This is so good. Outcaste is the impatiently – by me anyway – awaited sequel to Ellen Renner’s Tribute. I’m not sure how Ellen does it, but she certainly knows how to write a marvellous story.
Set in a fantasy world, Zara has been forced to leave her home, a place where magic rules, and she is now a refugee along with several groups of non-magic people. Being a mage is not good, and Zara needs to work hard at hiding her natural talents.
Her father, the Archmage is wanting to catch her, after she tried to kill him. But sometimes it’s not the people with magic who are the worst. It seems some of the other peoples have traditions that are not terribly attractive either. The refugees are heading to the homeland of Aidan, the boy she has fallen in love with. And her problems won’t necessarily be over when she gets there.
Outcaste is not a book you can easily describe. It’s a book you want to read. Now. (But read Tribute first.) It has a love story to die for (not that you want anyone to die), and that in itself is rare enough these days.
I’ll be thinking of that love as I wait for another book from Ellen, be it another sequel or something else. Anything else. This is what YA should be like. And in Zara’s friend Twiss, we have a young girl character of almost Dido Twite-ish proportions. I would very much like to see more of her.