UK/ Aus / NZ




Jovan wears two faces. Outwardly, he is the lifelong friend of the Chancellor’s charming, irresponsible Heir. Quiet. Forgettable. In secret, Jovan is a master of poisons and chemicals, trained to protect the Chancellor’s family from treachery.

His sister, Kalina, hides her frustrations behind a mask of calm. While other women of the city hold positions of power and responsibility, her own path is one of secrets and lies— hidden even from her own brother.

When the Chancellor succumbs to an unknown poison and a revolutionary army lays siege to the city, Jovan and Kalina’s structured world unravels. Trapped and desperate, they soon discover their civilized country also has two faces; behind the beauty and sophistication is an ugly past built on oppression and treachery…

Winner of the Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Novel 2018 – Australia’s premier SFF award
Winner of  the Ditmar Award for Best Novel
Winner of the Norma K Hemming Award 
Mark it as to-read on Goodreads


and coming in 2020…

Hollow Empire cover



The deadly siege of Silasta woke the ancient spirits, and now the city-state must find its place in this new world of magic. But people and politics are always treacherous, and it will take all of Jovan and Kalina’s skills as proofer and spy to save their country when witches and assassins turn their sights to domination.
Mark Hollow Empire as to-read on Goodreads

Praise for City of Lies

‘If the first line doesn’t make you buy this book, you should turn in your fantasy-lover’s badge. . . a tale about the one who risks his life to thwart assassins can be as compelling as any assassin’s tale.’ — Robin Hobb

‘Sibling protagonists anchor this twisty story of old grievances coming to a boil. Hawke writes with nuance about the loves, loyalties, ambitions, and resentments that bind her characters together and threaten to tear them apart.’ — Kate Elliott

‘I absolutely loved it. There’s so much to enjoy in City of Lies; the worldbuilding is brilliant, the mystery and crime elements merge seamlessly into a fantastical world of poisoners, warrior-guilds and ancient magic. But the heart of the story is the central characters; they’re written with such depth, flawed, human and likeable. City of Lies is a wondeful read and one that I’d highly recommend to all lovers of fantasy.’ — John Gwynne

‘An enormously enjoyable read, one of the best new fantasies I’ve seen in a long time.’ — Adrian Tchaikovsky

‘A tale of poisoners, deceit and treachery that will surely keep readers entranced. I don’t read many stories as twisty and unpredictable, especially in the latter chapters, as this one, and I loved what Sam Hawke did.’ — Terry Brooks

“With lush worldbuilding and a tight, twisting plot, City of Lies plants Hawke as a bold new fantasy voice.” – Laura Lam

‘A tightly wound and ever escalating plot is complemented by the cast’s refreshing nuances… A well-crafted debut with believable political intrigues, solid worldbuilding, and original characters.’ — Kirkus Reviews

City of Lies is a compelling fantasy whodunnit – imagine Agatha Christie channelled through Robin Hobb – and a page-turning coming-of-age tale.’  — The Guardian

‘One of my favorite discoveries of the year, and absolutely recomended.’ — The Booksmugglers at Kirkus Reviews

‘CITY OF LIES combines a locked-room mystery with a spy thriller and action-packed fantasy to create an experience that’ll leave you reading late into the night’ — SFX Magazine

‘Everything in this book, from characters to plot, from ideas to worldbuilding, made for a fantastic read.’ — the Fantasy Inn

‘An alluring debut imbued with a perpetual threat of lies and treachery.’ —

‘The gently bubbling, seeping tension left me turning pages late into the night, and the tightly woven relationship between the central characters kept me turning them until morning… City Of Lies [is] a vividly imagined, cunningly crafted debut, and an excellent read.’  —  Sci-Fi and Fantasy Reviews

‘[A]n incredibly well written fantasy novel that has everything I love about fantasy and also feels like a breath of fresh air.’ — the Illustrated Page

‘Go read it or I’ll sneak into your house and poison your whole family.’ – Cupcakes and Machetes

‘[A] dazzling debut novel from an author who definitely has a voice of her own … [A]n original, powerful and mystery-filled poison that will seduce you into wanting more.’ – Bookidote

‘[A] mix of war novel, spy thriller, and high fantasy that should impress fans of the genre (and Game of Thrones in particular).’ – Culturess

‘[I]n both the depth of its setting and the exploration of its characters, the book earns the early comparisons to Robin Hobb’s Assassins’s Apprentice.’ – Barnes & Noble SFF Blog

‘City of Lies lives up to its hype. The writing is fantastic, the worldbuilding is wonderful, and the characters were so intricately crafted they leaped off the page’ — Bookworm Blues