This is book number 1 in the The Poison Wars series.
Looking for a new fantasy series? Hawke's is a breath of fresh air. Told from the POV of a brother and sister, respectively, who are in the business of poison, I could hardly keep up with the many twists and turns of suspense and action. The character growth was well thought out and the world-building is complex, yet not overwhelming.— Karena
WINNER of the Ditmar Awards for Best Novel and Best New Talent, the Norma K Hemming Award, and the Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Novel!
Poison. Treachery. Ancient spirits. Sieges. The Poison Wars begin now, with City of Lies, a fabulous epic fantasy debut by Sam Hawke
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 Chancellor succumbs to an unknown poison and an army lays siege to the city, Jovan and his sister Kalina must protect the Heir and save their city-state.
But treachery lurks in every corner, and the ancient spirits of the land are rising...and angry.
"A tale of poisoners, deceit and treachery that will surely keep readers entranced. I don’t read many stories as twisty and unpredictable, especially in the latter chapters, as this one, and I loved what Sam Hawke did."—Terry Brooks
"If the first line doesn’t make you buy this book, you should turn in your fantasy-lover’s badge. City of Lies got me through sitting seven hours in an airport, and proves that a tale about the one who risks his life to thwart assassins can be as compelling as any assassin’s tale."—Robin Hobb
"Sibling protagonists anchor this twisty story of old grievances coming to a boil. Hawke writes with nuance about the loves, loyalties, ambitions, and resentments that bind her characters together and threaten to tear them apart."—Kate Elliott
"Absolutely loved this; the world building is brilliant, the mystery and crime elements merge seamlessly into a fantastical world of poisoners, warrior-guilds and ancient magic. But the heart of the story is the central characters, they’re written with such depth, flawed, human and likeable. City of Lies is a wonderful read and one that I'd highly recommend to all lovers of fantasy."—John Gwynne
"An enormously enjoyable read, one of the best new fantasies I’ve seen in a long time."—Adrian Tchaikovsky
“A compelling fantasy whodunit—imagine Agatha Christie channelled through Robin Hobb—and a page-turning coming-of-age tale.”—The Guardian
"A well-crafted debut with believable political intrigues, solid worldbuilding, and original characters."—Kirkus
"This epic fantasy debut weaves political, class, and belief systems into a deftly drawn world."—School Library Journal
"Colorful and exciting."—Publishers Weekly