Lies of the Ajungo

96 pages

English language

Published Nov. 2, 2023 by Doherty Associates, LLC, Tom.

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4 stars (5 reviews)

They say there is no water in the City of Lies. They say there are no heroes in the City of Lies. They say there are no friends beyond the City of Lies. But would you believe what they say in the City of Lies?

In the City of Lies, they cut out your tongue when you turn thirteen, to appease the terrifying Ajungo Empire and make sure it continues sending water. Tutu will be thirteen in three days, but his parched mother won’t last that long. So Tutu goes to his oba and makes a deal: she provides water for his mother, and in exchange he will travel out into the desert and bring back water for the city. Thus begins Tutu’s quest for the salvation of his mother, his city, and himself.

The Lies of the Ajungo opens the curtains on a tremendous world, and begins the epic …

2 editions

Lies of the Ajungo

4 stars

The Lies of the Ajungo is a short fantasy novella. The premise is that in the parched desert City of Lies, all thirteen year olds have their tongues cut out in order to satisfy the Ajungo who trade back a pittance of water. The almost-thirteen child Tutu chooses the alternative option, which is to set off into the desert alone on a hopeless quest to find another water source for the city. There he finds friends, betrayals, and plenty of truths.

For me, the crux of this story revolves about the power of narrative, which makes me excited to see that there is going to be a follow-up novella set in the future where (if I am reading the blurb correctly) the events of this book appear to be misconstrued.

I felt like there was a lot of good worldbuilding and character development packed into this novella, and I love …

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4 stars