Tithe 12: Driving a Wedge

-This is why I wanted more details – what, exactly, did they hate about the swearing fealty to the Court when freedom has led to chaos
-Did she and Roiben make any plans to help Corny? Where is he now?
-Killing Janet: more about the divide between Kaye and the fae than anything

We’re coming to the end of Tithe, and now that the main event’s over, where to we go from here?

To a rave, apparently.

Kaye needs to find Nephamael to save Corny, assuming that the latter is still alive. But it seems like she’s not in any hurry to get back to the Unseelie Court. Considering the mess she and Roiben left it in, I can’t say I blame her. She finds her fae friends: Spike, Lutie-Loo, and the Thistlewitch, looking to them for some guidance. Rather than getting any kind of wisdom from them, she discovers them celebrating the uncompleted Tithe and their newfound freedom, and a surprising degree of callousness.

‘I have no desire to be welcome among you, old mother,’ Roiben said, kneeling down on one knee in the soft earth. ‘I only wanted to know whether you were aware of the price of your freedom. There are trolls and worse that are delighted to be without any master but their own desires.’

‘And if there are, what of it?’ Spike asked, coming up from behind them. ‘Let the mortals suffer as we have suffered.’ [. . .]

‘So it’s us against them now? I’m not talking about the Unseelie Court, here. Since when are mortals the enemies of the solitary fey?’ Kaye said, anger bleeding into her voice again, making it rough.

Kaye’s exchange with Spike sums up the main conflict of this chapter, and her new inner struggle. She’s not worried about enchanting Janet’s boyfriend or being “weird” anymore. She’s a faerie who spent her whole life believing that she was human, and has no idea how to live as part of the fae world. She thought that this was going to be simple, and is only now coming to realize the trouble she’s caused, and how deep in she really is.

This point is further driven home at the end of the chapter, but I’m getting ahead of myself now.

As I mentioned in another post, one of the things that bugged me was that the rules for why the Tithe happened and why the solitary fey would submit to the Unseelie Court was never really explained beyond obscure faerie rules.  I really wish there was more backstory again, because the faeries are all pretty happy about being free. So why would they ever submit to the Tithe in the first place? Was there every any kind of resistance in the past, or attempts to stop the ritual similar to this one? I know I won’t get answers to these questions, nor do they come up in either of Tithe‘s sequels. I just wish there was something more than “because plot demands it”.

The meeting with the other fae at least gives Kaye some direction of what to do next, when she learns that the Seelie Queen will be coming to the area. They’re most likely to find Nephamael – and, with him, Corny – in the Seelie Queen’s court. Kaye realizes that her friends have no interest in setting things right or finding Corny, and that the only person she has to rely on is Roiben.

 

 

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