The Truth of the Aleke (The Forever Desert #2) (Hardcover)

The Truth of the Aleke (The Forever Desert #2) By Moses Ose Utomi Cover Image
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Other Books in Series

This is book number 2 in the The Forever Desert series.


Moses Ose Utomi returns to his Forever Desert series with The Truth of the Aleke, continuing his epic fable about truth, falsehood, and the shackles of history.

The Aleke is cruel. The Aleke is clever. The Aleke is coming.

500 years after the events of The Lies of the Ajungo, the City of Truth stands as the last remaining free city of the Forever Desert. A bastion of freedom and peace, the city has successfully weathered near-constant attacks from the Cult of Tutu, who have besieged it for three centuries, attempting to destroy its warriors and subjugate its people.

Seventeen-year-old Osi is a Junior Peacekeeper in the City. When the mysterious leader of the Cult, known only as the Aleke, commits a massacre in the capitol and steals the sacred God's Eyes, Osi steps forward to valiantly defend his home. For his bravery he is tasked with a tremendous responsibility—destroy the Cult of Tutu, bring back the God's Eyes, and discover the truth of the Aleke.

The Forever Desert series
The Lies of the Ajungo
The Truth of the Aleke

About the Author

Moses Ose Utomi is a Nigerian-American fantasy writer and nomad currently based out of Honolulu, Hawaii. He has an MFA in fiction from Sarah Lawrence College and short fiction publications in Fireside Fiction, Fantasy Magazine, and more. He is the author of the novella The Lies of the Ajungo and the YA fantasy novel Daughters of Oduma. When he’s not writing, he’s traveling, training martial arts, or doing karaoke—with or without a backing track.

Praise For…

“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.... This mind-bending story will have both new and returning fans hooked.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Utomi’s searing, thought-provoking fantasy novella has heartbreaking parallels in the present and is highly recommended.” —Library Journal, starred review

“Utomi returns to the Forever Desert with this devastating, timely fantasy novella about the impossibility of peace when the powerful seek only to control and manipulate others.…There is no solace in this thought-provoking sequel, only uncomfortable truth.” —Booklist, starred review

The Truth of the Aleke is riveting and merciless, an exploration of power, deceit, corruption, and ultimately, hope. I was not prepared, and neither are you.” —Fonda Lee, author of the Green Bone Saga and Untethered Sky

“The end of one story braids into the beginning of the next, and in this powerful sequel, truth cuts deeper than any lie.” —Marie Brennan, author of A Natural History of Dragons

“Utomi's insights on power and propaganda are illuminating. The best fiction leaves us asking difficult questions about the world we live in and this novella succeeds in doing that and more. Such incredible writing!” —T.L. Huchu, USA Today bestselling author of The Library of the Dead

The Truth of the Aleke feels like you’re stepping into a story told around a campfire by a wise elder. Moses Ose Utomi understands the power of myth to point to deeply human truths. There is a richness to his storytelling. His worlds feel lived in like the comfort of coming home. We are literally watching an undeniable voice come into his own.” —Maurice Broaddus, author of the Astra Black series

“The Truth of the Aleke weaves a dazzling tale that paints with sharp strokes, through massive battles and dizzying magics, to show the sheer power of stories and the deadly confluence between truth and lies.” —Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki, World Fantasy Award-winning editor of Africa Risen

Praise for The Lies of the Ajungo

“Utomi’s writing is both elegant and efficient, and the story is so eminently devourable that I finished it in a couple of hours. In keeping with the contradictions at the book’s heart, it left me perfectly sated and hungry for more.” —The New York Times

The Lies of the Ajungo is a tightly-packed, devastating punch, a masterful use of the novella as form and a heartbreaking tale of the lies we hold on to—the lies that help us live and the lies that hold us back.” —C. L. Clark, author of The Unbroken

“A captivating and violent fable, The Lies of the Ajungo plumbs the depths of deception yet bursts with hope. Taut and unexpected. I devoured it.” —Fonda Lee, author of the Green Bone Saga

“Utomi is on the brink of something exceptional.” —Suyi Davies Okungbowa, author of Son of the Storm

“Exquisitely crafted and original. Fiction at its best shows us the truth by telling us lies.” —T. L. Huchu, author of The Library of the Dead

“A searing and mythical tale of manipulation, kindness, and sacrifice.” —Marie Brennan, author of A Natural History of Dragons

“Utomi perfectly blends fantasy and fable in his mesmerizing debut novella. …[He] draws readers into a harsh and beautiful world where nothing is as it seems. Fantasy fans will want to keep an eye on this up-and-coming author.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“This short but deeply affecting parable will unveil new perspectives to readers long after it’s done. Highly recommended.” —Library Journal, starred review

“I was drawn into this story from the very first word, and each paragraph and sentence and chapter did not disappoint….[A] poetic, epic yet intimate, tale.” —Safia H. Senhaji for Strange Horizons

The Lies of the Ajungo is a masterfully epic and delightful tale. It is rich with, and spun from West African lore, with puzzles that unfurl before you as you read, thrilling fight scenes, wonderful mysteries, slowly unfolding secrets, and a dazzling revelation at the end of it all.” —Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki

Product Details
ISBN: 9781250849052
ISBN-10: 1250849055
Publisher: Tordotcom
Publication Date: March 5th, 2024
Pages: 112
Language: English
Series: The Forever Desert