BOOK CLUB: League of Liars

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“League of Liars” by Astrid Scholte is an excellent fantasy, written to suit both younger and older readers across the young adult spectrum. It’s fast moving and involving, and will keep most readers engaged.

Cayder Broduck is desperate to become a lawyer, a prosecutor, and bring illegal users of extradimensional magic to justice. He’s driven by his mother’s death during an edem crime, and the consequences: his father’s withdrawal and the increasing distance between Cayder and his sister Leta.

His father doesn’t want him working at the edem jail, so he has to take on an apprenticeship with the city’s public defender in secret. He’s on fire to see justice served to the selfish criminals he’s supposed to help. 

Things change when he meets his first three clients. All teenagers, like him. Each with very complicated stories. Suddenly the truth doesn’t seem so cut and dried anymore. And as events accelerate, Cayder realises he doesn’t have much time to separate truth from lies.

The characterisation is a strength of the novel. The four teens at the centre of the novel are all individuals, and it’s easy to empathise with them all despite their different views. The growing relationships between them are believable, and add conviction to the plot and their actions.

league of liars

There are few other characters, and while that limited the world building a little, it also added to the oppressiveness of the jail and the urgency of Cayder’s efforts. On balance, the small cast served the novel well.

The plot is original and interesting. It’s a nice mix of things the reader will see coming, and unexpected twists. This is a relatively fast and easy read, in part because it’s so absorbing. Even when you suspect you know what’s coming next, you often want to keep reading to find out how a character reacts to it.

Scholte leans quite heavily on tropes – such as emotionally absent fathers, demonstratively loving mothers, and wide-eyed idealism – with the result that some older readers may find this lacking in nuance. That’s more likely to bother adult readers than the intended audience, though.

A distinct problem is that this is not a stand-alone novel, and that doesn’t become evident till close to the end. Don’t get me wrong; I love a good series. But if there is no indication on a cover, title page, or in a blurb that a novel is the opener of a series, the final pages of the novel suffer badly. The rhythm feels wrong – it throws the whole novel out – and the ending feels unsatisfactory because it doesn’t have the closure you’ve been expecting. My final feelings about “League of Liars” would have been much more positive had I known to expect little closure.

However, if you open this with the knowledge that the story continues, you’ll likely enjoy it a lot. While it’s particularly well suited for its’ intended young adult audience, many adult readers will also enjoy the original plot, strong characters, and fast-moving action.

ISBN: 978-1-76063-079-9

Copy courtesy of Allen and Unwin (2022)

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading League of Liars by Astrid ScholteYou can read their comments below, or add your own review.

8 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: League of Liars

  1. Thank you Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read League of Liars by Astrid Scholte.

    This is definitely a different gene to what I usually read but I throughly enjoyed it!!

    This is written with the best characters which makes for a great read!!

    With twists and turns this is a book that will keep you guessing right to the end!!

    The ending will leaving you wishing for the next book to hurry up and be written!!

    Highly recommend ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  2. League of Liars by Astrid Scholte is a fantasy, crime, mystery set in the city of Telene. It is a city where Edem, extra dimensional magic is banned.

    17 year old Cayder Broduck dreams of being a prosecutor.His mother was killed in a freak Edem magic crime. He and his sister have not been told the truth of the accident.
    Cayder secretly begins an apprenticeship under the City’s best Public Defender Graymond Toyer.
    The three criminals they are to defend are teenagers with complicated stories. He is shocked at their identity and the “crimes “ are connected, taking him on a good versus evil journey, as he uncovers what really happened on the night his mother died.

    It is a great read. The twists and turns keep you engaged.
    The book is targeted at the teenage reader, but still enjoyable for any age.

  3. League of Liars by Astrid Scholte, and published by Allen & Unwin is a thrilling, fast paced dive into an enchanting but daunting world. Excellent world building, believable characters and a fascinating society – I just really hope the next book is written fast, to continue the story!!

    Magic exists in the kingdom of Telene, but its use is forbidden and fiercely regulated by the Regency. If you are caught using it, you end up in Vardean, a high-security prison. Using magic would be a temptation at the best of times but for teens Caydar, Leta, Jay and Elle, the main characters of this story, the use of edem magic becomes essential to their lives…

    Each of them has questions and people they are trying to find, help or protect, and the book is told from each teen’s perspective. Their individual stories take many twists and turns but in uncovering the facts, they each discover that they have all been lied to and that their fates are inextricably linked.

    A thoroughly enjoyable read, League of Liars ends on a real cliffhanger, so I really hope the next book comes soon!!

  4. Thank you BeautyandLace and Allen & Unwin for providing me with League of Liars written my Astrid Scholte to read and review.

    I don’t usually gravitate towards fantasy books but this book was an easy read that kept my interest until the very end.
    League of Liars main character is teenager Cayder Broduck, an aspiring prosecutor for the Crown Court in the land called Telene.

    Telene is a place where the use of Edem, an extra dimensional magic used to manipulate time and reality is strictly forbidden. The Regency are government agents that police the abuse of Edem, sending their perpetrators to Vardean, Telene’s prison.

    When Cayder accepts the role as an apprentice under Telene’s best public defender; Graymond Toyer, he meets three teenage criminals Leta, Jey and Elle each one of them facing extended prison sentences for their crimes.

    In the process of their defense he discovers that all is not what it seems, could their incarcerations somehow be related to his mother’s death? They all seem to be hiding something and how are their crimes connected?
    As Cayder pieces it all together he finds out exactly what happened to his mother.

    I have really enjoyed reading League of Liars, this fast paced fantasy book would also be suitable for young adults or teens. I loved all the characters, I found book to be well written and it had enough twists turns to keep me guessing. Now I can’t wait to read the next book!

  5. Do we really have to wait for the next installment!!

    What a book! Easy to read yet entertaining and surprising.
    My first experience reading an Astrid scholte and thoroughly enjoyed.

    Thankyou beauty and lace and Allen and Unwin for the opportunity to read this novel.

  6. Thank you Beauty and Lace for the opportunity yo read the YA fantasy thriller novel ‘League of Liars’ by Astrid Scholte. This novel is about with four teenagers who are charged with homicide and who are all caught up with the illegal use of magic and therefore attempt a gaol break. The main character Cayder Broduck is 17 and after his Mother was died as a result of magic, he finds himself being given a wonderful opportunity to work as an intern under a stellar public defender as a where he hopes to put people like the one who killed his Mother behind bars, but finds himself conflicted as he is to defend teens like himself whom all have their own unique backgrounds and stories to tell.

    This book is a mix of speaking on first and third person which if not familiar with this Author’s books took a little getting it see to.
    I hadn’t read any previous Astrid Scholte books however I think it may have been beneficial. That said, this is the first book in a trilogy and if you are after a twist-turning, compelling mystery novel with magic and villains then this is the book for you.

  7. You can tell the author has experience in the film industry – this book is ready to be made into a movie. A great fantasy YA novel I would be happy for my pre-teen to read. And it kept me, as an adult, interested throughout too which means parents and children can talk about it afterwards as a shared experience.

  8. League Of Liars has such an intriguing premise and is a great blend of fantasy, mystery and thriller. I enjoyed the multiple perspectives and thought the story unfolded at a great pace with good world building and an interesting magic system. While I anticipated some of the twists, League of Liars was nevertheless an entertaining read, however I felt the ending fell a little short and hope there is a follow up book.

    Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Allen & Unwin for providing a copy of League of Liars for review.

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