Zara lives in a world where those with the ability to perform magic hold power, and those who do not are trapped as slaves or Tributes. Forming a kinship with her spirited Tribute, Swift, Zara begins to question and to refute the old order. That questioning becomes all the more vehemently powered following the death of Swift who had violated the code of Tributes by reading items in Zara’s father’s library.
The construction of a word of enslavement and power hierarchy through learning makes for a compelling backdrop to the novel. Renner constructs a convincing other world and a political structure that will have readers bristling because of the inherent inequalities it is founded upon. The language of the book is sophisticated and engaging and establishes Renner as a major talent in the fantasy genre, making this an exciting new series that is definitely worth following.