1. Tithe (2002)

1. Tithe (2002)

2 Valiant (2005)

2 Valiant (2005)

3. Ironside (2007)

3. Ironside (2007)

Modern Tale of Faerie or Modern Faerie Tales by Holly Black

Genres and Sub-GenresEdit

Young Adult Urban Fantasy

NOTE: This series is centered around teens and targetd for teens to read. However, this is a series that transcends that boundary to be readable and highly enjoyed by all ages. 

Brief Series Description or Overview Edit

Groups of angst-filled teens get mixed up with faeries and their politics—and all the dangers and wonders that come with faeries. 

What Sets it ApartEdit

Dark and gritty faerie story for teens, young adults, adults of all ages. Faeries are scary!

Narrative Type and Narrators Edit

Books in Series Edit

Modern Tale of Faerie or Modern Faerie Tales series

  1. Tithe (2002)
  2. Valiant (2005)
  3. Ironside (2007) ~ Final

World Building Edit


  • New Jersey
  • New York City


  • Central Park
  • Hart Island

Supernatural Elements Edit

✥ Faeries, kelpies, changelings, 


  • Kelpie: dangerous water horse and one of the Solitary Fey
  • Solitary Fey:

Groups & Organizations:

World Edit

In this world, Faeries are real but hidden from humans.

Protagonist Edit

Kaye: (books one and three) Kaye is tough and street-smart. As a child, she had three faerie friends-Spike, Lutie, and Gristle, and was also acquainted with the Thistlewitch. Since then she moved to a more urban part of the state with her mother, a musician, traveling from city to city with the rock band.

Val: (book two) runs away from home to New York City and falls in with some homeless teens and gets entangled with dangerous faeries;

Sidekick Edit

✥ "Corny", Cornelius Stone — sidekick to Kaye — anime geek, distrusts faeries — first seen in Tithe, Modern Tale of Faerie

Characters Edit

Tithe Cast — Book One
Characters What About
Kaye teenage girl Book 1 Protagonist; tough, street-smart; moved to the city with mom, a musician; she had three faerie friends-Spike, Lutie, and Gristle as a child,;
Janet Kaye's friend Janet is Kaye's friend that she has had since she was young. She favors strange, off-the-wall clothes, and is skeptical of Kaye's mental health due to her strange stories.
Roiben powerful faerie in service to the Unseelie Queen; skilled in fighting & riddles; witty, often biting remarks; sed to the proper way of faerie courts speaking, adopt a more modern way of speaking; Later found out that he and Nephamael were participants in a trade between the Queens;
Cornelius Stone, "Corny" Janet's brother friend of Kaye's; doesn't seem to fit in anywhere; reads manga, watches anime and Star Trek movies all day; when a situation comes up that seems interesting he jumps in to help; Openly gay;
Ellen Kaye's mother dysfunctional, immature; spends all of her time playing with various bands leaving Kaye to mostly fend for herself.
Kenny mortal Janet's boyfriend
Marcus mortal Kenny's friend
Doughboy mortal Kenny's friend
Spike faerie Kaye's friend from childhood
Lutie-Loo faerie Kaye's friend from childhood; only a few inches high with cornsilk hair and wings the classic 'Tinkerbell'.
Gristle faerie Kaye's friend from childhood
Lloyd mortal Ellen's boyfriend
Thistlewitch Witch
Nicneven Faerie Queen Queen of the Unseelie Court
Silarial Faerie Queen Queen of the Seelie Court
Ethine faerie Roiben's sister
Nephamael faerie sadistic, witty, cunning, powerful; in service to the Seelie queen, though cares more for the Unseelie queen; prefers men; likes tormenting Roiben; glowing yellow eyes; wears a clock with thorns & an iron circlet on his brow.
Fatima a friend of Kaye.
Liz band leader Friend of Kaye and the leader of one of ellen's ex-bands.

To expand the table, in Edit–Visual mode, right-press on a Row of the table or Column (Control-press on a Mac)—choose add Row or Column.

/valiant CharactersEdit

Valiant Cast — Book Two
Characters What About
Val teen runaway The protagonist who runs away from home to New York City and falls in with some homeless teens.
Ruth Val's best friend.
Lolli homeless teens One of the homeless teens Val meets.
Ravus troll A troll whom Luis and Dave do errands for; He makes potions for the fey so they can live amongst the iron and chemicals in the city; Val falls in love with him;
Tom Val's ex-boyfriend she found out he was cheating on her with her mother.
Jen high school girl A girl in Val's school who insults Ruth.
Mabry goat-hooved fae live in NYC; half-goat fey who is responsible for the death of Ravus' friend. She is in exile from the Seelie court; spy for both courts;
Dave Luis's younger brother
Luis Dave's older brother He has the Sight which enables him to see faeries.

To expand the table, in Edit–Visual mode, right-press on a Row of the table or Column (Control-press on a Mac)—choose add Row or Column.

Ironside CharactersEdit

Ironside Cast — Book Three
Characters What About
Kaye changeling pixie protagonist from book one;
Roiben Faerie Lord Lord of the Unseelie Court; from book one;
'Corny', Cornelius Stone Kaye's mortal best friend openly gay; antagonistic toward fairies.
Luis mortal teen Dave's older brother; crush on Corny
Silarial Faerie Queen Queen of the Seelie Court;
Ethine faerie Roiben's sister
Adair faerie knight of the Seelie Court; Curses Corny;
Talathain faerie knight Knight of the Seelie Co
Dave mortal teen Luis's younger brother.
Ellen mortal Kaye's Mom
Janet Stone mortal deceased; Kaye's old friend; killed by a Kelpie
Sorrowsap faerie from the Unseelie Court. Instructed by Roiben to guard Kaye.
Nephamael faerie knight Originally a Knight for the Unseelie Court, traded for peace to the Seelie court in exchange for Roiban.
Neil Corny A nickname Corny gives in lieu of his own name.

To expand the table, in Edit–Visual mode, right-press on a Row of the table or Column (Control-press on a Mac)—choose add Row or Column.

Author Edit

Holly Black

Cover ArtistEdit

Artist—Bk-1, Tithe:

  • Unknown (Oct 2002)
  • Greg Spalenka (Feb 2003)
  • Sammy Yuen, Jr. (April 2004) & (July 2006)
  • Nick Stearn (2009, British)
  • Howard Pyle (I) (2010) Omnibus, eBook (with Russell Gordon & Sammy Yuen, Jr.)

Artist—Bk-2, Valliant:

  • Sammy Yuen, Jr. (Jun & Sep 05), (Jan, Jul & Oct 06), (May 07)
  • Howard Pyle (I) (2010)— Omnibus, eBook

Artist—Bk-3, Ironside:

  • Sammy Yuen, Jr. ()May 2007
  • Sarah Coleman, Paul Young (2008 UK)
  • Howard Pyle (I) (2010) Omnibus, eBook

Publishing InformationEdit

Book Cover Blurbs Edit

BOOK ONE—Tithe (2002): 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. ~ Goodreads | Tithe (Modern Faerie Tales, #1) by Holly Black

BOOK TWO—Valiant (2005): 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. ~ Goodreads | Valiant (Modern Faerie Tales, #2) by Holly Black

BOOK THREE—Ironside (2007): 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. ~ Goodreads | Ironside (Modern Faerie Tales, #3)

First Sentences Edit

  1. Tithe (2002) — Kaye took another drag on her cigarette and dropped it into her mother's beer bottle.
  2. Valiant (2005) — The tree woman choked on poison, the slow sap of her blood burning.
  3. Ironside (2007) — Human girls cry when they're sad and laugh when they're happy.

Quotes Edit

Read Alikes (suggestions) Edit


  1.  Tithe
  • 2003 Mythopoeic Award - Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children's Literature (Nomination)
  • 2008 Mythopoeic Award - Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children's Literature (Nomination)
  1. Valliant:
  • 2006 Andre Norton Award - Andre Norton Award (Win)
  • 2006 Mythopoeic Award - Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children's Literature (Nomination)
  • 2006 Locus Poll Award - Best Young Adult Book (Place: 4)
  • 2008 Mythopoeic Award - Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children's Literature (Nomination)
  1. Ironside:
  • 2008 Mythopoeic Award - Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children's Literature (Nomination)
  • 2008 Locus Poll Award - Best Young Adult Book (Place: 6)

Trivia Edit

Notes Edit

See Also Edit

Category links at bottom of page

External References Edit



World, Characters, etc:



Community and Fan Sites:

Gallery of Book Covers Edit