The Lies of the Ajungo

Tor.com. (The Forever Desert, Bk. 1). Mar. 2023. 96p. ISBN 9781250849069. $19.99. FANTASY
DEBUT The City of Lies has no water. They only survive by the grace of the Ajungo Empire, who trade them a trickle of water in return for the tongues of the people. But one young boy named Tutu leaves the city just before his cutting to search for water in the Forever Desert. He is doomed to fail but determined to try. When he is forced by hard and desperate lessons to see what he has been taught is itself a lie, he is finally able to find not just water but freedom. This is a story at the intersection of fable and fantasy. The Forever Desert is a setting that could hold multiple myths—and does. Through Tutu’s eyes, readers experience this desert world in all its stark beauty. They also experience the grit of his loss of innocence, as the scales that have blinded him fall from his eyes.
VERDICT This short but deeply affecting parable will unveil new perspectives to readers long after it’s done. Highly recommended.
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