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Tribute at the Gates: An Epic Fantasy Saga

Catalyst, Book 1
Written by: C. J. Aaron
Narrated by: Travis Baldree
Series: Catalyst, Book 1
Length: 12 hrs and 39 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Cursed from birth. Forced into slavery. It's time to fight back. 

The blood of the Ancients is the most coveted ingredient in all of Damaris. The fabled elixir made from it grants those who drink it life that extends far beyond natural means. 

There is no higher honor in the kingdom then being granted the privilege of bidding for it. And the people found with the cursed blood? By law, they are the rightful property of the kingdom. 

They are tributes. 

As a boy, Ryl was sold by his family when he was discovered to have the coveted blood flowing through his veins. Broken, scared, and confused, he’s confined to an area known as the Stocks until he is ready for harvesting. 

Ryl stumbles through a doomed life until the appearance of a mysterious stranger who exposes a buried version of the past that changes everything. That his blood may not be a curse, but a blessing. 

The fates of all the tributes hang in the balance. 

Experience the start of an epic fantasy series filled with unexpected heroes, dark magic, and nonstop adventure. Suitable for all ages, it's perfect for fans of D K. Holmberg, Will Wight, and K. F. Breene.

©2020 Aethon Books (P)2020 Aethon Audio

What listeners say about Tribute at the Gates: An Epic Fantasy Saga

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    5 out of 5 stars

This book this book

This book was incredible in the detail and emotion brought to light through the characters and their connection.

I eagerly await the next instalment of this fantastic series

As always Travis baldree does a spectacular job in being the characters and their emotions to life in a way that really draws you in to the story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • grumpy old blind guy
  • 2020-08-06

change peoples feelings and maybe create illusions

I prefer the magic in my fantasy to actually be magic. sadly you have to get about halfway into the book before they inform you that this lackluster week stuff is all the magic in this book. hopefully someone who prefers some bang in their fantasy won't fall for the lack of information like I did.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Christopher
  • 2020-07-17

Took a chance, and I’m glad I did.

I bought this audiobook based solely on the fact that Travis Baldree is the narrator. His talent is such that he can turn a mediocre print book into a really good audiobook. So I was cautiously optimistic that this would at least be listenable...

What I got was a compelling and interesting story that set the stage for what I hope will be my new favorite fantasy series. I am giving this a 5 star rating as opposed to 4 stars in part because it came out of left field, only had a few ratings, and no reviews when I decided to buy it. I will say that the story is well-crafted, the world is interesting, and the MC is someone whose development I want to follow. Whether the 5 star rating will hold up is heavily dependent upon where the author takes the series with the next book, but I am hopeful. Regardless, this audiobook is definitely worth the credit.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-07-19

brutal

Becarfull with this book it can get hard on the heart at the beginning.

3 people found this helpful

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  • JollyGreenGoblin
  • 2020-07-18

Promising Start

This was a promising start to a series. The premise is familiar but engaging. The characters and tribute concept were interesting enough that I’d continue listening through the series. I thought Baldtree did a great job with narration. I’d definitely listen to other works he performed.

My only gripe was the pacing. Aaron is very good at capturing all of the details in a moment, but not every moment needs every detail. I suspect that the pacing was slower in this as the origin story and initial world building. Now that all the pieces are in place I look forward to book 2.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Brian W. Rossbach
  • 2020-07-18

Fun story with a solid pace throughout.

I enjoyed this book and was wanting more when it ended. I understand this is a series and am looking forward to the next book as this one definitely kept my interest throughout. The lead character is a good guy all around who's had to deal with an incredibly challenging hand that life has dealt him.

This book built a solid foundation and it will be nice to see how far the author will build upon it. Give it a listen, it's worth your time.

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  • tranielmp8
  • 2020-09-08

I just don’t understand

I am so confused to how a lot of reviews said this book was great.
Blood of the ancients?! Do they have dryad or Druid blood running in their veins? The most action in this book is children being beaten. Yes the MC overcame some things yet it just wasn’t for me. Maybe everything was explained in the book but I just had a hard tome getting into it. I have a lot of questions and I just don’t know if they will be answered

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jacob P
  • 2020-08-11

Wonderful Start to New Fantasy World

Tribute at the Gates makes for an intriguing and deep start for a new fantasy world. The premise, that those with a certain "power" in their blood, are locked up and used for the "good" of the elite is not particularly new but comes with some interesting twists. The cruelty of those placed in power over effective slaves is unfortunately believable and is thankfully balanced showing that there are those who, even in the worst of conditions, will try to help the downtrodden to what degree they are able. The implications of the magic system, once it starts being revealed, make for a promise of interesting adventures and changes to come. The author does a good job of giving a reason for the protagonist to rapidly develop his powers and control despite being young (much better than the typical "he is the chosen one so, of course, he has great power and near-perfect control) and while his magic is strong, even the way his knowledge and control is boosted leaves him with a need to really work on controlling what he has learned and large gaps in his knowledge and skills. Looking forward to seeing where this series goes and the development and return of suport characters.

Disclaimer: I was given this a free review copy audiobook and have voluntarily left this review.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Bridget
  • 2020-08-01

Buy this book

If you're here reading this comment it likely means you're interested in Fantasy novels. I'm not normally into epic fantasy, but this series has great promise. The world building is a bit slow as in many novels of this type. It has enough action to carry you through all the necessary descriptions with an obvious plotting and planning by the author to fuel many more books.

And as always, Travis Baldree is excellent in his performance.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Byron
  • 2020-09-09

great book 1

narration was great. story is slowly building. but what is really cool and separates this book is the abilities. it kind of gives me the feeling of mistborn in the way of some people have access to this. and most are oppressed to keep them in check. there is a lot here to say but I don't want to spoil. I say, on with the next book!!

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  • Sailfish
  • 2020-09-03

An enjoyable story

This is a coming of age novel not unlike others where, as a child, he was sold into servitude by seemingly indifferent parents due to his taint of arcane magic in his blood. Magic in a kingdom determined to enslave all those with magic for their own macabre purposes. However, C. J. Aaron does spend an ample amount of time providing a descent MC backstory along with well-written travails and injustices that the young protagonist and those like him have to endure while in captivity.

While, overall, I enjoyed the book, I did grow tired of the repeated and sometimes overwrought lamentations from the MC over knowing the eventual separation from those he had come to think of as family.

Travis Baldree is an absolute treasure at narrating performance and demonstrates that again with this book.