League of Liars

Astrid Scholte

League of Liars
Allen & Unwin
1 March 2022

League of Liars

Astrid Scholte

Shadows are dangerous. Edem is illegal. And liars are cowards.

Ever since his mother was killed in a freak edem-based crime, seventeen-year-old Cayder Broduck has had one goal: to have illegal users of the extra-dimensional magic brought to justice. When Cayder secretly accepts an apprenticeship under the city’s best public defender, he wants to learn every legal trick to dismantle defence arguments for when he becomes a prosecutor. Then he’ll finally be able to make sure justice is served.

But the three criminals he is to defend are teenagers, like him, and their stories are … complicated, like his. As their cases unfold, Cayder must race to separate the truth from the lies and uncover what really happened the night his mother died.

From the bestselling author of Four Dead Queens comes a heart-pounding mystery rife with secrets and danger, where nothing is as it seems…


Telene is an interesting place. There is a permanent misty cloud that hangs over the city blocking out the sun and diffusing all shadows into a safer shade of soft grey, while the streets and public places are brightly lit from all angles, preventing shadows from forming.

Shadows hide ‘edem’, a type of dangerous and chaotic extra-dimensional magic. Cayder is one of those who has illegally used edem as a child, but his time in Vardean Academy – a sort of juvenile reform school for young users of edem – set him on the straight and narrow.

The world of Telene is fully formed with a unique system of magic.Now Cayder has one goal in life – to bring all those who use edem to justice. While on the path to accomplish this goal, Cayder accepts an apprenticeship under the city’s renowned public defender, Graymond Toyer, intending to learn the law from all angles before pursuing a career as a prosecutor.

The problem is the three edem users Graymond is defending are only teenagers. And the Regency, the arm of the government in charge of controlling the use of edem, seems awfully keen on persecuting these teens beyond the full extent of the law and as quickly as possible. As things turn more personal and Cayder gets better at listening to what the criminals have to say he finds himself questioning the accepted way of things more and more.

The first in a trilogy, The League of Liars is a fantastic set-up for the books to follow. The world of Telene is fully formed with a unique system of magic: the non-legal consequences of using this magic are sensible, considered and clearly spelt out, which makes it deeply intriguing for readers. I’m excited to pick up the rest of this series to learn more about origin of edem alongside Cayder and his friends. For ages 13+.

Dani Solomon is the manager of Readings Kids

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