Review: League of Liars by Astrid Scholte

Review: League of Liars by Astrid Scholte

League of Liars by Astrid Scholte is a unique mystery that combines magic with murder trials. I found the genre-blending premise original, and I enjoyed the mix of narrators, both inside and outside of the prison. While the content of this book didn’t meet all of my expectations, I still enjoyed the story as a whole. This is a great read for those looking for the tension of legal drama with a touch of fantasy.

Review: League of Liars by Astrid ScholteTitle: League of Liars
Author: Astrid Scholte
Also by this author: Four Dead Queens
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Genres: Fantasy, Thriller
Publication Date: February 22, 2022
Rating: three-stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

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 the worst kind of punishment 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 punish the guilty without mercy.

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.

League of Liars is a dark and twisty mystery set in a richly-drawn world where nothing is as it seems, rife with magic, villains and danger.

In this fantasy thriller, four teens charged with murder and the illegal use of magic band together to devise the ultimate jailbreak. Perfect for fans of Six of Crows and How to Get Away with Murder.

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❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃


Review: League of Liars by Astrid Scholte

Dreaming of becoming a prosecutor someday, Cayder is determined to bring all wrongful users of magic to justice after the death of his mother. When he is offered an opportunity to work as an apprentice for a public defender, he jumps at the chance, but upon entering the prison and meeting the criminals he is supposed to defend, he realizes that their cases are more complicated than he originally thought. When his sister arrives in the prison with a life sentence, everything changes, and it is up to Cayder to uncover the truth and prove her, and the rest of the wrongfully accused, innocent.

❀ Interesting Main Character

Cayder is an interesting main character, and I enjoyed the way he changes throughout the book. He is committed to bringing illegal users of magic to justice–driven by the people who killed his mother–but he is forced to change his perspective as he must defend people who have been accused of this same crime. Also included are the perspectives of three characters who have been accused of illegal use of magic, and this provides an interesting contrast to Cayder. For me, not every perspective was particularly useful, but I still enjoyed getting glimpses of both life inside and outside of the prison.

❀ Plot feels rushed

Where I struggled with this book was with my own expectations that didn’t live up to the actual content. Based on the Six of Crows comp and the “ultimate jailbreak” that the synopsis promises, I was anticipating more of a prison break/heist story, so I was surprised to see the plot take a more investigative approach, similar to books like All These Bodies. I still enjoyed the story as a whole, and it does deliver on the prison break, but this only begins to unfold at around 70% through. Because of this, the plot feels very rushed. I rarely advocate for series over standalones, but in this case, I feel like a duology would have been way more effective.

❀ A genre-blending fantasy-thriller

League of Liars by Astrid Scholte is a great read for fans of courtroom dramas. I found the premise unique and enjoyed the balance of perspectives, but this one didn’t quite live up to my expectations for an action-packed read. The book as a whole is still enjoyable, so I would still recommend it to anyone looking for a genre-blending fantasy-thriller.

About Astrid Scholte

Image of Astrid Scholte

Raised on a diet of Spielberg, Lucas and Disney, Astrid knew she wanted to be surrounded by all things fantastical from a young age. She’s spent the last 10 years working in film, animation and television as both an artist and manager. Career highlights include working on James Cameron's AVATAR, Steven Spielberg's THE ADVENTURES OF TIN TIN and HAPPY FEET 2 by George Miller. She’s a visual writer and aims to capture the vivid stories that play like movies in her head. When she’s not writing, she’s painting her favorite fictional characters and obliging her furry overlords, Lilo and Mickey.

FOUR DEAD QUEENS (Putnam, Spring 2019) is her debut novel.

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