Where Liberty Lies by Nathaniel M. Wrey continues the harrowing and mildly satirical journey of three guileless refugees—from their bright idea of utopia being a place for all, to how a dream can become a nightmare for anyone considered less than equal.
The fabled city of Mandelaton is closer than it’s ever been to Finbarl, Aminatra, and young Karlmon. After their mountain flight from burning Athenia, they’d imagined a land of liberty, peace, and wisdom. Never had they thought they would befriend a Ferral, ride a boat, or be kidnapped and sold into slavery. The family discovers the darker shades of this new civilization that expertly showcases the theme of human extremism, characterized most strongly through the rivalry of the foppish democracy of epicurean Parodis and the Spartan cruelty of power-hungry Adonelis.

New horrors of this dystopian society bring sharp twists and turns as each chapter progresses, setting a thrilling pace throughout the characters’ long, arduous journey. The characters themselves are a standout feature of the book. Readers will fall desperately in love with Aminatra, a calm, caring mother who projects love, optimism and joy, despite the whirlwind of unfortunate circumstances she is thrown into. Finbarl’s role is also noteworthy, doing whatever it takes to protect and defend Aminatra and Karlmon, no matter the cost. The thick yet quick read surprises with transport to a future shining with a whimsical veneer over firmly grounded consequences. Wrey’s masterful world-building makes Where Liberty Lies unlike any dystopian fiction novel you’ve read before. In addition, well-thought-out dialogue allows the gravitas of mass carnage to hit even harder.

Hold onto each cliff-hanger chapter with all the action, adventure, and misfortune one could wish for in a dystopian novel worthy of debunking the utopian myth.