"Betrayed by her own father, Zara has waited years for revenge, and will stop at nothing to get it"
Tribute by Ellen Renner

Betrayed by her own father, Zara has waited years for revenge, and will stop at nothing to get it

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-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? Pain, romance, defiance and revenge combine in this powerfully written – and breathtakingly envisioned – YA fantasy.

Publication Date:
ISBN Paperback: 9781471400315
ISBN Ebook: 9781471400322



Ellen Renner

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 motorcycles.

Her first book, CASTLE OF SHADOWS, won the Cornerstones Wow Factor Competition, the 2010 North East Book Award and was chosen for both THE INDEPENDENT and THE TIMES summer reading lists and, along with the sequel CITY OF THIEVES, was included on THE TIMES list of best children's books of 2010. TRIBUTE was Ellen's first YA book, and you can follow her at or on Twitter: @Ellen_Renner


My vision blurs. My nose starts to run and I swipe at it, furious with myself. Who am I fooling? I can't save this boy. For years I've been playing pretend, like a child refusing to grow up, imagining that somehow I will be the one to change things. I don't want to be a mage! I don't want the power to kill with my mind. I don't want any more Tribute children, any more suffering. I don't want Swift to have died for nothing . . . but she did. Benedict murdered her. He killed my mother. He will probably kill me someday. Wanting something won't make it happen, no matter how hard you pretend. The Knowledge Seekers will never defeat the mages. I'm a fool. 'I'm sorry.' There really isn't anything else to say. It's all been for nothing. I turn to go. He's brave: he touches me for the second time. He takes hold of my arm and turns me back around with surprising gentleness. And it's the gentleness - plus the new look in his eyes as he studies my face - that keeps me from blasting him across the room for daring to touch me again. The Maker is standing so close our bodies almost meet. My heart thuds in my chest, heavy and hurtful. My mage light flickers and goes out, but there's moonlight from the barred window. It's bright enough. The Maker reaches up a careful hand and pulls the scarf from my head. He stares at my hair as it tumbles down; stares at my face, at my mage marks, his eyes searching, his whole body tense with the strain of keeping hope at bay. 'Who are you? What's your name?' I am still a fool. I tell him: 'Zara.' 'I'm Aidan,' he says. 'Son of Fergal the Clockmaker. Will you help me, Zara? Will you help me get home?'