City of Lies: 4 reasons this debut should scratch your Game of Thrones itch

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Deep worldbuilding

Other nations and places exist outside of Sjona, and though they aren’t visited this time around, we at least know that they exist. Hawke’s worldbuilding maybe isn’t the most polished I’ve seen, just because she doesn’t always contextualize enough when new concepts are introduced, preferring instead to actually explain later, long after a reader may have just figured it out for themselves. But when she’s on point, she is on point.

Aside from that, though, there’s a lot to unpack and contend with when it comes to how Sjona operates,and City of Lies does actually help color things in by casually alluding to LGBTQ relationships, talking about how different things are in the country as opposed to the city, and introducing us to characters from all different backgrounds. Here’s hoping Hadrea, one of those characters who comes in, gets to have point-of-view chapters in the next book.


Sure, we spend more time with Jovan in terms of number of chapters, but if you don’t like Kalina and yet say you’re a fan of someone like Arya or Sansa Stark, I’m not sure that I can help you. (I am a fan of all three.)

Sure, Kalina trends more to the Sansa side of things, as she’s not a proper fighter, but she also doesn’t need several books or seasons’ worth of character development in order to become the kind of knowledgeable, willing to get things done person that Sansa becomes in the later seasons of Game of Thrones.

Here’s hoping she gets a much bigger role in the sequel, because the fact that this book is dubbed the first Poison War novel makes me think there’s probably going to be a sequel.

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