Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Tribute by Ellen Renner

Reviewer: JW Hicks author of Rats

What we thought: This YA novel stands up to any sci-fi/fantasy novel you can think of, and will suit teenage vid-gamers and hipster silver surfers.

Tribute is a novel of magic; a surprising new magic invented by Renner which is unlike any other. This magic enables mage-kind to enforce a cruel apartheid, allowing them to rule over the kine – their non-magical human slaves.

Tribute is a novel of misused power and ruthless domination.

Zara is the talented daughter of Benedict, Archmage of Asphodel, a man she hates for forcibly entering her mind in an arrogant demonstration of his dominance. Seeking revenge when her slave companion dies by her father’s hand, she allies with the Knowledge Seekers who are determined to overthrow the demon magicians who hold them in bondage.

Falling in love with a hostage, taken by her father to use in a nefarious plan to destroy the non magical Makers, she promises to help him escape, but when her secret alliance is discovered Zara is forced to flee the society of magic-users and live among those who believe her to be an evil demon. As the novel progresses, both Zara and the non-magical humans slowly discover their common humanity: an enlightenment which develops in a totally realistic and satisfying way, as does her confidence, talent and determination to defeat her father and all he stands for.

This wonderfully written book takes hold from the very first page and doesn’t let the reader off the hook even at the very last. Renner’s prose is as magical as her story; the flowing often poetical writing both captivates and rivets. Her daring and unexpected word choice bring scenes to vivid life.

The resolution is completely apposite and totally satisfying, giving warm promise of an equally satisfying sequel.

You’ll enjoy this if you like: Heart-gripping emotionally satisfying fiction.

Avoid if you don’t like: Gutsy teen heroines finding the courage to fight for what is right and just.

Ideal accompaniments: A comfy armchair, a chocolate bar and plenty of spare time, because I guarantee you won’t be able to stop reading this gripping book.

Genre: YA

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