Friday Firsts: City of Lies by Sam Hawke


Friday Firsts is a new meme that will run every Friday here on Tenacious Reader. It will feature the first few sentences/paragraph of my current book and my first impressions as well. It’s meant to be a quick and easy way to share a bit about what I am reading, and I would love to hear others join in sharing their current reads as well.

City of Lies (Poison Wars, #1) by Sam Hawke
Also by this author: City of Lies
Published by Tor Books on July 3, 2018
Pages: 512

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I was seven years old the first time my uncle poisoned me.

He served me the toxin in his signature cheese stew. It gave me waves of stomach cramps and hallucinations of every horror my young mind could conjure, but left no lasting damage. I learned that day to trust nothing on my plate or in my cup, not even something prepared by my beloved uncle Etan, my Tashi, the most honored and trusted person in my world. Especially not him.

By ten, I could identify the ingredients in most dishes set before me, from the spicy baked fish served year-round in Sjona’s farms and estates, to the flat black bread cooked in clay ovens in every kitchen in the city, to the delicate cheese-and-honey pastries favored in the highest circles of society. I could detect any of the eleven greater poisons hidden in those dishes. Most by taste, some by smell, and one by its unique mouthfeel. I could also, should the need arise, use them myself.

Before his own Tashi died and my uncle Etan inherited his seat on the Council, he had trained as a cook—something of an oddity among the six Credol Families, but not unheard of. No one thought it amiss that he should instill in me the same dedication to the craft. Under his tutelage, foreign dishes and imported spices ceased to be an obstacle to my tongue or nose, and I learned all that had ever been written about the natural and crafted poisons of our land.

Over the next ten years, and hundreds of poisonings, Etan gave me many gifts: immunities, scars, an appreciation of our family’s honorable and secret role, and a memory and mind trained in our craft so I could one day protect the ruling family of Sjona as he did.

As he lay dying before me, none of it seemed enough.

Hawke, Sam (2018-07-02T23:58:59). City of Lies: A Poison War Novel (The Poison Wars) (Kindle Locations 87-101). Tom Doherty Associates. Kindle Edition.

My First Impressions

I’m really enjoying this one so far. Poisons, treachery, and much more. It has multiple POVs, but is definitely easy to read/follow.

What are you reading right now? Did it start out strong? Feel free to share in the comments, and also feel free to link up!

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18 thoughts on “Friday Firsts: City of Lies by Sam Hawke”

  1. I’ve seen quite a few glowing reviews for this one, so I’ve been meaning to check it out. Looking forward to your thoughts!
    I’ll be finishing Leave No Trace by Mindy Mejia today and it started off great, but now I’m not so sure. It’s intriguing to say the least, but I’m not sure how I feel about the relationship in the mental health setting. Maybe the last few pages will wow me.

  2. I have thought about getting this one for months. I’ve seen mixed thoughts even in the comments here. I think I’ll give it a try. Anne – Books of My Heart

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