cover image The Truth of the Aleke

The Truth of the Aleke

Moses Ose Utomi. Tordotcom, $24.99 (112p) ISBN 978-1-250-84905-2

Utomi returns to the Forever Desert with this resounding fantasy novella set 500 years after The Lies of the Ajungo. Sixteen-year-old Osi is a Junior Peacekeeper in the City of Truth, which for the past three centuries has been at war with the Cult of Tutu and their cruel leader, the Aleke. After a massacre at the hands of the Aleke and his warriors leaves the City shell-shocked, Osi steps forward to defend his home, setting off on a quest to defeat the Aleke and retrieve the God’s Eyes, ancient magical artifacts that were stolen from the City during the bloodbath. But a failed ambush leaves Osi as the Cult of Tutu’s prisoner—and his time with the Aleke and his people opens his eyes to the City of Truth’s dark past, challenging him to unlearn the only beliefs he has ever known. This heart-wrenching sequel recaptures the tone of the opening volume and again packs an epic’s worth of worldbuilding into a limited page count. Osi’s flaws and naivete make him a realistic and relatable protagonist and the lesson that truth can be both fixed and flexible depending on one’s perspective is well taken. This mind-bending story will have both new and returning fans hooked. (Mar.)