I have an old battered copy of Tithe - a copy so old it took some digging to find even a passable photo of the cover. I've read it at least three times now and it's definitely an old favourite of mine. I've never reviewed it before though, and I do think that I was reading this for the first time I would probably rate it lower than I have (like a 4 maybe), so this review is completely biased and you can judge me all you like for that.
I love the fairy concept. I usually avoid books with fairies in them, finding the idea cheesy but in Tithe they're dark, scary and downright brutal. There are a lot of references to Chess too, chess boards being used, Kaye's mentioned as being a pawn in the description and the Seelie and Unseelie court essentially being the White an Black sides respectively.
I last read this at least five years ago and I did notice some things that I wasn't as okay with as I was before - how Violent Roibin could be to Kaye for example. However, it's a bit of a grey area as he was literally forced to, due to his name being used. Fairies *sigh*. The pace was very quick, almost too quite and one character in particular I wanted to get to know more about.
It does have it's rough patches (remember that this is Holly's first novel) but the story overall is very strong and very unique. It's one of the only stories that's really stuck with me over the years and I was happy to sit down and re-read it again. I have not read it's sequels yet, so I'm looking forward to reading more about that world.