Tithe by Holly BlackRobin: Tithe, the first of the Modern Faerie Tales series, is about a pixie who was changed for a girl-child and has grown up under a heavy glamour, believing herself to be human. Her human name is Kaye. When very young, she had faerie friends – thought by her mother and classmates to be imaginary: the hobs Gristle and Spike, the tiny winged Lutie-loo and the mysterious Thistlewitch. She moved from New Jersey to Philadelphia when she was ten, and they were half-forgotten. Now, at sixteen, she returns to her grandmother’s house, wondering if she will still find the old magic.

The first of the faerie Kaye meets is the wounded white-haired faerie knight Roiben. She wins his regard, though their friendship is not an easy one. The Thistlewitch warns her he is dangerous while also revealing the secret of her changeling origins. “It is rarely that we leave one of our own behind, but when we do, the child’s fey nature becomes harder and harder to conceal as it grows. In the end, they all return to Faery.” Kaye finds this an alarming idea, as she is attached to her human life. But she is fascinated too by the revelation of her pixie self: green-skinned, winged, with heightened senses and the ability to cast a glamour.

The “tithe” of the title is a blood sacrifice which is intended to bind the solitary fey to the Unseelie Court for the next seven years, affecting the balance of power. However, the Seelie Queen has her own plans. Kaye is drawn into the Seelie plot, unaware of the true cost to herself and the real danger to the humans she values.

The companion novel to Tithe is Valiant, set in New York City around the same time. Ironside concludes the series.

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