Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 145: The Lies of The Ajungo by Moses Ose Utomi

by | Jun 12, 2024 | 2024 Book Reviews, Marion's Favorite Books, Marion's Favorites, Marion's Reading Life Blog, Wisdom From Kammbia Column, Wisdom From Kammbia Novella Review | 0 comments


When you have been taught lies, what do you believe in?

Is it preferable to lie in order to safeguard society from the truth?

Both questions get answered in The Lies of the Ajungo by Moses Ose Utomi. I came across this novella from the Goodreads recommendations algorithm and read the synopsis. Intrigued, I decided to read it.

The Lies of the Ajungo follows the journey of Tutu, a teenage boy who is desperate to find water for his mother, whose life is in danger because of dehydration. Just before turning thirteen, he strikes a deal with the Oba, the ruler of the Ajungo Empire, to journey through the desert and get water for the city in return for water for his mother. Tutu lives in a place called THE CITY OF LIES, where, upon turning thirteen, citizens have their tongues severed to satisfy the empire.

Tutu embarks on a desert journey, facing perilous creatures, finding friendship with three warrior women, and questioning his childhood beliefs. Utomi’s story is written with a matter-of-fact tone, but the ending takes it to a parable-like level, imparting a truth that can only be found in fiction.

With only eighty-four pages, The Lies of the Ajungo is a poignant and impactful novella that is bound to be one of my favorite reads in 2024. I’m excited to dive into the second novella in the series, The Truth of the Aleke, and see where Utomi takes the narrative.


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