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Review of ‘City of Lies’

Jovan and Kalina, noble siblings of art-loving Sjona, are heirs to a difficult responsibility: detecting poisons and preventing them from reaching the city’s Chancellor. When their father is felled along with the reigning monarch by a poison none of them can identify or detect, they are thrust into duty protecting their friend Tain—the newest ruler…

Review of ‘City of Lies’

Ramita Navai sets it straight from the beginning: “In order to live in Tehran, you have to lie,” she writes in City of Lies, a gripping portrait of life inside Iran. “Lying in Tehran is about survival.”

The country’s oppressive religious and political atmosphere forces its citizens to lie about issues large and small, lest…

Interview with Ramita Navai

“I was seven years old the first time my uncle poisoned me.” The first sentence of Sam Hawke’s City of Lies lets the reader know exactly what they’re in for. A deliciously tense, well-crafted start to a new fantasy series, City of Lies follows Jovan and Kalina, two young nobles who have been raised to detect poisons and prevent them from harming the ruling family of Sjona. When their father and the monarch are assassinated, Jovan and Kalina have to protect the new ruler—their close friend Tain—from threats both within the city and outside its walls. We talked to Hawke about devising fictional poisons, creating a magic system based on emotion and the real-world parallels in her fantastic new world.

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