Author: Claire Vale
Series: The Offered (Book 1)
Page Length: 186
Publication Date: April 14, 2020
Synopsis: Welcome to the Tithe, where life is bought with death and love is paid with sacrifice.
Two things are ever certain in Ironcross: the beasts outside the wall and the Tithe.
When Senna Rhys turns eighteen, she must go through the Tithe, a rite of passage to adulthood that claims ten souls for the treaty with the wall. The unpaired are chosen first—securing the next generation to supply the Tithe is the foundation of Ironcross’ survival!
We’re encouraged to champion the concept of the Tithe and not dwell on the detail. ‘Sacrifice the few to save the many’ is not a motto that promotes healthy town morale. I’ve avoided thinking about it for most of my life, but there’s no escaping it now.
Welcome to the Tithe!
There’s Gabriel, the gorgeous boy next door with blue, blue eyes. He’s been my best friend since forever. He’s the keeper of my heart.
There’s Kane, arrogant and self-assured and darkly beautiful. He wants everything but my heart and has an irritating habit of catching me when I fall.
There’s Ironcross. The wall that keeps the beasts out. The fear that keeps us in. The Alders who rule with ruthless clarity.
Above all else, there’s the Tithe. The pact and sacrifice and pairings that bind our world.
Tithe is a post-apocalyptic romance and adventure with some disturbing themes set in a dark, dystopian world.
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The first book in The Offered series, Claire Vale’s Tithe follows Senna, an eighteen-year-old who, according to the laws of Ironcross, must take part in the tithe. During the process, ten teens are selected to be cast outside of Ironcross and, because of a long-standing agreement, are offered to the beasts that dwell past the walls.
Paired couples are safer than unpaired, so the pressure is fierce to find a mate within the tithe, but not for Senna. Senna loves her best friend Gabe, and they enter the tithe promised to one another. However, with the mounting fear of the unknown and the harsh penalties for not adhering to the rules pressing down on them, can they survive the dangers of the tithe?
In this dystopian world, a walled-off community sacrifices ten teens to the beasts that live outside. What are these beasts? How dangerous are they? What is really outside the wall? These are the questions that plague Senna and Gabe (and the reader) and propel the plot. Though the premise is similar to other stories in this genre, the creative tithe process and the exceptional character-development is different.
Senna is a complex and relatable character. She has so many contradictory emotions, which is expected considering the tremendous amount of pressure that she is under. Her trustworthiness and loyalty are her best traits, but I also like her intellect and the fact that she questions the things in society that either bother her or don’t make sense. These qualities could make her a wonderful asset to her community or a risk.
The majority of this story takes place in a governmental/military compound during the weeks before the teens are chosen for the tithe. This is where the teens go through physical and emotional tests and trainings. As Senna and Gabe grow closer, so does the tithe, and tensions mount. Senna’s attraction to Kane, one of the trainers, doesn’t help.
Gabe is the sweet, handsome, and endearing boy-next-door type, whereas Kane is the older, enigmatic, brooding hunk who has seen his fair share of tragedy. Where the love between Gabe and Senna is sweet and strong, the attraction between Senna and Kane is electric.
I enjoyed this love-triangle because it kept me guessing. I questioned both men’s motives throughout the story. I mean, with everything at stake, Gabe’s timing seemed a little too convenient. Does Gabe truly love Senna as more than a friend, or did he propose to her because he’s desperate to stay out of the tithe? He seems to love her, but is that enough? And how does Kane really feel about Senna? His actions make it seem like he has feelings for her (especially at the end of the story – oh my word!), but he is so closed off that it is impossible to tell. This is an interesting love triangle that I suspect will be further explored in the rest of the series (hopefully).
A well-paced and interesting dystopian novel with a strong and likable protagonist, Tithe is a great introduction to the world of Ironcross. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series! Thanks so much to Booksirens for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
- The romance, of course! In this case, the love triangle. I’m team Kane, by the way!
- The fascinating dystopian world. I want to know more about Ironcross and the world beyond it.
“I’d rather fly into the sun and burn than be too afraid to lift off from the ground.”
“It only takes a spark to burn the whole thing down.”
Readers who enjoy young adult dystopian novels will like this book.