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The Lies of the Ajungo

Release: March 21, 2023

In the City of Lies, they cut out your tongue when you turn thirteen, to appease the terrifying Ajungo Empire and make sure it continues sending water. Tutu will be thirteen in three days, but his parched mother won’t last that long. So Tutu goes to his oba and makes a deal: she provides water for his mother, and in exchange he will travel out into the desert and bring back water for the city. Thus begins Tutu’s quest for the salvation of his mother, his city, and himself.The Lies of the Ajungo opens the curtains on a tremendous world, and begins the epic fable of the Forever Desert. With every word, Moses Ose Utomi weaves magic.


"Utomi’s writing is both elegant and efficient, and the story is so eminently devourable that I finished it in a couple of hours. In keeping with the contradictions at the book’s heart, it left me perfectly sated and hungry for more." - The New York Times
"This short but deeply affecting parable will unveil new perspectives to readers long after it’s done. Highly recommended." - Library Journal Starred Review
"Utomi perfectly blends fantasy and fable in his mesmerizing debut novella." - Publisher's Weekly Starred Review
"The Lies of the Ajungo is ultimately about a world shaped by deadly, powerful myths, and the heroes who rise to meet these challenges." - Locus
"In the space of a few paragraphs Utomi creates a fresh-feeling world, each line bright with sparks of subtext on our real histories, effectively using the fantastic to discuss our own sociopolitical dynamics." - Lightspeed
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