The Liar of Red Valley
Good morning, afternoon and.evening, fantasy book nerds. This book immediately got my attention quite a few months ago when I saw this
How can you not be intrigued. It just grabs your attention and I must say that I enjoyed this immensely. However, before we get to the review here is a little bit about the book.
In a town like this, friendships are hard-won and bad blood lasts generations, and when not everyone in town is exactly human, it isn’t a safe place to make enemies.
And though the Liar has power—power to remake the world, with just a little blood—what Sadie really needs is answers: Why is the town’s sheriff after her? What does the King want from her? And what is the real purpose of the Liar of Red Valley?
Life in Red Valley is simple if you follow the rules:
Do not trust the Liar
Do Not go in the River
Do not cross The King
In the Liar of Red Valley, Walter Goodwater mixes equal doses of urban fantasy with other worldly horror and a blisteringly paced plot to write a thoroughly entertaining book.
The book starts off with the death of The Liar, and her daughter, Sadie, coming to terms with the death of her mother. However, The Liar keeps all the town’s secrets and makes the lies that they tell come to be reality. This may be a little lie, like I am not going bald, to even bigger lies, and Sadie needs to know how to be the Liar, quick!
With the death of her mother, Sadie inherits the power of the Liar, and all that that means. She discovers that the position of The Liar was given to her family by The King, an all powerful being who walked the cosmos eons before the coming of the human race, generations ago in order to keep the lies of The King and the people safe.
In the course of the book, she discovers the power of Lies and what it can do. However, everyone wants that power, and she discovers that people will do anything to get the power of the lies for themselves as she is chased, threatened, arrested and reviled for her powers. It seems that everyone wants to know what lies Sadie’s family have been keeping and they will stop at nothing to discover the truth.
Sadie finds herself chased by the Laughing Boys, a gang of addicts who let demons reside in their head instead of using drugs. Harassed by the local Undersheriff who says that he wants to depose the King’s reign and let Red Valley govern itself. However, one thing that they all have in common is that they will use whatever means necessary to obtain the power that is stored in her family’s ledgers.
I have to say that I enjoyed this book immensely. It is filled with monsters, a time traveling house, Cthuluesque leviathans and all sorts of madness in between. Sadie is a good character, who develops as the book moves on. Initially beginning the book as a dormouse and transforming into a snarky lion that is able to navigate her own destiny. On the whole the plot moves at a frenetic pace as Sadie. is forced to come to terms with the death of her mother, and then know how to use her powers whilst at the same time traversing the strange and murky waters that is Red Valley. You watch her grow and she is aided by a supporting cast that at times, are a little one dimensional, but they adequately buoy the story along to get Sadie to where she needs to be.
Added to that a plot that introduces twists and turns that is both unpredictable and blisteringly fast paced. I also found the setting of Red Valley and its plethora of strange residents that add a rich vein of strangeness, immersive and vividly written as the book runs towards its climactic ending.
Whilst this is a standalone novel, I would love to see some more of this world that Walter Goodwater has crafted and hope for more stories set in Red Valley in the future as I think that this could be cracking ongoing series.
I hope you enjoyed this review. The Liar of Red Valley is released on 28th September 2021 by Rebellion Publishing. I was very kindly granted an advance copy by the publishers and Netgalley on exchange for an honest review. The enjoyment is all my own.