City of Lies
This amazing epic fantasy debut is perfect for fans of Robin Hobb and Naomi Novik.
I was seven years old the first time my uncle poisoned me... Outwardly, Jovan is the lifelong friend of the Chancellor’s charming, irresponsible Heir. Quiet. Forgettable. In secret, he's a master of poisons and chemicals, trained to protect the Chancellor’s family from treachery. When the Cha...more
There will be a sequel next year, Hollow Empire, but as yet I'm not contracted for any more than that. City of Lies functions as a complete…moreHi Deborah,
There will be a sequel next year, Hollow Empire, but as yet I'm not contracted for any more than that. City of Lies functions as a complete standalone but the events of Hollow Empire are related if you enjoy it enough to want to keep reading. :)
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An alluring debut imbued with a perpetual threat of lies and treachery.
City of Lies is Sam Hawke’s debut novel and the first book in the Poison Wars series. For the same reason as one of my most anticipated debuts of the year—The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang—I was intrigued by this one because of the amazing cover. Yes, I’m a sucker for a book with great cover art and I’m not ashamed of it. The main difference though is that I’ve wait ...more
Are you tired of books about assassins? Noble assassins, sociopath assassins, assassins you'd like to date, etc?
Have you wondered about the flip side of that coin? Who guards against assassins? Who would be in a position to thwart the one(s) eager to put the Chancellor into the ground?
This is the tale of Jovan and his sister Kalina. They are heirs to the family ...more
City of Lies follows the two viewpoints of brother and sister combo Jovan and Kalina, whose uncle is the poison taster or ‘proofer’ for the ruling chancellor. When they are both killed by an unknown toxin, Jov’s best friend Tain is elevated to the throne and it is up to Jov to not only solve the mystery of who poisoned his Uncle but also protect the new ruler. Whilst all thi ...more
I had such high expectations for this and was immediately drawn into the world, however, I was disappointed with the execution. I had issues with the pacing, info-dumps and the antagonist's motivations didn't feel strong enough.
I think I would have loved this more if the book had been condensed and if we'd experienced everything from Kallina's perspective - and I might ship her with her brother's love interest....
Jovan is the quiet and forgettable friend of Tain, the Chancellor’s charming yet irresponsible Heir. He's also a master of poisons and chemicals. He has been trained to protect the Chancellor’s family from unknown dangers. When the Chancellor falls to an unknown poison and an army lays siege to the city, Jovan and his sister Kalina must protect Tain and save the city-state of Silasta. But treachery lurks in every corner, and the a ...more
The book had a lot of positives going for it but also had a bunch of flaws and the end result was that I found this a bit avera ...more
This story is a behind-the-scenes look into the lives of Proofers. Proofing is an art and a delicat ...more
Let me start first by thanking Tor Books for providing me an advanced reader copy of this book, as the official release date for CITY OF LIES is July 3, 2018. I always appreciating receiving review copies before the actual publication date and I do not ever take that for granted. I also have to admit to being somewhat ignorant with regard to this title until very recently. However, once I read the synopsis of CITY OF LIES by S ...more
Review to come. And *yes*, pre-order it you guys. It's awesome.
I received a digital ARC from the publisher, Tor, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Have you ever encountered books that push all the right buttons, play all the right notes, tick all the boxes — in short, fit so well your tastes that it feels like it was written for you?
City of Lies is that kind of book for me ...more
Considering it’s not a short novel I banged through it in record time- pretty much three binge reading sessions where I immersed myself into the the city of Silasta, with its vibrant eclectic cultures and wide range of characters, where we meet Jovan and Kalina, the narrator’s of this epic tale, both of whom you will stick with through thick and thin.
“I was seven years old the first ...more
I was seven years old the first time my uncle poisoned me…
With a hook like that, how is one not at least interested in learning more? On top of that, DAT COVER DOE. As you may probably well know, I am a sucker for beautiful book covers and this one caught my eye when it was revealed last year. I waited…an ...more
City of Lies is an excellent debut and start to the Poison Wars series. The story follows a brother and sister, Jovan and Kalina, as their world turns upside down by the assassinations of the uncle and the Chancellor, who he was trained to protect. Throw in a rebellion, traitors, and a siege, and the pages of this book really start flying by as you can’t help but try to read faster to find out who’s side everyone is on, how th ...more
Full review here: http://paulspicks.blog/2018/06/23/cit...
All my reviews can be found here: https://paulspicks.blog
I received this ARC from NetGalley and the publisher, Macmillan-Tor/Forge Books, in e-book format for an honest and unbiased review. I would like to extend a special thanks to NetGalley, Tor Books, and especially Sam Hawke for crafting an unparalleled tale!
New author Sam Hawke delivers us into a world of deception and intrigue, framed with the pen strokes of murder and m ...more
City of Lies is one of those books that starts off slow and you're not quite sure how you feel about it. The next thing you know, you're finishing the book at 2AM. It's an interesting take on the epic fantasy genre with more character building than fighting.
What I loved about City of Lies is how character-driven it is. This book could have easily been half its length, without the introspection we get from the main duo ...more
The novel is ...more
City of Lies might not have completely won over my heart, but I will however give it the award for the most intriguing opening line I’ve read all year. “I was seven years old the first time my uncle poisoned me,” begins our protagonist Jovan, who is one half of a pair of highborn siblings whose family the Oromanis have long been entrusted to serve a sacred duty. Their job can be likened to that of Secret Service, keeping ...more
It is an interesting plot that felt fresh to me. So far I hadn't read about a food taster (or proofer as they are called in this one) often, and I liked the different viewpoint to the usual warrior or soldier or such. Combining that as just a part of a bigger story with plenty of politics, religion and other topics worked really well!
An absolute strong point was the balance of the characters. Strong ones and weak ones, females and males, good ...more
- NICE CHARACTERS. Everyone wants to solve everything they can as diplomatically as possible. There's an army laying siege outside our gates -> "Let's figure out what they want, can we make a deal with them, are their grievances legitimate?" Tain (the Chancellor) especially would really be besties with Julius from the Heartstrikers series. Diplomacy! <3
- MYSTERIOUS LOR ...more
One of my favorite reads of 2018 thus far.
I’m so bubbled over with excitement that I don’t even know where to begin with this review. I guess with honesty. For about 75% of this book I was convinced it was going to be a 4 star read. Nothing wrong with that at all, but the last 25% really sent me over that edge.
If epic fantasy is your preferred genre, as it is mine, then you know that a very high per ...more
First off, this book is a fantasy mystery/suspense novel, and a damn good one. The multitude of twists and turns in the plot are artfully unveiled over the course of the book through the intimate perspective of its two narrators. A brother and sister, they tell the story in alternating first person, which I love. I run into so few mu ...more
Who said big and chunky epic fantasy novels weren’t appetizing? Debut author Sam Hawke rushes to the table to prove their worth by serving us a delicious tale stuffed with poison, political treachery and ancient spirits. This dish however doesn’t come on the usual silver platter. What we find ourselves in front is a fantasy story grounded in mystery. As rare as they are, Sam Hawke showcases her outstanding storytelling talent and presents us a d ...more
I love love this book! It's paced perfectly so you don't have to wait ages for the action to start. Kalina and Jovan are awesome characters! Jovan is an expert when it comes to poisons and he's a proofer for the heir of Sjona Tain Caslavtash Iliri. (A proofer is someone who tastes food before it is consumed by others as a way to prevent poisonings). Jovan also has a serious case of OCD which made him very relatabl ...more
Kalina and Jovan are part of the ruling class of families, though people most do not know that this family has a critical and secret role in the kingdom. Jovan, and his uncle before him, and several before him, functioned as the Chancellor’s Proofer, responsible for tasting and securing all the Chancellor’s food and drink from poisoning. Kalina was intended for this ro ...more
This fantastic debut will certainly find it’s place among well-loved fantasy series. It mixes fantasy with mystery and intrigue seamlessly. It was a book that had me guessing right to the end, with the added pressure of literally being penned in and running out of time. I literally went to work sleep deprived this entire week because every time I picked up this book, I had trouble putting it down.
Sibling prot ...more
Genuine characters you can root for, a main character with (well-written) anxiety, a main character with chronic illness (who's a super badass), religion represented well and honestly, and a secondary-world siege? Plus MAGIC and GODS at the end? And POISON the whole way through? This is everything I wanted. Plus it wraps up very nicely at the end so you could read it as stand-alone if you're not into series. This book is so good, honestly.