The Modern Tales of Faerie is an UrbanFantasy trilogy by HollyBlack, including the books ''Tithe'', ''Valiant'' and ''Ironside''.

''Tithe'' begins with Kaye Fierch returning to her childhood home of New Jersey after her rocker mother's boyfriend attempts to stab her mother after a gig. Once home, Kaye tries to reconnect with some of her old childhood friends--including some of her "imaginary" ones, a trio of [[TheFairFolk faeries]]. While she's no stranger to the Fair Folk, she stumbles into the dangerous faerie courts when she meets a completely different faerie, Roiben, a knight from the Unseelie Court.

''Valiant'' introduces a new protagonist: the {{Tomboy}} runaway Valerie Russell. She runs to New York and gets caught up with teen vagrants Lolli, Dave, and Luis. Her new friends are hardly normal, and are in fact couriers to a fae named Ravus, a troll that literally lives under a bridge and who makes a special drug for the exiled fae that eases the iron sickness.

''Ironside'' is a sequel to ''Tithe'', and returns to Kaye as the protagonist. Roiben is soon to be crowned King of the Unseelie Court. Kaye drunkenly swears her love to Roiben during his coronation, and is consequently forbidden from seeing him until she finds the impossible: a faerie who can tell a lie. At the same time, guilt from being a changeling causes her to expose the truth to her mother and find her mother's true child, somewhere in the Seelie Courts. While there, she gets caught up in the Summer Queen's plans to take over the Unseelie Court, and must find a way to save both herself and Roiben.

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!!This series provides examples of:
* AccidentalMurder: Ravus accidentaly killed Tamson in a duel, which is the reason that he was exiled from the Seelie Court. [[spoiler:However, it turns out that Mabry had weakened Tamson's armor prior to the duel because Tamson knew that [[DoubleAgent she was working for The Unseelie Court]].]]
* AddictionPowered: The faerie magic that comes from taking Never.
* AlcoholInducedIdiocy: Kaye gets a little too drunk on faerie wine in ''Ironside'' and swears her fealty to Roiben--although she knows from the first book that doing this in the faerie courts is absolutely dangerous.
* AllTrollsAreDifferent: Trolls are slightly larger and much uglier than most faeries, with greenish skin, protruding teeth, and black-and-gold eyes. They turn to stone in sunlight, but will recover when no longer exposed. Troll blood breeds true even when mixed with human. Ravus, the one major character who's a troll, is a little intimidating but a genuinely good guy, although it's indicated in other books that this isn't true of all trolls.
* BedTrick: [[spoiler:Dave glamours himself up to look like Luis in order to seduce Lolli.]]
* BlackAndGrayMorality
* BlackEyesOfEvil: Averted with [[spoiler:Kaye]], not so averted with a lot of the other faeries.
* BlueAndOrangeMorality: Roiben points out that classifying the Seelie and Unseelie Courts as good and evil respectively is an oversimplification. Both courts have very little regard for the wellbeing of mortals, and it seems the Seelie court's opposition to killing is less a moral concern than an aesthetic one.
* BigApplesauce: The books take place in New York and New Jersey, usually commuting between the two during the novels. New York is also known as Ironside, where the exiled fae are sent.
* BigBrotherInstinct: Luis. He does absolutely everything for his brother, and tries his best to take care of him.
* BondingOverMissingParents: Ravus and Val. [[spoiler:Both of their fathers left their families, and both of their mothers betrayed them.]]
* BreakHisHeartToSaveHim: In Ironside, Roiben gives Kaye an impossible task--to find a faerie who can lie--in order to keep her from becoming his consort, and by extension, a subject of the Unseelie Court.
* BreakTheCutie: Roiben, after he comes to the Unseelie Court.
** Also, Kaye, to some degree, [[spoiler: and Ethine, after Ironside]].
* TheCameo: Roiben appears briefly in ''Valiant'', [[spoiler: acting in his position as Unseelie King.]]
** Val and Ruth also appear briefly at the end of ''Ironside'' [[spoiler:for Dave's funeral]].
* CanNotTellALie: Faeries can only "bend the truth until it snaps under its own weight." i.e, they can't lie per se, but are very, very fond of leaving out important information or "little details" that could be willfully damaging to the hearer. This becomes a plot point in ''Ironside'' when [[spoiler: Kaye is required to find a faerie that can tell an untruth for Roiben's quest. 'Cause she's a wily girl, she uses a {{quibble}} to solve the riddle.]]
* ChangelingFantasy: [[spoiler: Kaye.]] While barely brushed on in the first book, it stirs up a lot of angst in ''Ironside''.
* ComingOutStory: [[SlashFic "Mom, you know the forbidden love Spock has for Kirk? Well, me too."]]
* CourtlyLove: Played straight and subverted with Roiben.
* DarkAndTroubledPast: Oh, Ravus, where do we start with you? First, your mom and siblings beat you repeatedly as a child to get you to fight, then when your dad saw you all as trolls he took off, prompting your mother to disown you, then you accidentally ran your first and best friend through with a sword, then you got exiled to New York/Ironside, and now you're accused for poisoning fey with your medicine. [[SarcasmMode BOY, it must be great to be you!]]
** Also, Luis and Dave. Their father killed their mother, shot Dave in the chest, then committed suicide. They now live on the street running errands for the fey.
** We don't even know that much about Roiben's past, but from the time he sets foot in the Unseelie Court, there seems to be no end of darkness and troubles.
* DarkIsNotEvil: Played somewhat straight with Roiben and later [[spoiler: Kaye and Ravus]] who end up as part of the Unseelie Court, but are usually good and moral characters. The Unseelie Court as a WHOLE is pretty messed up, though.
* DeadpanSnarker: Though usually TheStoic, Roiben gets several snarky moments. Kaye says that she "liked him more before he had a sense of humour".
* {{Deathseeker}}: [[spoiler: Luis falls temporarily into this when his brother dies. He tries to kill himself using Corny's withering curse--but the curse is broken the instant he brings Corny's hands to his face, since his tears act as running salt water.]]
* DeclarationOfProtection: Roiben, toward Kaye. He doesn't always tell her though.
* DisappearedDad: With the exception of maybe Corny, ALL of the main characters have one in one way or the other.
* TheDogBitesBack: [[spoiler:Roiben]] to Nicnevin. [[spoiler:Corny]] to Nephamael. Lastly, [[spoiler:Ethine to Silarial]].
* DrugsAreBad: Particularly ''faerie'' drugs.
* DudeLooksLikeALady: Inverted example with Val after she shaves her head in Valiant. Even lampshaded where it is pointed out that in her reflection, it is now a young delicate boy looking back at her.
* DudeShesLikeInAComa: [[spoiler:In ''Valiant'', Val wakes up to Dave undressing her after glamouring her to resemble Lolli.]]
* EggSitting: In ''Valiant'', Ruth and Val take care of a flour sack together, which prompts Jen to call them lesbians.
* TheFairFolk
* FantasticDrug: Never, the fairy medicine in ''Valiant'', also has some very potent and magicial effects on humans when they shoot it up.
* TheFilmOfTheBook: Both ''Tithe'' and ''Valiant'' have been picked up. ''Tithe'' by Jim Henson Company, and Valiant by MTV.
* GeekyAnalogy: Corny comes out to his ''Franchise/StarTrek''-loving parents by saying "You know [[SlashFic that forbidden love Kirk has for Spock?]] Well, me too."
* GenreSavvy: Kaye is enough to ask Roiben for his TrueName (after having pretty much wasted the first two of her three questions, though).
* GodSaveUsFromTheQueen: Nicnevin [[spoiler: and Silarial too]] because she cares about nothing but getting her way.
* GoingColdTurkey: [[spoiler: Val quits Never during her fight with Mabry. She gets cravings afterwards, but continues to stay off of it.]]
* GoodScarsEvilScars: Roiben's got a bunch, revealed in his [[ShirtlessScene shirtless scenes]]. [[spoiler: Corny gets a few from his night with Nephamael.]]
** [[spoiler: [[AndShowItToYou Ravus]] and [[DeadlyHug Val]] both received some courtesy of Mabry near the end of Valiant.]]
* IdiotBall: In ''Tithe''. Sure, Kaye, eating and drinking at an eerie feast [[spoiler: in the Unseelie Court]] is a brilliant and tasty idea! Justified, as it is a classic fairy tale motif that faerie food is irresistibly appealing. Still, Kaye is usually much more GenreSavvy than that.
* IJustWantToBeSpecial: Corny briefly flirts with this idea in both ''Tithe'' and ''Ironside''.
* IKnowMaddenKombat: Val's lacrosse practice turns out to be useful when she's called on to fight with a sword (or pipe). By no means does it make her an InstantExpert, however.
* IKnowYourTrueName: Faeries can be controlled by their true name, therefore these names are a closely guarded secret.
* ImportantHaircut: In ''Valiant'', Val shaves her head on the train [[spoiler:after discovering her boyfriend's affair with her mother]].
* InsubstantialIngredients: Ravus's alchemy requires such ingredients as 'The Breath of a Dying Man' and 'Summer Sunlight'. Note that these can be found in cigarette stubs and cut grass, respectively.
* InterspeciesRomance: [[spoiler: Val and Ravus.]]
* InvisibleToNormals: Faeries cannot be seen by humans unless they have The Sight.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Plenty of male characters, like Ravus, Roiben, and Luis.
* KickTheDog: Lolli [[spoiler: kicks the cat she stole into the path of a train when she gets sick of her mewing.]] [[MoralEventHorizon It's fair to assume she lost a lot of fans at that point.]]
* KinkyCuffs: In ''Ironside'', Kaye buys a pair at a fetish store, and later uses them on Ethine.
* LateArrivalSpoiler: The blurb of ''Ironside'' doesn't try to hide that [[spoiler: Roiben becomes Unseelie King and that Kaye is a faerie.]]
* LightIsNotGood: The faeries of the Seelie court are almost as dangerous as those of the Unseelie.
* LiteralAssKissing: Used as a joke, a CMOA and as a source of horror in ''Tithe'': after finding out Rath Roiben Rye's TrueName, the main character sarcastically tells him to kiss her ass, and doesn't realize he's magically compelled to obey.
-->"That is the nature of servitude, Kaye. It is literal minded and not at all clever. Be more careful with your epithets."
* LiteralGenie: How the LiteralAssKissing incident occurs. Another example is when the big bad gets Rath Roiben Rye's true name and orders him to grab the escaping heroine. Roiben promptly grabs her hair... and then lets her go again, snarking, "You may be well versed in following orders, but you are a novice at giving them."
** It's established in the earlier LiteralAssKissing scene that invoking a faerie's true name always works like this -- they're compelled to do no more and no less than the ExactWords of the order, and an ill-considered or poorly-worded command rarely results in what the person invoking the name actually desires.
* LongHairedPrettyboy: Roiben.
* MorphicResonance: Faeries keep a trait when they transform. The troll Ravus, for example, turns into a human with golden eyes.
* OOCIsSeriousBusiness: Subverted. When Luis starts acting weird, it's barely remarked upon since there are other, more serious things going on. Turns out [[spoiler: it's not Luis; it's Dave, using Never to glamour himself into looking like his brother.]]
* OurMermaidsAreDifferent: The pointy-toothed, people-eating kind. Although they can be bribed with raw steak and jewelry.
* PoisonousPerson: [[spoiler:Corny]], when a faerie curses him to wither everything he touches.
* PutOnABus: [[spoiler:Lolli ditches Val and the other teens after Dave overdoses on Never. She doesn't come back.]]
* ParentalAbandonment: Seems to be the norm in the faerie kingdoms, as seen in "The Land of Heart's Desire".
* PornStash: Corny has one of yaoi. Kaye winds up reading some at one point.
* POVSequel: Sort of. The sequel short story "The Land of Heart's Desire" in "The Poison Eaters" is written around Roiben, as opposed to Kaye.
* ShirtlessScene: Roiben has several.
* ShoutOut: Ruth has a "Still Not King" badge on her bag in ''Valiant'', a ShoutOut to Cassandra Clare's Literature/TheLordOfTheRings fanfic ''FanFic/TheVerySecretDiaries''.
* StraightGay: Corny. Also [[spoiler: Luis]].
* TakenForGranite: How Val [[spoiler: saves Ravus. He can only survive about an hour with his heart cut out, so Val rips open the curtains and exposes him to sunlight, freezing him 'til nightfall to give her some extra time to save him.]]
* TomatoInTheMirror: [[spoiler:Kaye's realization that she's a faerie.]]
* TroubledButCute: Roiben.
* TrueSight
* WhatBeautifulEyes: Val absolutely adores Ravus' eyes.
-->"I'm not very good at explaining things," she said. "But I think you have beautiful eyes. I love the gold in them. I love that they're different from my eyes- I see mine all the time and I'm bored with them."
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: Lolli and Ruth, both of who dye their hair. Strange hair colors are normal for the rest of the fae.

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