takes her fairy godmother, Princess Emberella is left in the care of her other not-so-good-and-wise godmother. It’s up to the three witches–Magrat Garlick, Granny Weatherwax, and Nanny Ogg–to hop on their broomsticks and make for far-distant Genua to ensure the servant girl “doesn’t” marry the Prince. The 12th novel in the Discworld series.’ 

Small Gods:

‘The thirteenth Discworld novel — In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was: “Hey, you!”
For Brutha, the novice is the Chosen One. He wants peace and justice and brotherly love. He also wants the Inquisition to stop torturing him, now, please.’

Lords and Ladies:

‘The fairies are back, but this time they don’t just want your teeth . . . Granny Weatherwax and her tiny coven are up against real elves. There’s a full supporting cast of dwarfs, wizards, trolls, Morris dancers and one orangutan. It’s Midsummer Night — no time for dreaming. And lots of hey-nonny-nonny and blood all over the place.’

Men at Arms:

‘He’s now in charge of the new recruits guarding Ankh-Morpork, Discworld’s greatest city, from Barbarian Tribes, miscellaneous marauders and unlicensed thieves. It’s a big job–but an even bigger job awaits when an ancient document reveals that Ankh-Morpork has a secret sovereign’

Soul Music:

‘Soul Music is the 16th book in the bestselling Discworld series, with close ties to the fourth book, Mort.  Susan Sto Helit is rather bored at her boarding school in the city of Ankh-Morpork, which is just as well, since it seems that her family business–she is the granddaughter of Death–suddenly needs a new caretaker.’

Interesting Times:

‘The Discworld’s most inept wizard has been sent from Unseen University in Ankh-Morpork to the oppressive Agatean Empire to help some well-intentioned rebels overthrow the Emperor.
He’s assisted by toy-rabbit-wielding rebels, an army of terracotta warriors, a tax gatherer and a group of seven very elderly barbarian heroes lead by Cohen the Barbarian. Opposing him, though, is the evil and manipulative Lord Hong and his army of 750,000 men.
Oh?Rincewind is also aided by Twoflower – Discworld’s first tourist and the author of a subversive book, about his visit to Ankh-Morpork, which has inspired the rebels in their struggle for freedom.
The book is called “What I Did On My Holidays”.’ 

Maskerade:

‘There are strange goings-on at the Opera House in Ankh-Morpork.  A  ghost in a white mask is murdering, well, quite a lot of people, and two witches (it really isn’t wise to call them “meddling, interfering old baggages”), or perhaps three, take a hand in unraveling the mystery. Fans of the popular Discworld will be happy to see some old friends again in Maskerade, the 18th novel in the series’

And finally…Snuff. Which is the latest book published:

‘According to the writer of the best-selling crime novel ever to have been published in the city of Ankh-Morpork, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a policeman taking a holiday would barely have had time to open his suitcase before he finds his first corpse.
And Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch is on holiday in the pleasant and innocent countryside, but not for him a mere body in the wardrobe. There are many, many bodies and an ancient crime more terrible than murder.
He is out of his jurisdiction, out of his depth, out of bacon sandwiches, and occasionally snookered and out of his mind, but never out of guile. Where there is a crime there must be a finding, there must be a chase and there must be a punishment.
They say that in the end all sins are forgiven.
But not quite all…’ 

As you can see I went on a bit of a spree. Its funny though, how at the start of the year I decided to try The Colour of Magic and now I am hooked! I’m going to read a discworld book every other book though, so I’m not reading the entire series at once!

Hope you enjoyed the review and haul.

-Laura 🙂

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