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Tribute (Tribute #1)

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  156 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
What if your greatest enemy was yourself?

Zara is a mage, one of the elite in a world where magic is power, and the non-magic majority live as slaves. When her slave child best friend is killed for the crime of literacy, Zara seeks revenge by spying for the rebel Knowledge Seekers. She finds her bravery and magical skill tested to the limit when a young Maker, Aidan, is tak
Paperback, 336 pages
Published March 6th 2014 by Hot Key Books
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Sarah Churchill
Feb 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
A rich fantasy story set in a magical world that jumped off the page... once I got used to it. I have to admit that at first I struggled with the world and some of the terminology. Oh, how I wish I'd noticed the glossary in the back BEFORE finishing the book! I did get used to it though, even without the glossary, and soon got dragged in. The writing is fantastic, and I was playing out the elaborately magical scenes in my head.

Beneditct is everything you need from a super-villain, and Zara's cha
Jun 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zara von Asphodel -4 Sterne

Wir befinden uns in der Welt der Diebe und Magier. Zara ist die Tochter des Erzmagiers Benedict und furchtbar grausam. Nicht nur dass er ihr oft genug vor Augen führt wie enttäuscht er von ihr ist, eines Abends tötet er auch vor ihren Augen ihre einzige Freundin Swift. Zaras Hass auf ihren Vater beginnt immer mehr zu wachsen und so fing sie schon früh an, genauso wie ihre Mutter die wegen Ketzerei sterben musste, wichtige Informationen aus dem Schloss an Rebellen weite
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
* *
2 / 5

* mini review *

This was a peculiar book. The idea behind it is fairly cliche and simplistic: there are mages who oppress those without magic and treat them like animals. Zara, daughter of the Archmage, thinks this is very bad because of a traumatic childhood event and the loss of her mother, so she joins a rebellion. Standard stuff. Going by the content and writing style of the book, I had thought it was for eleven or twelve year olds, until it started using "bitch" and "piss" quite lib
Alyssia Cooke
Jan 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
I'm stuck between three and four stars for this one; really it should be a 3.5, but that isn't possible. This certainly isn't a bad book by any stretch of the imagination, but I can't call it a great book either. The world building is probably the strongest part of the novel, although more could have been made of the 'kine' or cattle, non magic users. The strict hierarchy of the world is well depicted however and the novel drops you into the center of the world very quickly, expecting you to fin ...more
Jean Menzies
3.5 stars out of 5 to be more precise.
I really enjoyed this book. It was fast paced and action driven from the beginning, so easy and enjoyable to fly through. I liked the main character in most respects and there were some really interesting supporting characters. The reason this book didn't make it to 4 stars for me however is that from the beginning I felt as though I had been flung in at the deep end. Most of the relationships were already established, events had already taken place and the
Apr 01, 2014 rated it liked it
While this book was enjoyable and had a pleasing amount of action, it was also frustrating on so many levels. Time and time again, I was TOLD that a character had a particular motivation, rather than being shown this fact instead. I don't know why Benedict was so evil and vindictive; I don't know why Zara decided she was in love with someone she'd met twice; I don't know why the Mages were so convinced they were superior, beyond a simple mantra. Renner definitely has the ability to give us a wel ...more
Jul 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Would have been five stars, but I never could quite believe that the characters were actually in love after talking literally only three times. I would have enjoyed it more if that element was more understated. But otherwise, FABULOUS world building, strong writing, compelling story. Definitely recommend it!
May 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
In a world where mages have a lot of power, Zara is one, she's the ruthless chief mages' daughter and she wants to stop the abuses. She has to find a place in the world, use her skills and stay alive.

It's an interesting read with interesting characters and motives.
Mar 18, 2014 marked it as zz-dnf
Elou Carroll
Oct 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to get a proof copy of this. It's wonderful. full review coming soon!
Aug 26, 2014 rated it liked it
Einerseits mochte ich es, andererseits gingen mir andere Dinge viel zu schnell über die Bühne. Vor allem, was den Love-Interest betrifft. Und dabei mag ich Otter und Marcus mehr als Aidan :D
Auch war es mir an manchen Stellen zu vorhersehbar. Trotzdem möchte ich gerne weiter lesen :)


In der Welt, in der Zara lebt, herrschen die Magier. Sie befehlen über die Menschen ohne magische Fähigkeiten und halten sie wie Sklaven - Tribute - und entscheiden über deren Leben oder deren Tod. Doch seit Zar
May 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Between 2.5 and 3 stars. The narration felt flat, full of telling rather than showing. The romance came out of nowhere. There didn't seem to be too much information on the lore or the magic and how the magic felt - instead it was just things like going into an animal's head (it's from the opening chapter)... Yeah, but how does that feel? At least in the opening chapter, this could be described more.
Overall, it wasn't great in my opinion.
Jul 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Faszinierender Auftakt eines Fantasy-Zweiteilers
Zara hasst ihren Vater, den Erzmagier von Asphodel, seit dem Tag, an dem er ihre beste Freundin, ein Mädchen ohne magische Fähigkeiten, getötet hat. Seitdem spioniert Zara für die Gegenseite: für die Menschen, die unter der Herrschaft der Magier ein erbärmliches Leben führen. Und so schleicht sie sich auch ins Gefängnis ein, um herauszufinden, welche Ziele ihr Vater mit dem jungen Gefangenen aus der belagerten Nachbarstadt verfolg
Mellee Sharon Kal Sharons Books
Vielen Dank an den dtv Verlag, der mir dieses tolle Buch geschickt hat!

Worum gehts?
Als Zara, Tochter des Magiers Benedict mitansehen musste, wie ihre Freundin Swift vor ihren Augen von ihrem eigenen Vater getötet wird, wächst ihr Hass auf diesen immer mehr und sie beginnt wichtige Informationen an die Rebellen weiterzugeben.Gleichzeitig bemerkt sie, dass ihr Vater etwas Böses im Schilde führt.
Sie lernt Twiss und Aiden kennen, junge Diebe und beschließt zusammen mit ihnen gegen ihren Vater zu kä
Feb 08, 2014 rated it liked it
I received a copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads.

Tribute follows Zara, a mage and the “king’s” daughter. In a world where possessing magic is power and not having it makes one less than human, a mere slave, Zara should be happy. She could live happily and with everything she ever desired. But she can’t. After watching her father murder her slave friend, all she wants is to seek revenge, to dismantle the dystopian world she lives in and to kill her father.

Sounds interesting, right? I
Dec 28, 2014 rated it liked it
It was the cover that first drew me to this book. The image of the girl with a mark on her cheek, holding a knife to her hair, yet with an expression of such peacefulness and clarity. It told me immediately that this book was supposed to be a fantasy/adventure book and I was drawn to it.
The world that Zara lives in interests me greatly. The idea of magic users is something that I have loved since being a child and with the threat of rebellion and a father that obviously had too much power and wa
SJH (A Dream of Books)
Tribute’ was a really unusual read but rest assured, it was unusual in a good way. Steeped in fantasy, Ellen Renner has created a fascinating fantasy world unlike anything else I’ve come across before. It took me a little while to become accustomed to some of the words and phrases used in the book but there’s a useful glossary in the back pages which definitely helped. About a third of the way through it all started to click and come together for me and that’s when the story really started to ta ...more
Jan 08, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014, liked
Tribute is a fantasy story. Zara, the main character, is a Mage (a magic user), the daughter of the arch Mage infact, a race that discriminates and dominates and oppresses what they call Kine (non magic users) seeing this wrong, Zara begins to spy for the knowledge seekers, an underground terrorist group of Kine and Thieves who want an equal country, and it all starts there.

So I got an advanced proof copy of this book, so I guess I was lucky about that but the whole way through this book I coul
Ruth Foulis
May 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015-reads
This is the first book of two in the series so far, by Ellen Renner. It follows the story of Zara and her life as the daughter of the Archmage Benedict, against whom she seeks revenge for killing her mother and sister. Zara lives in a world where magic people are the ruling minority, keeping the non magic 'kine' repressed by forcing them to give their first born children as 'tributes' to serve the mages, and to fight on the wall, in the war against a neighbouring city. She secretly works for the ...more
Ell Eastwood
Hmm, yeah, this book wasn't as good as I hoped it would. The scene on the cover does actually happen, but it's not nearly as awesome as I thought it wuld be. And the plot is interesting, I really like the idea of the magical minority ruling the non-magical majority. It's a pretty reasonable caste system in a fantasy world.

I just had something different in mind when I started reading: I thought Zara would go on a more epic journey, rather than just sneak around underground for most of the novel.
Mar 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: firstreads, fantasy
I received a copy of this book as a Firstreads givaway.
This felt like a proper fantasy book. A deeply thought out, well constructed world where magic doesn't seem out of place. The characters were enganging and believable and the storyline interesting. However I did find it quite hard to get into the writing style at first. I know some fantasy books use a sort of unusual flow to a sentence or old fashioned ways of saying things which add to the setting of the story. In Tribute though, this somet
Mar 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: guest-reviews
Review by Bethan - Year 9

This book was about a world where magic is power, and the non-magic majority live as slaves. The main character, Zara, is a mage, daughter of the most powerful, yet evil mage of all, and during the book she joins the war- fighting against her father.
My personal favourite part of the book is nearly right at the end, where a few crucial pieces of information are added, which link together certain confusing aspects of the story. This gives the book a whole new meaning than
Romi (likes books)
Thank you to Hot Key Books for this review copy!

I enjoyed Tribute. Liked the places it took me and the time I had within it, but it didn’t grow to love, that enjoyment. I didn’t think it was amazing or fantastic or quite wonderful. I just enjoyed it, and though I might prefer the other things on the whole, an enjoyable read, if little more, certainly is not a bad thing. I didn’t feel inspired by the story enough to want to go on to the next book, at least not at the moment, and the romance and t
Mar 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: YA
Shelves: giveaways
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Colleen Hood
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favourite-books
I was lucky enough to get a copy of this book in the give away, and im not disappointed. I loved the fantasy style of the book and i had trouble trying not to read this in one day!
I love the main character Zara, but my absolute favorite character has to be Twiss. I love the way, despite her being so young, stands up to everyone in her way.As for the love story... i thought it was a little predictable but i liked it all the more because of it.The only downfall for this book is its too short! but
Elen Caldecott
Mar 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult-s
I have know Ellen Renner's work for a few years now. This book explores some of her hallmark themes - talented girls being underestimated by their fathers; missing mothers and a bit of class war. But it has the added benefit of being YA, so the ideas have more room to breathe. The two girl leads (sorry Aidan, I expect you'll get your chance in later books) are a fantastic odd couple. I also love that Zara comes to learn that people have more in common than they have dividing them. I read it in o ...more
Feb 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
I won my copy of this book in a goodreads giveaway.

Tribute is a high fantasy story and I found myself hooked from page one. The book is very well written and I found Zara a well rounded character and Benedict the perfect villain.

All in all I thought this book was a great first book and I cant wait to see how the story evolves in book 2.

I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a rich high fantasy story.
Jan 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book. It somehow managed to remind me of The Handmaids Tale, Throne of Glass and Little Women! Ellen Renner has created an entire world, with interesting characters. Zara is a tentative heroine, driven by an innate knowledge of right and wrong and a thirst for revenge upon her cruel father.
Alan Taylor
Mar 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received this as a Good Reads First reads giveaway.

The story built up and progressed very well and there was a real depth to the characters, especially Zara.

I think this is one my 11 year old daughter will enjoy and will be passing it on to her for her opinion too.

I look forward to reding the next installment as there are a lot of loose ends I want to see tied.
Elizabeth Ducie
Dec 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Once I started reading 'Tribute', I couldn't put it down. I read a lot of fantasy and much of it is derivative, but there are some real touches of originality in this book. I loved the relationship between Zara and Twiss; and look forward to reading more of their adventures in future books. If you enjoy Trudy Canavan's writing, then you'll love Ellen Renner's work.
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Ellen Renner was born in the USA, but came to England in her twenties, married here, and now lives in an old house in Devon with her husband and son. Ellen originally trained as a painter and surrounds herself with sketches of her characters as she writes. She spins wool as well as stories, knitting and weaving when time allows. She plays the violin, fences (badly!) and collects teapots and motorc ...more
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