Liar's Test (The Silverleaf Chronicles, Book 1)

Ambelin Kwaymullina

Liar's Test (The Silverleaf Chronicles, Book 1)
Text Publishing
4 June 2024

Liar’s Test (The Silverleaf Chronicles, Book 1)

Ambelin Kwaymullina

Seven will come. Two will die. Two will sleep. Two will serve. One will rule.

I didn't want to rule the Risen. Wreak a little havoc upon them, though? That was something else entirely.

Bell Silverleaf is a liar.

It's how she's survived. It's how all Treesingers have survived since they were invaded by the Risen and their fickle gods. But now Bell is in the Queen's Test-she's one of seven girls competing in deadly challenges to determine who will rule for the next twenty-five years. If Bell wins, she'll have the power to help her people and take revenge on the Risen. But first she has to make it through the challenges alive.

She doesn't know how much she's been lied to, or where she fits in a bigger story, a mystery stretching back generations. And she's facing much bigger dangers than the Queen's Test. She's up against the gods themselves.

Liar's Test is a fast-paced, intricately woven fantasy novel with an unforgettable heroine inspired by the strength and power of Aboriginal women.


The new novel by Ambelin Kwaymullina, the First Nations author of The Tribe trilogy and Catching Teller Crow, is an intricately plotted fantasy that features a gutsy, clever heroine who is an excellent liar.

Bell has been imprisoned in the kingdom of Radiance ever since her Treesinger grove was enveloped by a mysterious sickness that left many in an endless sleep. Treesingers live in tune with the land and the trees, but are not given the same rights as other people. In Radiance, the ruling guilds worship ancient gods, but were they really gods or just clever and manipulative humans? Bell has more insight than most, having spent the last four years reading the gods’ ancient testimonies.

Bell is called to be the first ever Treesinger participant of the Queen’s Test, an ancient series of challenges for seven young women that occurs every 25 years. If Bell can survive the tests, she can escape her prison and possibly even become Queen. But the various guilds and their factions within Radiance are jostling for power and the palace politics must be negotiated just as skilfully as the challenges of strength. Not to mention the high priest is trying to kill her. But a romantic interest related to the gods also helps Bell on her journey.

This fantasy thriller set in a rich and sophisticated world deserves a wide audience. The tests of faith, strength and cleverness are thrilling, with themes of colonialism, religion and abuse of power providing deeper complexity. Highly recommended for ages 14+.

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