The Liar’s Knot by MA Carrick

Trust is the thread that binds us . . . and the rope that hangs us.

In Nadezra, peace is as tenuous as a single thread. The ruthless House Indestor has been destroyed, but darkness still weaves through the city’s filthy back alleys and jewel-bright gardens, seen by those who know where to look.

Derossi Vargo has always known. He has sacrificed more than anyone imagines to carve himself a position of power among the nobility, hiding a will of steel behind a velvet smile. He’ll be damned if he lets anyone threaten what he’s built.

Grey Serrado knows all too well. Bent under the yoke of too many burdens, he fights to protect the city’s most vulnerable. Sooner or later, that fight will demand more than he can give.

And Ren, daughter of no clan, knows best of all. Caught in a knot of lies, torn between her heritage and her aristocratic masquerade, she relies on her gift for reading pattern to survive. And it shows her the web of corruption that traps her city.

But all three have yet to discover just how far that web stretches. And in the end, it will take more than knives to cut themselves free…

*****

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. All thoughts are my own.

This book will contain spoilers for book 1, The Mask of Mirrors. Read my 5-star review here.

Review:

With the sheer delight that is The Mask of Mirrors, The Liar’s Knot very quickly rocketed to the top of my list of highly anticipated sequels. And man was I not disappointed. Liar’s Knot features all the complex political scheming and rich worldbuilding of book one, along with the return of our delightful main trio of Renata, Vargo, and Gray.

For those who’ve followed my squeeing during Mask of Mirrors or just read that review really will know that totally did not read book 2 for Vargo. Nope. 100% false. Absolutely not true.
Just kidding I totally read this book over in September over every October and November ARC sitting on my Kindle exclusively because I’d get to learn more about Vargo’s backstory, and just bask in his presence really. I’ve already done my fangirling in the previous review so I won’t repeat it here, but let me just say that for Vargo fans, you’re going to love this book.

Of course, Vargo doesn’t exist in a vacuum. There’s a whole host of characters for him to bicker and flirt with! Most important being Renata and Gray (aka the Rook). The three start this book out with rocky relationships. Renata hates Vargo for tricking her in Book 1, Vargo and the Rook continue to have this mutual hatred for obvious reasons, while Renata and Grey have a rockier relationship. I appreciate Carrick for not dragging out the misinformation/misunderstandings for too long. Liar’s Knot is a fast-paced book and new information is always arriving that changes the paradigms.

And that’s part of what’s so fun about this book is that there are six different identities among the three characters, some of whom have complete opposite relationships with the other two. The authors are good about reminding you who hates or doesn’t hate whom, but it was also both challenging and fun to remember who knows what information about each of the identities.

I read book one almost a year ago so I admit to being pretty hazy to all the political groups of Nadežraa and the who’s who of the various factions. There’s a very handy “The story so far” at the beginning that summarizes book one and reminds the reader of the major players. There were still names that took a while to remember even with the quick summary, but nothing that pulled me out of immersion. And really, the places book two goes. There’s much new information in the worldbuidling, with the inner mechanics of the numinatria and Ren’s card reading.

Overall, I rate this book a 5/5. Absolutely no middle book syndrome here. We return to our brilliant trio of Ren, Vargo, and Grey and are taken for one hell of a ride, full of intrigue, flirtation, and murder.


r/Fantasy 2021-22 Bingo Squares:

  • Myster Plot
  • Published in 2021
  • Cat Squasher

Publication Date: 9 December 2021
Publisher: Orbit
Format: eBook, ARC
Pages: 672
Word Count: ~214,000
ISBN: 0316539716 
Buy It Here: Amazon | Google Books | Barnes and Nobles | Goodreads

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