Castle of Lies

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Product Details

$18.99  $17.66
Carolrhoda Lab (R)
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.3 X 1.3 inches | 1.0 pounds

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About the Author

Kiersi Burkhart grew up riding horses on the Colorado Front Range. Now she resides in Wyoming with her best friend, her dog, writing fiction for children of all ages.


"Castle of Lies is like a CW show crashing into a fantasy in the best way, with backstabbing teens in a castle occupied by the enemy, plus bonus! magic zombies."--Sarah Tolcser, author of Whisper of the Tide and Song of the Current

--Other Print

"Wonderfully original, instantly captivating, and truly genre-redefining! With riveting prose and a lovable cast of duplicitous schemers, Castle of Lies is the fantasy book I've been dying to read!"--Andrew Shvarts, author of Royal Bastards

--Other Print

"Though the kingdom thinks of her as Princess Corene's closest companion, Thelia schemes to steal the throne from the cousin who, intentionally or not, has never been on her side. Thelia's closest ally in the castle is Parsifal, her cousin from her warlike mother's side, though his first loyalty is to himself. But Thelia's plans are put on hold when the castle is captured by enemy elves, and she and Parsifal are imprisoned. Guarding them is a nonbinary elf named Sapphire, whose sympathies for the humans grow every day. But an old magic is waking in the castle, and Parsifal may be able to access it--if it doesn't destroy him first. With queer characters and a polyamorous relationship, there is a diversity in gender and sexual identity here that is often lacking in fantasy novels, although some, such as promiscuous bisexual Parsifal, sometimes fall victim to harmful tropes. Sexual situations, including one between cousins, sometimes turn explicit, making this best suited for older teens. An uneven narrative with strong bones."--Booklist


"Otherworldly bronze-skinned elves come to the Holy Kingdom to cleanse the king's castle of an overflowing, dangerous magic, thus interrupting the various schemers fulfilling personal vendettas or aiming for the throne. The elves barricade humans in the castle as the king's heir crosses to the South on a misled mission to fight the encroaching elven army. In alternating perspectives, manipulative Thelia uses the people around her to get what she wants in a society biased against women; bisexual, drama-loving Parsifal plots their escape; ward-turned-heir Bayled uncovers hard truths about the regime as he seeks to rescue his friends; and nonbinary elf Sapphire navigates the corruption of their own kind and finds themself sympathizing with the humans. Burkhart weaves a complex web involving the characters' misconceptions about one another and the jumble of deceit propagated by and against them. The well-rounded characters develop and mature, becoming less calculating and more sympathetic as they recognize the faults of people and institutions they'd once idolized. Furthermore, the story depicts a broad range of sexualities and identities: Parsifal is bisexual, Thelia feels no sexual attraction for most people, and Sapphire never declares their gender; these three are implied to enter a polyamorous relationship by the end of the story. The frequently shifting perspectives in conjunction with the themes of sex, violence, and power grabs make this novel a comparable option to those who may be too young for Game of Thrones but are still intrigued by its premise."--The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books