The Lies of the Ajungo

- Moses Ose Utomi


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.



There is no water in the City of Lies


* Thanks to NetGalley and Tordotcom for an eARC of this book. The following review is my honest reflection on the text provided. *

absolute favourite:
I’ve had good luck with novellas recently – The Lies of the Ajungo is another quick read that strikes the right balance between telling a complete story and leaving you wanting more.

The Lies of the Ajungo reads like an old-fashioned fable or a Brothers Grimm fairytale. It’s a simple story told devastatingly effectively. Tutu’s evolution from small and bullied to powerful and vengeful is done so well that you’re rooting for him from the very beginning.

I like that this story is about questioning everything. If even the name of your town is designed to breed distrust, if your history is littered with deceit and trickery, if everything you’ve ever been told is a betrayal, then what do you do?

This fast-paced, almost feverish narrative drew me into this bleak and barren world with almost no effort. Within a few pages, I was completely on board for this adventure, and I never looked back. I cannot recommend this novella highly enough, and as it looks like this might be the start of a series, I’m very excited to be able to return to this world one day.


Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

See All Reviews   |   Quotes   |   Sort Reviews By:    # of Pages   |   Author [ Name | Gender | Nationality ]   |   DNF   |   Genre   |   Rating   |   Series   |   Title   |   Year Published


Like this:

Like Loading...
Would love your thoughts, please comment!x
%d bloggers like this: