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Tribute at the Gates: An Epic Fantasy Saga

Catalyst, Book 1
Narrated by: Travis Baldree
Series: Catalyst, Book 1
Length: 12 hrs and 39 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2 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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  • grumpy old blind guy
  • 06-08-2020

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.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Christopher
  • 17-07-2020

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.

9 people found this helpful

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  • tranielmp8
  • 08-09-2020

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

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 19-07-2020

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
  • 18-07-2020

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
  • 18-07-2020

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Joshua
  • 16-09-2020

Got to book 3

Overall this book is enjoyable and entertaining. Its written well enough and has an interesting story line i wont spoil. I got the whole way to half way through book 3, but stopped. There are 5 issues that slowly but surely grated on me and i had to stop. These arnt really spoilers either. If you can get past these issues or if they just dont bother you entirely this is a good book. Travis Baldree is an amazing narrator and the book really does have a decent enough plot that will keep you interested. Yet these things got to me in the end. 1.The speech is unnatural. Every sentence is too well thought out and poetic. It feels rehearsed and a tad unrealistic. 2.The main character has a thing about not killing people. He only does it when he is backed into a corner and has no other alternative. If that doesnt bother you, fine, but thats the kind of stuff that just gets more people killed in the end. Several times he does this catch and release of bad guys that only come back to threaten him later. Its childish. 3.The magic is a tad lack luster. They can all project emotion and feelings, but in terms of actual fireball types stuff, its extremely extremely rare. Even the main character can only do wind gusts. So...meh 4.There is very little grey zone in characters. Its your either a raging a hole who likes to torture innocent people or your a righteous allie that fights to liberate the tributes. Literally no in between. 5.Lack of world building. For whatever reason there is literally one kingdom. One and only one for thousands of years with little to no expansion. I get there are these creepy dark abominations on their one border, but literally nothing? no other kingdom no expansion into the sea. Like nothing at all? k... Like i said if your cool with the above, spare a credit. Its interesting enough.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jacob P
  • 11-08-2020

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
  • 01-08-2020

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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  • Gil T
  • 14-09-2020

Sold by his family, transported by cage,

Every eight year old gets tested for blood of the ancients. It is not hereditary, it almost seems random. Families that have children with this blood can run. They will eventually get caught and slaughtered in front on their child. Or the family can sell the child and be set for life. Ryl is found to have the blood and is sold by his family. All children that are found to have the blood are sent to the Stocks were they live out their lives until their harvest time. The harvest time is determined by the amount of Ancient’s blood they have. This way the rich family that bought the child can get the most of elixir from the child. It helps these families live long lives and get power. They are called tributes. The 200+ guards are there to supposedly guard against outside threats as well as quash any rebels internally. But realistically, they are a sadistic bunch that are being punished for conduct in the regular army. They treat the children poorly and abuse them. One day as Ryl is working he stumbles into the forest and finds the forest changing. He runs into a man he explains more about his blood and what he must do. He must inspire others since he will not leave except through the front door on his harvest day. That doesn’t sound like much to him (or the reader), but it turns out to be quite the adventure.

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  • INVIZ
  • 10-08-2020

Worst pacing I've ever seen.

Worst pacing in a book that I've ever come across. It's actually mind-boggling. It's basically a 12 hour prologue. Horrendous. I was waiting for something that never came. For him to be free. A whole book waiting for something that we know is going to happen at some point but never does until literally the last chapter.

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  • Rose
  • 09-08-2020

too many things I don’t like

The plot’s not bad though not by any means original. Slaves with good blood, why is that? You’d think the rest would think of them as special but, that’s nature for you. We treat with disrespect that which we fear the most. No criticism there but, why does everyone have to ‘say’ thing while doing things such as ‘he said and proffered his heand’ or, ‘she said in a low tone’ Why not ‘she whispered’ and cut out the stupid ‘said’? Or it’ll be two people in a room with ‘he said’ or ‘she said’ between them as if we can’t follow the dialogue wiithout the prompt? Pathetic is what i call it and to make matters worse of course, the camp motehr just simply had to be drop dead beautiful and naturally a gentle princess didn’t she? Typecasting, stereytyping. Hopeless. Don’t think I’ll be reading the next in the series. The narration though is good and, as I say, the plot while not original, is acceptable, just not, in my opinion, very well executed but, I’m used to that by now.