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City of Lies

By: Sam Hawke
Narrated by: Rosa Coduri, Dan Morgan
Series: Poison Wars, Book 1
Length: 18 hrs and 14 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)

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Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of City of Lies by Sam Hawke, read by Rosa Coduri and Dan Morgan.

I was seven years old the first time my uncle poisoned me....

Only a handful of people in Silasta know Jovan’s real purpose in life. To most, he is just another son of the ruling class. The quiet, forgettable friend of the Chancellor’s charming, irresponsible heir. In reality, Jovan has been trained for most of his life to detect, concoct and withstand poisons in order to protect the ruling family. 

His sister, Kalina, is too frail to share in their secret family duty. While other women of the city hold positions of power and responsibility, her path is full of secrets and lies - some hidden even from her own brother. 

Until now, peace has reigned in Silasta for hundreds of years. But when the Chancellor succumbs to an unknown poison and an army storms the gates, the so-called Bright City is completely unprepared. It falls to Jovan and Kalina to protect the heir and save their homeland - but first they must make their way through a new world of unexpected treachery, a world where the ancient spirits are rising...and angry.

This fabulous epic fantasy debut will appeal to listeners of Joe Abercrombie and Terry Brooks, Robin Hobb and Mark Lawrence and all points in between. 

©2018 Sam Hawke (P)2018 Random House Audiobooks

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Waste of a credit.

If you're older than your mid-teens, this probably isn't for you. 1 dimensional, childish characters and a plot full of holes. 2 narrators doesn't really work either, some strange pronunciation. 2 stars because it was bearable enough to finish.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A New All Time Favourite Book

This book was nothing short of amazing. The story of Jovan and Kalina, friends of the chancellor, Tain, as their city goes through intrigue and betrayal. Sam Hawke writes a brilliant story with characters who are so well developed and interesting that I did not want to put this book down for even a moment. Jovan and Kalina were amazing and are now among my favourite ever characters; the likes of FitzChivalry Farseer, Sam Vimes, Hadrian Blackwater, Sand Dan Glokta, and Thomas Senlin.

The novel is heavily character-based and told from the POVs of Jovan and Kalina as they deal with political intrigue, assassination attempts, a city under siege, and much more.

Jovan is the younger of the two siblings and is secretly the Tain's master of poison and chemicals. He tests all food before it can be eaten and puts his life on the line daily for his chancellor and friend. He's a really interesting character, knows a lot about his trade, and cares for those around him. Jovan has OCD that in times of high stress can be crippling and it's obvious that he often struggles with how it affects him.

Kalina is Jovan's older sister. She has forgone the role Jovan has because her body is weak and couldn't develop an immunity to poison. I can't pinpoint exactly what she struggled with, but it seemed to me she had chronic fatigue as well as some other physical struggles. As someone who struggles with similar issues in my day-to-day life, I found Kalina to be an extremely compelling character. She has these issues, but she doesn't bemoan her body, every day she fights to do what she can, to help others, to protect her friends. She regularly deals with people who underestimate her and think her useless at anything physical and is determined not to let her own disabilities stop her. In short, I loved Kalina's character and found her incredibly relatable.

Sam Hawke scatters little pieces of information and detail throughout the book and they frequently reappear later on and show just how important the little things are. Everything is done for a reason, be it character growth, plot development, intrigue creation, or something else.

City of Lies deals with some pretty interesting themes, including; xenophobia in times of trouble, social inequality, religion, traditions, and more. The book is fantastically written and a really enjoyable read. I really loved its heavy character focus and that the main characters were genuinely nice people. City of Lies is easily among my favourite books of all time.

The two narrators also did a fantastic job in their portrayals of the main characters and were fantastic to listen to.

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  • jennifer
  • 28-01-19

I am glad I read this book.

This is the best book I have read in a long time.
I am so glad her early childhood school teacher recommended it to me. Sam was clearly taught well.