Your Preview Verdict: League of Liars by Astrid Scholte

Your Preview Verdict: League of Liars by Astrid Scholte

Four teenagers charged with the illegal use of magic get together to devise the ultimate jailbreak. A thrilling YA fantasy novel full of twists and turns, perfect for fans of Six of Crows and Shadow and Bone.

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 extradimensional magic brought to justice. Cayder dreams of becoming a prosecutor and, when he secretly accepts an apprenticeship under the city’s best public defender, he plans to learn every legal trick he can to one day dismantle defence arguments. Then he’ll finally be able to make sure justice is served.

But when he meets all three criminals he is to defend, he finds they 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…

Read some great reviews from our Preview readers here:

 

League of Liars is a YA fantasy thriller about seventeen-year-old Cayder Broduck whose mother was killed when he was young due to illegal magic use. When Cayder gets the chance to apprentice under an edem based public crime defender he hopes to serve justice and punish edem magic users. But when he meets three teenage criminals he’s meant to defend; he is exposed to the complicated and intriguing world of magic, making him see everything he once knew in a different way. I really liked the writing style and felt emotionally connected to the characters and story. I felt so many emotions throughout and by the end of the novel I was wishing that there would be a sequel, the world-building is exceptional and I wish to delve deeper! League of Liars is an exciting and unique read and I look forward to reading other works by Astrid Scholte. Brittany, VIC, 5 Stars

Astrid Scholte enters the world of untamed magic whilst fighting the legality of its use in her new young adult novel League of Liars. This story jumps between multiple character perspectives to establish the history of the law and judgement over the use of edem: the ‘untamed magic’. Edem is illegal and has been banned from ever being used with those that disobey facing imprisonment thus, leading the story into edem-based crimes and court proceedings. However, although the crime is a fictional ruling, it may not appeal to a reader if law is not an interest, with the main character Cayder apprenticing under a public defender and thus law is a constant topic of conversation throughout the book. I personally engaged completely with this novel, with the interchanging point of views adding to the unravelling mystery surrounding edem and how its ‘users’ perceive this magic and the aftermath. Scholte has successfully established, what I hope to be, a continuing series with the final chapter ending on a cliff hanger and I cannot wait to read the next instalment! Charlotte, NSW, 5 Stars

Thanks to Better Reading for giving me the opportunity to read and review League of Liars by Astrid Scholte. Wow, what a read! I was instantly captivated and really struggled to put this book down. I was transported to another world; the magical world of Telene. This was a real page turner; a book where you forego sleeping, just to make sure you don’t miss a thing. League of Liars is a YA fantasy novel with many twists and turns including magic. The perfect combination. The story follows along with the main character, Cayder; a seventeen year old who wants to pursue a career of justice after the loss of his mother in a crime years before. The magic of Edem is illegal and all who use it must be held accountable for their actions. Cayder has his own story with a complicated past as do the criminals he encounters along the way. There is much I want to discuss however you will need to do yourselves a favour and read this book for there are no spoilers here. All I can tell you is you definitely won’t be disappointed! I can’t recommend this book highly enough! Thanks so much again to Better Reading for the opportunity and to Astrid Scholte for writing such an amazing novel. Amanda, VIC, 5 Stars

I loved this book! A perfect young non spicy YA story with great characters, magic and great world building. There is such a market for this kind of YA where the focus is not the spicy relationships but relationships in general. I hope there is a sequel, because that ending…😱 I will be recommending to many many tweens, teens and adults alike! Hanadi, NSW, 5 Stars

What a rush! I must admit once you start this book it is difficult to put down. I dove headfirst into Telene and the characters within this book, the main protagonists are teenagers with a complex and troubled past. Within the book each character tells a story that paints a picture, yet it is not the whole truth and as the reader you must try to separate the truths and lies. Throughout the book you have a sense that there is some overarching conspiracy afoot, and that keeps you riveted. It has been a while since I’m read a fantasy YA book and I thoroughly enjoyed this one, I liked quite a few of the characters and empathised with their plight. The cover is beautifully designed and one final note there is a cliff-hanger so I’m praying for a book two. Judy, NSW, 5 Stars

In the land of Telene that is ruled by the Telene Government – King Erimen and Princess Elenora, brother and sister, then the Regency if the King is unavailable, then the Court, then Vardean, the capital and the people that live there. There is a substance called Edem, which you can use to manipulate time and change your reality which has been banned from Telene. If it is used, it will leave an Echo mark or worse still, a Death Mark, if it is used to kill someone. In the Court is Graymond Toyer who is the number one public defender for Edem based crimes. Along with his apprentice, Cayder Broduck, who has spent 12 months in Vardean Reform when he was 10 for using Edem. His time inside was well spent as he then was learning and wanted to become a lawyer to defend all that had been wronged. Graymond had been given the case of Jey who had killed his father, then Leta – Cayders sister, who has presumably killed 300 people, and the Princess who supposedly had killed her brother. Could this all be The Regency or Edem that had caused these deaths? Will Graymond get to the truth and find out what is really happening or will Cayder be able to help his friends? This is a YA book but I would recommend to anyone who likes a bit of mystery. #BRPreview @betterreadingau @goodreadsau @AstridScholte Sue, NSW, 5 Stars

Thanks to Better Reading for the preview copy of League of Liars, an epic new Fantasy novel by Astrid Scholte. I have read a few of Astrid’s books and she never fails to disappoint. There is plenty of action and intrigue in this one. The story is told from the point of view of the four main characters who are caught up in the fight against the illegal use of magic. The world building and character development are great and all I can say is when is the sequel coming out? Jo, QLD, 5 Stars

Absolutely fantastic!!! From the moment I started reading, I couldn’t put it down! I got so invested in the main characters and couldn’t stop being surprised by all the twists and turns along the way!!! Jey was hilarious but something about princess Elenora was so intriguing, I would love to see how her character evolves! I cant wait to see what happens next…..! Emma, WA, 5 Stars

If this book does not have a sequel (or become like an entire series), I am going to be so upset. I need more!!!! More of these wonderful characters, more of this brilliant world, i need MORE. Oh my god. I forgot how good YA fantasy is. When 17-year-old Cayder Broduck’s mother is killed in a suspicious crime involving edem, he vows to see justice dealt to all users of the illegal magic. After accepting a job as the apprentice of Telene’s greatest lawyer, Cayder becomes obsessed with figuring out ever aspect of edem-related law in an effort to avenge his mother. However, Cayder is tasked with helping defend three teenage criminals who all have complicated pasts, like him, and all have a history with grief, loss, and edem. As these cases begin to be connected, Cayder must accept that he doesn’t truly know what happened to his mother on the night of her death. I AM OBSESSED with these characters. Kema is the newest addition to my list of fictional girlfriends, i am in love with her. AND JEY, he is so goddamn funny. i adored the setting of this book, both Telene and the city’s prison. I just… I’m obsessed with this book. The world building was done seamlessly and brilliantly, and i never once felt like there was info-dumping. ALSO THE COVER!!! CAN WE TALK ABOUT HOW NICE IT IS OH MY GOD. Thank you so much to Allen & Unwin, Astrid Scholte, and BetterReading for this book, I’m so in love with it. AHHHH Cassie, SA, 5 Stars

I just finished Melbourne author Astrid Scholte’s new book League of Liars and wow – what a rollercoaster! Set in the country of Telene, a form of illegal magic called edem can only be found in the shadows. As tempting as it is, wielding edem will strictly result in a sentence in Vardean, the prison for edem-based crimes! We are soon introduced to 17-year-old Cayder whose mother was killed in a freak edem-based crime. Cayder is spending his summer working as an apprentice to a public defender, taking on cases for those accused of such crimes. Cayder meets three teenagers, all accused of horrific crimes and soon realises he needs to find a way to prove their innocence – to do this he must figure out what really happened the night his mother died. Scholte has crafted a real page turner and will keeping you guessing right to the end, making you fall in love with Cayder’s unfailing loyalty, laugh at Jey’s sarcastic wit and empathise with Leta’s open mind and curious nature. I loved learning about Edem and what can be done with it. My heart was beating out of my chest as I followed Cayder’s daring jail break attempt when all else failed. League of Liars was everything I wanted in a fantasy thriller and had me hooked till the very end! Siobhan, VIC, 5 Stars

Let me say I’m not the target audience for this novel but I do buy for teens. That said I quite enjoy this book right up until the last couple of pages. But first.. This fantasy novel has no foul language, noting that would cause grief if I bought it for our school library. The plot moves along through murder, mysteries, family issue and magic. The characters are well defined. What I wanted was more depth in each of these but perhaps teens will be satisfied. The end of the book however I found very frustrating. There was no closure. We are left hanging. I hope there’s a sequel. Nell, NSW, 4 Stars

While reading the League of Liars by Astrid Scholte, it felt great to be transported into the mystical world of Telene and the lives of Cayder, Leta, Jey, Princess Elenora and Kema. The story begins with Cayder and Leta and their family’s history. They are siblings who would like to find out the mystery behind their mothers death and help the people of Telene understand what the Regency (a trusted arm of Telene’s government) are hiding behind the dark walls of Vardean, Telene’s dark prison. They are both passionate characters and will do anything to follow their hearts for justice. I feel Cayder is described thoughtfully with his passion to be a lawyer as well as is his self-confidence and vulnerabilities. Along the way we are introduced to the other characters and the reasons why they want to help out and support their new made friendships. Together, I believe they are the league of liars, all keeping secrets and opening up to their fears to keep their loved ones safe from the Regency. An intriguing novel that also has wonderful use of drawings and scripted text to build on the readers imagination. Raffaela, VIC, 4 Stars

With plot twists around every corner, and the interweaving stories of a brilliantly diverse mix of characters (probably the only similarity to Six of Crows if I’m being honest) – some that you just want to wrap in a hug (maybe that’s the mum in me) and others that irk you just enough that you can’t bring yourself to trust them; League of Liars will put its’ readers on a roller coaster of secrets, corruption, forbidden magic and betrayal. I was instantly intrigued by the premise of illegal magic and was once again impressed with Astrid Scholte’s world building and her ability to stray from the masses of YA fiction and give readers something different. The illustrations scattered throughout the book had me reminiscent of my early novel reading days as a child, and I feel a map of Telene may have been a more valuable addition. I do hope that we see more of this ragtag crew and the world that Scholte has delivered in League of Liars. With an ending like THAT, surely there has to be something more in the works – otherwise we’re left to throw our hands in the air, with a whole lot of unanswered questions. Emilia, QLD, 4 Stars

I absolutely love Astrid Scholte, so I was so excited to get stuck into this one! Overall the League of Liars was good but for me this was kind of hard to get into at first for a couple of reasons, this book has multiple POV’s which sometimes I struggle with because there is always one of two characters POV’ s that I’m not really that interested in which was the case with Cayder’s chapters I liked him as a character but I didn’t really connect with him I was more interested in the other 3 characters, also a big chunk of this book was focused on the trial which was fascinating but I was a tad bored, as the story progressed and the twists and turns came into play my boredom disappeared and I was quiet invested in the story. I’m not sure if this is going to be a series but with the way it ended I really hope it is because you can’t leave it like that!!!! I rate League of Liars 3.5 stars out of 5. Thank You Better Reading for the opportunity to review this book! Kadey, QLD, 3 Stars

Haven’t read much fantasy but this book was quite enjoyable. Wasn’t hard to follow and kept you intrigued throughout. Maybe for a younger audience but still a good read. Robbi, QLD, 3 Stars

This was a great read, I don’t get to read many fantasy, and this took me away from the mess of the world at the moment. I enjoyed all the characters, found the storyline kept me enthralled, and found this just a really good book. Jessica, NSW, 3 Stars

This book has a super interesting concept which I was excited to delve into: time altering magic is lurking in the shadows for anyone to use, but it’s dangerous and forbidden. The story centres around mysterious crimes that have been made using this magic or ‘edem’ and how the legal system deals with them. The main protagonist is bent on finding out the truth… fantasy meets true crime. There’s certainly enough twists and turns to keep you interested. I personally would have enjoyed some more character development and more fleshing out of the fantasy world it’s set in. I’m someone who enjoys more descriptive language, so this wasn’t quite my style. A nice easy read with enough in it to keep you turning. Safiye, VIC, 3 Stars

Reviews

Better Reading Preview: League of Liars by Astrid Scholte

Review | Preview

18 January 2022

Better Reading Preview: League of Liars by Astrid Scholte

    Publisher details

    League of Liars
    Author
    Astrid Scholte
    Publisher
    Allen & Unwin
    Genre
    Children’s Fiction
    Released
    01 March, 2022
    ISBN
    9781760630799

    Synopsis

    Recommended for ages 14+.

    Four teenagers charged with the illegal use of magic get together to devise the ultimate jailbreak. A thrilling YA fantasy novel full of twists and turns, perfect for fans of Six of Crows and Shadow and Bone.

    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 extradimensional magic brought to justice. Cayder dreams of becoming a prosecutor and, when he secretly accepts an apprenticeship under the city's best public defender, he plans to learn every legal trick he can to one day dismantle defence arguments. Then he'll finally be able to make sure justice is served.

    But when he meets all three criminals he is to defend, he finds they 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...
    Astrid Scholte
    About the author

    Astrid Scholte

    Astrid Scholte has loved telling stories for as long as she can remember, writing her first 'novel' at age 5. Her desire to be surrounded by all things fantastical led her to pursue a career in the visual effects and animation industry. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Film, Media and Theatre and a Bachelor of Digital Media from the University of New South Wales and the College of Fine Arts in Sydney.She has spent the last 10 years working in visual effects production as both an artist and an artist manager. Career highlights include working on James Cameron's Avatar, Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin and Happy Feet 2 by George Miller. She currently works as a product support manager in the entertainment industry and dedicates her spare time to reading and writing young adult fiction. She lives in Melbourne.

    Books by Astrid Scholte

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