Book Review: Tribute by Ellen Renner

Author: Ellen Renner
Publisher:  Hot Key Books
Pages: 314
When you can kill with a thought, can you ever be trusted?
Zara is a mage, an elite in a world where magic is power, and the non-magical majority are oppressed and enslaved. When her Tribute slave and best friend is killed for the crime of literacy, Zara vows revenge by spying for the rebel Knowledge Seekers.
But her bravery and magical skill are tested to the limit when a hostage from the other side of the Wall arrives at her palazzo. sensing a kindred spirit, she promises to help him- but before she can, her secret is discovered. Hunted by her own kind, she must convince the Knowledge Seekers she is really on their side. But can she convince herself?

My Review
Thoughts on the book: Tribute is a fantastic novel written by the very talented Ellen Renner. It is about a young girl fighting for what she believes is right. Zara is the heroine of the story and is fighting for the people who her father finds are beneath them and aren't worth the breath that they breathe. I loved the magical element of the book and was so glad that it didn't overpower the storyline of the underdog rising up and fighting for justice as Zara does. There was also a moment in Tribute where we learn something truly shocking and I know that I was literally gasping like a fish trying to get air after being pulled from the water. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that this moment could possibly be true and that someone would do what was done. (Sorry I know very descriptive but I don't want to give away a major part of the story).   
I do however think that the romance was pitted as a huge part of the story whenever I read recommendations on Tribute however upon completion of the book I believe it didn't play a big of a part as it was made out to be. Yes she found a boy that she liked and she may have thrown around the love word but I think she seemed to feel more deeply for her dead Tribute than for the 'boy of her dreams'. 
Tribute will defiantly appeal to lovers of fantasy and fans of Tamora Pierce and Maria V.Snyder. I can't wait for book 2 to see where Zara goes next and what battles she will have to overcome.

Rating: 4/5


  1. Interesting observation about the romance component. I haven't read this book yet, but as an author, I wonder if there is more at play in the author's mind that what came through in book 1? I know I've been guilty of that. :-) Thank you for sharing your review, this sounds like it's right up my alley!


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