Book Review | The Modern Faerie Tales by Holly Black

Image result for The Modern Faerie Tales: Tithe; Valiant; Ironside

Tithe (The Modern Faerie Tales, #1)

Author: Holly Black // Published: October 2002


Image result for the modern faerie tales

Welcome to the realm of very scary faeries!

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.



“If curiosity killed the cat, it was satisfaction that brought it back.”


I first discovered Holly Black’s books when I read The Cruel Prince. I loved it so much I made it a goal to read all her books, and this one was next on my list. The first thing I thought when I read this was that I loved how strange it was!

Despite the book being strange you can literally read these in one sitting. The story is addicting and everything just happens so quickly that you don’t even realize that you’ve finished the book until you’ve closed the book. The Fae world is wicked as always and I love how classic the Fae narrative is. Holly Black sticks to myth and all the Fae stories you usually read about. I honestly wish I had read these books when I was a teenager. I feel like it would have fit the vibe I was in back then a lot more. Roiben is a complete sweetheart I honestly loved him. And following Kaye’s story was so twisted and strange but I enjoyed every minute of this. There were obviously some problematic aspects (which I can’t quite remember now since this review is long overdue) but most of the books back then did.


Valiant (The Modern Faerie Tales, #2)

Author: Holly Black // Published: June 2005


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When seventeen-year-old Valerie runs away to New York City, she’s trying to escape a life that has utterly betrayed her. Sporting a new identity, she takes up with a gang of squatters who live in the city’s labyrinthine subway system.

But there’s something eerily beguiling about Val’s new friends. And when one talks Val into tracking down the lair of a mysterious creature with whom they are all involved, Val finds herself torn between her newfound affection for an honorable monster and her fear of what her new friends are becoming.


“It’s the flaw that brings out the beauty.”


Okay, I was so surprised when I picked this one up and found out that it wasn’t about Kaye. I honestly didn’t even read the synopsis because I wanted to go into it surprised but still, I assumed it would follow the characters from Tithe.

Book two was just as weird as the first one (possible weirder) with a lot of questioning situations to be honest. In this one we follow Val and all the strange events that she goes through. Another girl who meets the Faerie realm and its inhabitants. Ravus was also a complete sweetheart! I mean I never thought I’d say this about a troll but it is what it is. This whole book was a whirlwind of the strangest kind and even though I read it in one sitting I didn’t love it as much as I did the first one. The characters were at a level of annoying. The only really liked Val (even though she did make some really dumb choices at times) and of course Ravus because he was different.


 Ironside (The Modern Faerie Tales, #3)

Author: Holly Black // Published: April 2007


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In the realm of Faerie, the time has come for Roiben’s coronation. Uneasy in the midst of the malevolent Unseelie Court, pixie Kaye is sure of only one thing — her love for Roiben. But when Kaye, drunk on faerie wine, declares herself to Roiben, he sends her on a seemingly impossible quest. Now Kaye can’t see or speak to Roiben unless she can find the one thing she knows doesn’t exist: a faerie who can tell a lie.

Miserable and convinced she belongs nowhere, Kaye decides to tell her mother the truth — that she is a changeling left in place of the human daughter stolen long ago. Her mother’s shock and horror sends Kaye back to the world of Faerie to find her human counterpart and return her to Ironside. But once back in the faerie courts, Kaye finds herself a pawn in the games of Silarial, queen of the Seelie Court. Silarial wants Roiben’s throne, and she will use Kaye, and any means necessary, to get it. In this game of wits and weapons, can a pixie outplay a queen?

Holly Black spins a seductive tale at once achingly real and chillingly enchanted, set in a dangerous world where pleasure mingles with pain and nothing is exactly as it appears.


“The more powerful you become, the more others will find ways to master you. They’ll do it through those you love and those you hate. They will find the bit and the bridle that fits your mouth and will make you yield. ”


In book three we go back to following Kaye (like in book one). I liked that we got to see some of the characters from the previous two books. I mostly loved seeing Kaye and Corny deal with the events from book 1 and this one. I felt like it was more in depth than what happened in book one. To me this one was a lot more suspenseful than the first one. It was a really crazy adventure and I enjoyed it so much more than Valiant. Everything happened so fast and I didn’t even have the ability to put the book down.


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Have you read this series?

3 thoughts on “Book Review | The Modern Faerie Tales by Holly Black

  1. I absolutely love Holly Black’s Folk of the Air series so I’ve been curious about these stories for a while but knew hardly anything about them. They definitely sound interesting and like books I’ll pick up when I need a Fae fix! Great reviews

    Liked by 1 person

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