Author- Ellen Renner.
Publish date- 26th March, 2014!
Publisher- Hot Key Books.
RRP: $16.95 AUD.
(A brief) Synopsis:
A story about injustice and magic and keeping a promise no matter what, with characters and a world that shimmer.
Cover image via: Hot Key Books.
What I thought:
I found Tribute to be reliably enjoyable from beginning to end, which isn't something I have really experienced before. There were parts I didn't overly like, sure, but I didn't abhor anything, and I grew, whilst reading, to know I wouldn't.
From set off I was taken in, filled with amazement by this young woman, a madge still training, who was controlling a bird with her mind the book opens, seeing things from it's vantage point and experiencing it's senses- every emotion Zara, who turns out to be the protagonist and narrator, felt was clear and strong, easy to believe in and follow. From the fear of her father, which was so strong and pained, to the passion and strength she showed as she works to keep a promise made when she was nine, it all was so clear as to be almost visible.
The story gets going fairly rapidly, events taking place that make you wish to know all the secrets these characters hold, though at the same time it never felt rushed- perfectly timed as to keep you intrigued as each page is turned. My one true quelm, though, happens to be with the timing! The romance didn't feel totally believable to me, and it was the one thing that progressed too quickly, leaping and bounding ahead in a way that left me frowning. I like both the characters involved, but it seemed far too sudden and I do wish it had taken longer to get to a point, instead of startling me with it's sudden unveiling.
Being the first in a new series, and one set in a fantasy world, this is where the magority of the world must be constructed, places outlined and explained, and I think it was done very well; I was interested in the world and lives of the people living in it, the latter especially since their lives are unique and dark, living in a place that would be terrifying were it your reality.
The characters were certainly not a let down, from Zara who grew so honestly and painfully before my eyes, gaining an admirable strength, to Benedict, her father and antagonist, the archmadge (most powerful madge) and ruler of Asphodel, the madge city in which they live- he particularly was wonderful in his horrifying way, holding a calmness to his evil and hate that was almost more scary than those things.
Each character felt important in their own way- and they all had ways- but my favourite, despite the growth of Zara that I so loved, was Marcus, the Hound- a thief. He was honest and amusing and suave, and I really enjoyed his part.
Rating: Ooh, Very good.I didn't quite get to the point of loving Tribute, but I did enjoy it quite a bit and with an ending that is fulfilling, exciting and brimming with the prospect of further books, I have little doubt that I'll be back for more. Amusing. Scary. Hopeful. Twisted. All those things make up Tribute, and they make it up well. Highly recommendable.
Thank you to Hot Key Books for this review copy!