City of Lies is the second book in Lian Tanner’s The Keepers trilogy, and is well worth a read. Like Museum of Thieves, City of Lies starts off with an extremely simplistic-seeming premise (albeit a unique one) and characters who seem one-dimensional. However, as you progress into the book you quickly discover the complexity and very real issues underlying this world. Goldie Roth encounters homelessness, poverty, the after-effects of torture, and more as she tries to rescue her kidnapped friends from Spoke, the city of lies.
What impresses me most about Lian Tanner’s books is that although they are clearly written to be accessible to children, they manage to paint a fascinating world peopled with likable yet flawed characters who must deal with with humor and tragedy, kindness and cruelty, the mundane and the magical. These are also one of the few fantasies that feels truly unique, rather than being derivative of the tired old tropes of medieval society and stereotypical magical creatures.
The plot summary contains spoilers! Show it anyway.