Welcome to my weekly segment, Waiting on Wednesday, where I look at upcoming books that I am planning to order and review in the next few months and which I think I will really enjoy. I run this segment in conjunction with the Can’t-Wait Wednesday meme that is currently running at Wishful Endings. Stay tuned to see reviews of these books when I get a copy of them. For this week’s Waiting on Wednesday entry I take a look at Hollow Empire by Sam Hawke, an excellent sounding upcoming fantasy novel that serves as a sequel to one of my favourite books from 2018, City of Lies.
City of Lies was an impressive and clever debut from Australian author (and fellow Canberran) Sam Hawke that I absolutely loved when it came out. Hawke’s first book was an amazing fantasy novel that followed a pair of siblings trained in the art of poison detection as they attempted to save their friend and their city from an invading army and the sinister conspiracy behind it. I loved the combination conspiracy and siege storyline and it proved to be an outstanding and deeply captivating read.
I have been hoping a sequel to City of Lies for some time now and I was deeply excited when I saw that Hollow Empire was coming out soon. This second book from Hawke, which will be the second and final entry in her Poison War duology, is currently set for release in early December 2020, and it looks like it is going to be another epic and enjoyable read.
You never get used to poisoning a child . . .
Two years after a devastating siege tore the country apart, Silasta has recovered. But to the frustration of poison-taster siblings Jovan and Kalina, sworn to protect the Chancellor, the city has grown complacent in its new-found peace and prosperity.
And now, amid the celebrations of the largest carnival the continent has ever seen, it seems a mysterious enemy has returned.
The death of a former adversary sets Jovan on the trail of a cunning killer, while Kalina negotiates the treacherous politics of visiting dignitaries, knowing that this vengeful mastermind may lurk among the princes and dukes, noble ladies and priests. But their investigations uncover another conspiracy which now threatens not just Silasta and the Chancellor but also their own family.
Assassins, witches and a dangerous criminal network are all closing in. And brother and sister must once more fight to save their city – and everyone they hold dear – from a patient, powerful enemy determined to tear it all down . . .
I really like the sound of the above synopsis as it looks like Hawke has come up with another compelling and fanatic story. I love the idea of the two siblings once again investigating a complex, multilayered conspiracy that is set to engulf their city and loved ones, and having it set around a massive festival playing host to various dangerous parties and rivals sounds really intriguing. I am really hoping that this sequel features more of the poison-based plot elements that made City of Lies such a distinctive read, as seeing the protagonist countering the various poisoning attempts was a fantastic highlight of the first book. I am also really curious to see how the author continues the story from City of Lies as well as how she intends to finish off the series.
Based on the strength of Hawke’s debut alone, I am already excited for Hollow Empire and I am extremely confident that I am going to enjoy this next entry in the series. When combined with the fantastic sounding plot, I have no doubt that Hollow Empire is going to be an impressive and exciting read and I fully expect it to be one of the best fantasy novels of 2020.