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From the cover:


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.



From Booklist
Finding your place in the world is no picnic at the best of times, but pixie changeling Kaye finds it tougher than most. And no wonder: her boyfriend has been crowned king of the Unseelie Court and her best friend suffers from a faery’s curse.
In this follow-up to Black’s previous two books about the urban fey, Kaye and her gay friend Corny (from Tithe, 2003) meet brothers Luis and Dave (from Valiant, 2005), and the teens are caught in the middle of a clash between the rival faery courts.
As characters struggle to shape their identities, quintessential coming-of-age themes are as skillfully interwoven as in the earlier adventures, as are seductive contradictions: faeries who cannot lie nonetheless find ways to connive and betray, loyalty and love are wielded as weapons, and ethereal beauty often masks cruelty of the ugliest sort.
The chilling game of wits culminates in a satisfying conclusion to this dark, edgy fantasy, a must-purchase for Black’s many devoted fans. Rutan, Lynn
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved - This text refers to the      Hardcover edition.
From Me:I bought and read the three books in this series, Tithe, Valiant & Ironside, in the wrong order but without caring. I was hooked. In fact, I read Tithe when it was first published and was struck by its power then. But I forgot about it in the intervening years (it may have been only three, but to a compulsive reader like me that is a very long time!)
I actually read this before I read Ironside, but that wasn’t too much of a problem.
Found the teenage love angst a bit much to bear (maybe because I am 55 now, so those days are long gone!); otherwise an excellent read.
Highly recommend all three books.
Gonna have to go investigate Spiderwick now…
Holly Black’s site
Publisher’s site, with a link to read Chapter One and Chapter 2

From the cover:

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.

From Booklist

Finding your place in the world is no picnic at the best of times, but pixie changeling Kaye finds it tougher than most. And no wonder: her boyfriend has been crowned king of the Unseelie Court and her best friend suffers from a faery’s curse.
In this follow-up to Black’s previous two books about the urban fey, Kaye and her gay friend Corny (from Tithe, 2003) meet brothers Luis and Dave (from Valiant, 2005), and the teens are caught in the middle of a clash between the rival faery courts.
As characters struggle to shape their identities, quintessential coming-of-age themes are as skillfully interwoven as in the earlier adventures, as are seductive contradictions: faeries who cannot lie nonetheless find ways to connive and betray, loyalty and love are wielded as weapons, and ethereal beauty often masks cruelty of the ugliest sort.
The chilling game of wits culminates in a satisfying conclusion to this dark, edgy fantasy, a must-purchase for Black’s many devoted fans. Rutan, Lynn
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved - This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Me:
I bought and read the three books in this series, Tithe, Valiant & Ironside, in the wrong order but without caring. I was hooked. In fact, I read Tithe when it was first published and was struck by its power then. But I forgot about it in the intervening years (it may have been only three, but to a compulsive reader like me that is a very long time!)

I actually read this before I read Ironside, but that wasn’t too much of a problem.

Found the teenage love angst a bit much to bear (maybe because I am 55 now, so those days are long gone!); otherwise an excellent read.

Highly recommend all three books.

Gonna have to go investigate Spiderwick now…

Holly Black’s site

Publisher’s site, with a link to read Chapter One and Chapter 2

From the Cover:

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.

From Booklist
An exile from the Seelie court, the hunky, sensitive troll Ravus resides in a secret laboratory inside the Manhattan Bridge, ministers to other city-dwelling faeries with healing potions, and has exotic golden eyes and jutting fangs.
Runaway Val meets the troll through a trio of homeless teens, runners in Ravus’ potion-distribution network. They introduce Val to subway squatting, Dumpster diving, and “Never” - the drug faeries use to protect themselves from iron, but which affects humans like heroin.
A twisted Agatha Christie-style plot unfolds as faery partakers of Never begin to expire, and Ravus is accused of murder; Val’s feelings for the troll prompt her to clean up her act and investigate the true poisoner. As in Black’s companion novel Tithe (2004), the plot matters far less than the exotic, sexy undercurrents (including a scene where Val overhears teens having sex), the deliciously overripe writing, and the intoxicating, urban-gothic setting, where “everything was strange and beautiful and swollen with possibilities.” Jennifer Mattson, Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved. This text refers to the      Hardcover edition.

From Me:I bought and read the three books in this series, Tithe, Valiant & Ironside, in the wrong order but without caring. I was hooked. In fact, I read Tithe when it was first published and was struck by its power then. But I forgot about it in the intervening years (it may have been only three, but to a compulsive reader like me that is a very long time!)
Valiant is more grown up than Tithe, with a darker sub plot and a (not very tender) love story unfolding. The sections dealing with the runaways, and how they lived, were realistic and scary; even more so than the faerie themselves!
Highly recommend all three books.
Gonna have to go investigate Spiderwick now…
Holly Black’s site
Publisher’s site, with a link to read The Prologue and Chapter One

From the Cover:

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.

From Booklist

An exile from the Seelie court, the hunky, sensitive troll Ravus resides in a secret laboratory inside the Manhattan Bridge, ministers to other city-dwelling faeries with healing potions, and has exotic golden eyes and jutting fangs.
Runaway Val meets the troll through a trio of homeless teens, runners in Ravus’ potion-distribution network. They introduce Val to subway squatting, Dumpster diving, and “Never” - the drug faeries use to protect themselves from iron, but which affects humans like heroin.
A twisted Agatha Christie-style plot unfolds as faery partakers of Never begin to expire, and Ravus is accused of murder; Val’s feelings for the troll prompt her to clean up her act and investigate the true poisoner. As in Black’s companion novel Tithe (2004), the plot matters far less than the exotic, sexy undercurrents (including a scene where Val overhears teens having sex), the deliciously overripe writing, and the intoxicating, urban-gothic setting, where “everything was strange and beautiful and swollen with possibilities.” Jennifer Mattson, Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved. This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Me:
I bought and read the three books in this series, Tithe, Valiant & Ironside, in the wrong order but without caring. I was hooked. In fact, I read Tithe when it was first published and was struck by its power then. But I forgot about it in the intervening years (it may have been only three, but to a compulsive reader like me that is a very long time!)

Valiant is more grown up than Tithe, with a darker sub plot and a (not very tender) love story unfolding. The sections dealing with the runaways, and how they lived, were realistic and scary; even more so than the faerie themselves!

Highly recommend all three books.

Gonna have to go investigate Spiderwick now…

Holly Black’s site

Publisher’s site, with a link to read The Prologue and Chapter One

From the Cover:

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.

From Publishers Weekly:
Tripping the dark fantastic with newcomer Black means pixie dust may very well include blood spatter, sharp thorns and bits of broken glass.
At the center of this edgy novel is Kaye Fierch, a 16-year-old “Asian blonde” who spends most of her time taking care of her would-be rock star mom. When her mom’s latest boyfriend turns homicidal, they return to Gram’s house at the New Jersey shore, where Kaye hooks up with childhood friend Janet and her gay brother, Corny Stone.
Stark images ripple through the third-person narrative, offering clues to Kaye’s internal state (e.g., “She loved the serene brutality of the ocean”). A covert sexual overture from Janet’s boyfriend precedes Kaye’s nighttime encounter at the edge of the woods, where she meets and rescues Roiben, a mysterious Black Knight with silver hair.
Throughout, the author subtly connects Kaye’s awakening sexual feelings in the real world and Roiben’s sudden appearances. Kaye soon discovers that she is a changeling-and that her one-time “imaginary” faerie playmates want her to pretend to be a human, so they can use her as the Tithe (“the sacrifice of a beautiful and talented mortal”) to earn their freedom for seven years. The author’s Bosch-like descriptions of the Unseelie Court, with its Rackham-on-acid denizens, and the exquisite faeries haunt as well as charm. When fate intervenes, sudden tragedy teaches Kaye about the high cost of straddling the faerie and human worlds (and sets the stage for a possible sequel). A gripping read. Ages 12-up.
From Me:I bought and read the three books in this series, Tithe, Valiant & Ironside, in the wrong order but without caring. I was hooked. In fact, I read Tithe when it was first published and was struck by its power then. But I forgot about it in the intervening years (it may have been only three, but to a compulsive reader like me that is a very long time!)
Highly recommend all three books.
Gonna have to go investigate Spiderwick now…
Holly Black’s site
Publisher’s site, with a link to read Chapter One and Chapter 2

From the Cover:

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.

From Publishers Weekly:

Tripping the dark fantastic with newcomer Black means pixie dust may very well include blood spatter, sharp thorns and bits of broken glass.
At the center of this edgy novel is Kaye Fierch, a 16-year-old “Asian blonde” who spends most of her time taking care of her would-be rock star mom. When her mom’s latest boyfriend turns homicidal, they return to Gram’s house at the New Jersey shore, where Kaye hooks up with childhood friend Janet and her gay brother, Corny Stone.
Stark images ripple through the third-person narrative, offering clues to Kaye’s internal state (e.g., “She loved the serene brutality of the ocean”). A covert sexual overture from Janet’s boyfriend precedes Kaye’s nighttime encounter at the edge of the woods, where she meets and rescues Roiben, a mysterious Black Knight with silver hair.
Throughout, the author subtly connects Kaye’s awakening sexual feelings in the real world and Roiben’s sudden appearances. Kaye soon discovers that she is a changeling-and that her one-time “imaginary” faerie playmates want her to pretend to be a human, so they can use her as the Tithe (“the sacrifice of a beautiful and talented mortal”) to earn their freedom for seven years. The author’s Bosch-like descriptions of the Unseelie Court, with its Rackham-on-acid denizens, and the exquisite faeries haunt as well as charm. When fate intervenes, sudden tragedy teaches Kaye about the high cost of straddling the faerie and human worlds (and sets the stage for a possible sequel). A gripping read. Ages 12-up.

From Me:
I bought and read the three books in this series, Tithe, Valiant & Ironside, in the wrong order but without caring. I was hooked. In fact, I read Tithe when it was first published and was struck by its power then. But I forgot about it in the intervening years (it may have been only three, but to a compulsive reader like me that is a very long time!)

Highly recommend all three books.

Gonna have to go investigate Spiderwick now…

Holly Black’s site

Publisher’s site, with a link to read Chapter One and Chapter 2