The Book of Lies, is the first fantasy novel by Australian novelist James Moloney, who has written more than thirty books, most of them realistic fiction for children. Published in 2004, the fantasy novel is set in a land known as Elster and tells of the story of the main character, Marcel, after he wakes up in a foundling home with no memory of who he is. His struggle to reclaim his identity, along with close allies Nicola and Fergus, centres on uncovering the truth from amid a sea of lies, where few people are what they claim to be.
The Book of Lies was listed as notable in the Younger Readers category of the 2005 Children's Book Council of Australia Awards, and was the winner in its category at the 2005 APA Book Design Awards.
A young boy wakes up in an orphanage one night with no memory of who he is. The only thing he remembers is his name, Robert.
But Robert isn't his name, and a little girl called Bea knows this. She was there when Lord Alwyn, a once powerful sorcerer, erased all of his memory using the powerful Book of Lies.
He meets Bea, who tells of his name. His real name is Marcel. He encounters the mighty Fergus and the haughty Nicola during his stay at the orphanage, both of whom's memories are nothing more than lies.
One day a mysterious man called Starkey claims to know the real lives of Nicola, Fergus and Marcel.
Upon meeting his mother, imprisoned by the evil usurper King Pelham, he suddenly isn't sure. Is Starkey all that he claims to be? Is his mother his real mother? Is King Pelham really evil, or was that a lie as well?Danger lurks at every corner, and Marcel must stop the most feared Mortregis, beast of war, from rising once again.
Marcel: The main character. Marcel is taken to an orphanage where he is given a false memory of his past by a spell cast by a man called Lord Alwyn. Some of Lord Alwyn's spell is broken by a girl called Bea who hears his true name and manages to block his ears with candle wax, before the spell takes full effect. He is the Prince of Elster, next in line to the throne and is the brother of Nicola.
Fergus: A boy who was abandoned at the orphanage and is a bully to other orphans. He and Marcel fight several times throughout the book. Fergus is taller than the other orphans, has broad-shoulders and he is quite strong. It is found at near the end of the book that he is the cousin of Marcel and Nicola.
Nicola: A girl abandoned at the orphanage who was adopted and ran away back to the orphanage. She looks after her appearance very well and acts quite spoiled despite her circumstances. She is 2nd in line to the throne of Elster (her brother is first because he is a male) and she is the older sister of Marcel.
Bea: a girl who was abandoned at a church and was brought to the orphanage as a baby. She is the one who told Marcel his real name. In certain situations Bea is able to make herself very hard to see. It is discovered at the end of the book that she is of elven descent as her mother was an elf who fell in love with a human.
Hugh: an orphan who is best friends with Dominic (below) and lives in Mrs Timmins' orphanage.
Dominic: an orphan who is best friends with Hugh (above) and lives in Mrs Timmins' orphanage.
Lord Alwyn: He is the person who gave Marcel a fake memory and who lives in the tower next to the orphanage. He uses the Book of Lies to take Marcel's memory. He also uses a terrifying cat-like creature called Termagent to keep Marcel in the orphanage. He is also the Keeper of the Books in the kingdom of Elster. He is killed accidentally by Marcel.
Termagent: Lord Alwyn's pet cat-like creature, who, if Lord Alwyn tells to, chases Marcel, Bea or anyone else.
Starkey: A knight trying to free Prince Damon and Princess Eleanor. In the book he convinces Fergus and Nicola to help him in his quest. Marcel later joins them as he could not escape the orphanage at first.
Damon and Eleanor: These two claim to be the rightful heirs to the throne and are trying to become the rulers of the kingdom. Before being freed they were locked inside a chamber for many years by the current King.
Mrs Timmins: The kindly woman who runs the orphanage and looks after the children.
Albert: Ms Timmins son, who is in charge of the children and their chores.
The Book of Lies: The Book of Lies can tell truth from lies and was created by Lord Alwyn.
Long Beard: Bea's grandfather, and the leader of his elf tribe.
Hector: Starkey's loyal minion.
King Pelham: The current king of Elster.
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