Book Reviews, Books

Book Review : City of Spies by Sorayya Khan

Title : City of Spies

Author : Sorayya Khan

Publisher : Little A

Pages : 265

ISBN : 978-1503941571

Story :

Eleven-year-old Aliya Shah lives a double life in Islamabad, Pakistan—at home with her Pakistani father and Dutch mother, and at the American School, where Aliya tries to downplay that she is a “half-and-half.” But when a hit-and-run driver kills the son of the family’s servant, Sadiq, who is also Aliya’s dear friend, her world is turned upside down. After she discovers the truth behind the tragedy—a terrible secret that burdens her heart—her conflicted loyalties are tested as never before.

Review :

Aliya was only eleven years old when her story begins. And its no ordinary story. Having a rich background, she is familiar with comfort but her Islamabad is changing, and it’s changing fast.

As the story progresses with Aliya narrating to us, I was awed by the exactness of speech by an eleven year old. It really felt like a little girl is narrating her tale to us. Aliya is clever, knows how to think and what to question, and above all, brave. She has never let her aristocratic background or the fact that her family plays an important role in the Government, from bonding with her servants. She is down to earth and knows how to make friends.

And then a conflict tends to tear her serene demeanour apart, making her feel confused and question everything she used to believe. She can’t betray her roots, neither can she giveaway her newfound alies. Her struggle was so real, that I often had goosebumps!

I loved how all the characters blended together. In this subtle tale of reality and fiction, the author threw considerable light upon the 1970’s, during the Iran hostage crisis and the American influence through the eyes of an extraordinary girl. Islamabad was changing, and the author had just the right way to keep childhood home forever alive, by writing.

This book is a slow read, but it’s supposed to be. A spellbinding literary fiction that everybody must read. I would rate it 5 out of 5 sparkling Stars. If you adore rich, character driven stories, this book is exactly for you!



Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy!



Check it out on :





About the Author :

Sorayya Khan is the author of two previous novels, Noor and Five Queen’s Road. She is the recipient of a US Fulbright award, and City of Spies was the 2015 winner of the Best International Fiction Book at the Sharjah International Book Fair.



Review by TheGirlOnTheOnGo

4 thoughts on “Book Review : City of Spies by Sorayya Khan”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s