“League of Liars” by Astrid Scholte
Source: PenguinTeen in exchange for honest review
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Ever since his mother was killed, seventeen-year-old Cayder Broduck has had one goal–to see illegal users of magic brought to justice. People who carelessly use extradimensional magic for their own self-interest, without a care to the damage it does to society or those around them, deserve to be punished as far as Cayder is concerned. Because magic always has a price. So when Cayder lands a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to apprentice under a premier public defender, he takes it. If he can learn all the tricks of public defense, the better he’ll be able to dismantle defense arguments when he’s a prosecutor. Then he’ll finally be able to make sure justice is served.
But when he meets the three criminals he’s supposed to defend, it no longer seems so black and white. They’re teenagers, like him, and their stories are . . . complicated, like his. Vardean, the prison where Cayder’s new clients are incarcerated, also happens to be at the very heart of the horrible tear in the veil between their world and another dimension–where all magic comes from.
I loved how twisty this story was. Obviously with a title like League of Liars, you’d expect some twists. This book is chock-full of them.
The beginning of the book was a bit heavy on the Point of View jumping. The summary hints that there’s a group of teenagers who the story is focused on. We’re just thrown in headfirst without a lot of explanation as to what’s going on & who these people are & the relationship between them. Sure, you eventually start to figure things out but it was rough going for a bit.
The book very subtly flirts with the idea of fantasy. It would be a great introduction to the genre for people who aren’t sure if they enjoy fantasy. [Really all of Scholte’s books are like that which makes her an author I turn to when recommending books to people who don’t know if they enjoy fantasy.]
I thought the use of magical ‘lawyers’ was a refreshing new take I hadn’t seen before. Illegal magic/crime & magic is nothing new so seeing the other side of topic was an interesting take.
Oh boy, was that a ride. I had no idea what to expect when I walked into this book but it certainly wasn’t this story. I mean that in the best possible way. Scholte knows how to write a captivating story that leaves you a bit book drunk.
The conclusion might not be as wrapped up as one would hope and it leaves a lot of unanswered questions. But I liked that it was ambiguous. I really hope it stays as a standalone.