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Liar’s Test

Liar’s Test

The Silverleaf Chronicles, Book One

Ambelin Kwaymullina

Seven will come. Two will die. Two will sleep. Two will serve. One will rule.

I didn’t want to rule the Risen. Wreak a little havoc upon them, though? That was something else entirely.

Bell Silverleaf is a liar.

It’s how she’s survived. It’s how all Treesingers have survived since they were invaded by the Risen and their fickle gods. But now Bell is in the Queen’s Test—she’s one of seven girls competing in deadly challenges to determine who will rule for the next twenty-five years. If Bell wins, she’ll have the power to help her people and take revenge on the Risen. But first she has to make it through the challenges alive.

She doesn’t know how much she’s been lied to, or where she fits in a bigger story, a mystery stretching back generations. And she’s facing much bigger dangers than the Queen’s Test. She’s up against the gods themselves.

Liar’s Test is a fast-paced, intricately woven fantasy novel with an unforgettable heroine inspired by the strength and power of Aboriginal women.

Teaching notes written by the author. Including the essay ‘Indigenous Futurisms, Aboriginal Women, and Liar’s Test’.



Ambelin Kwaymullina
About the Author

Ambelin Kwaymullina is an Aboriginal writer and artist who comes from the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia. She tells stories across a range of forms, including picture books, novels, essays and poetry. Her books have won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award and the Aurealis Award. Read more about Ambelin and her work...

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Text publication date:
4 June 2024
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Praise for Ambelin Kwaymullina
andLiar’s Test

‘A genre-bending, non-stop adventure foregrounding First Nations lifeways, the power of resistance and the multi-generational harms wrought by colonialism and empire. Bell Silverleaf is the kick-arse First Nations heroine we have longed for.’

‘A fresh and far-reaching tale brimming with adventure, bravery and resistance—this is must-read Australian YA fantasy!’

‘A high-action, thematically rich fantasy with a gutsy, intuitive protagonist…Kwaymullina’s character development is strong, and she has created a rich lore full of beauty and complexity…Fierce and deeply imaginative.’

‘Intriguing and layered worldbuilding that draws on the author’s Australian Indigenous culture steals the show in this serpentine fantasy adventure.’

‘Tucked into a twisty, fast-paced narrative that explores legacies of colonialism are subtle messages about the ever-changing, symbiotic web of life. Intriguing and imaginative.’

‘This fantasy thriller set in a rich and sophisticated world deserves a wide audience. The tests of faith, strength and cleverness are thrilling, with themes of colonialism, religion and abuse of power providing deeper complexity. Highly recommended for ages 14+.’

‘Earnestly told through the eyes of 15-year-old orphaned Bell Silverleaf, the book is a fine example of contemporary Indigenous futurism and the ways it can reflect the horrors of Australia’s colonial past…The novel pays homage to the strength one derives from ancestral lineage. In Bell, we witness a strongly developed character, moving closer to her essence.’

‘A fascinating exploration of resistance, multi-generational trauma, the fallibility of historical narrative, and the effects of colonisation—all within a high-action fantasy packed with unexpected plot twists. Fans of Kwaymullina’s previous YA novels, as well as Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive, will relish this story.’

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