City of Lies by Lian Tanner (audiobook – read by Claudia Black)5 discs
Target audience: Ages 9-12
Children are going missing in the city of Jewel. Goldie Roth has been offered the position of fifth Keeper at the Museum of Dunt, but she’s reluctant to leave her parents at home alone. However when Toadspit’s sister, Bonnie, is taken, he and Goldie head off in pursuit of the kidnappers by stowing away on their ship headed for the southern city of Spoke. When they arrive the citizens are celebrating a local festival where nothing is as it seems and lies and truth switch places. The city allows for a few big lies to come true and Goldie uses this to bring the mythical Princess Frisia to life. She and Toadspit are helped in their battle against the kidnappers by a few street urchins, their beloved slaughterbird, Morg, a group of loyal mice, and a cat. Back in Jewel, the Flugelman and Guardian Hope are orchestrating the kidnapping as a way to ensure their return to power. The story continues to be just as captivating as its predecessor, The Museum of Thieves, but ends with a cliffhanger. Claudia Black simply does an amazing job with the tone of the story, breathing life to the emotions and delivering sound effects with perfection. As is often the case with middle books, it sets the stage for the final battle to save the city of Jewel, so the pace does slow down a bit in an effort to give backstory. Even though the bulk of the story takes place in the city of Spoke, favorite characters Sinew, Olga Ciavolga, and Broo make an appearance. The big lie that Goldie weaves with her magic gives the author the opportunity to explain the reason behind Goldie’s power. This series needs to be read in order, so if you haven’t read these there is no better time than the present.