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The King's Questioner

3.15  ·  Rating details ·  133 ratings  ·  63 reviews
From the author of 'The Midnight Dance' comes an epic YA fantasy featuring royal drama, dark magic, and a secret that could topple a kingdom.

Kalen has been cursed with a gift: he’s a mental picklock, able to access a person’s memories and secrets by touch. His skills make him the perfect questioner to the king, and he spends his days interrogating prisoners of the crown.

Hardcover, 304 pages
Published January 14th 2020 by Swoon Reads
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Average rating 3.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  133 ratings  ·  63 reviews

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Aug 17, 2019 marked it as not-interested
why lie ugliest cover ive ever seen
Francesca ❆
Jan 14, 2020 rated it did not like it
Thank you so much Swoon Reads for providing me a free copy through Edelweiss in exchange of an honest review.

Great premise but the book needed more polish.

The characters felt very two dimensional and overall underdeveloped and I just couldn’t get into them and care about their struggles and adventures.....which is a shame because at times I could glimpse something that would make me think “oh, I want to learn more about you”; characters are the pillars of every story and if they are n
✨Brithanie Faith✨
3.5/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐.5

ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

When Kalen; a mental picklock who is able to discover a person's secrets by touch, uncovers a terrifying secret that could potentially destroy the kingdom, he must band together with the prince of said kingdom- and a silver-haired thief named Luna to stop that destruction from occurring. (If you'd like more info- I'd suggest checking out the synopsis, but sometimes less is honestly more! There are a couple of thing
Nia •ShadesOfPaper•
Just... nope.
*review to come*

Thank you Macmillan and Swoon Reads for the ARC.
Jan 13, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, fantasy, ya
Theoretically a fascinating fantasy using the idea of magic mind control abilities.
We have a banished child left to a tortured lonely life because of a prophecy. Prophecies are chancy things at best and the King's actions prove to have been indeed foolish. Personally I felt the king was a despairing, frightened despot. The promise of excitement with Kalen who has the mental ability to unlock the deepest, darkest, hidden secrets, Prince Cirrus whose memories have been tampered with, and the myste
rachel ☾
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
incredibly underdeveloped and forgettable

◯ Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

You can read my review here: https://devouringbooks2017.wordpress....

Review: 3 Stars

As soon as I heard about this book I was excited for it. It had everything that I look for in a fantasy; secrets, deception, royalty and magic. I had really high hopes and while I did really enjoy reading this book it was no where near my expectations. While it wasn’t the great book that I had expected, it was still a good read and I found Kalen’s story to be interesting. I finished this book pretty quickly and
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
Instalove x 2, a poorly developed plot, and equally undeveloped characters made this one miss the mark for me.
Nov 27, 2020 rated it liked it
It feels like it's been a while since I updated my GoodReads with one of these. Busy, busy, busy. I hope to get a lot more read by the end of the year then what I have these past few months! Here's hoping.

Publication: January 14th 2020

Synopsis: Unlocking secrets is a dangerous skill.

Kalen is a mental picklock, able to access a person’s memories and secrets by touch. His skills make him the perfect questioner to the king, and he spends his days interrogating prisoners of the crown.

But when Kalen’
Dec 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: a4n, usa, a2, january, 2019, swoon-reads
Magic threatens to tear a kingdom apart in this new fantasy.

Kalen has the magical ability to see other people's memories, hidden or not. The king uses him as an interrogator, ignoring the pain and suffering it inflicts on Kalen. When secrets from the price's past come to light, Kalen sets off with some allies to find the truth.

First of all, it's nice to see a male main character in this kind of novel. It's almost always girls. However, as a novel, this isn't great.

It's a very clever idea. I have
Jan 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, edelweiss
Even if it's an entertaining read the world building and the characters would need some more developments.
I found the plot enjoyable but the characters are flat and I think some more world building would be necessary.
I think it can be appreciated it you want an easy read.
Many thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
*Source* Publisher
*Genre* Young Adult / Fantasy
*Rating* 3.5


The King's Questioner, by Nikki Katz, is the authors follow-up to The Midnight Dance. From all indications, this is a standalone but has avenues where the author can continue the story if she so chooses. Protagonist Kalen is a mental picklock - he can access a person's memories and secrets with a touch. He has the curious ability to unlock hidden doors and uncover secrets hidden away. The king uses him as an interrogator, ignor
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: do-not-rec
I was provided an ARC by the publisher in return for a fair review. All opinions are my own.

2* read, DNF 50%

This book has an amazing premise with all the right ingredients: a prince with a mysterious secret, a commoner with magic powers, and a dangerous quest. Unfortunately, it fell flat. The book begins by setting the main character, Kalen, and the prince up as rivals, but the animosity falls away so quickly and without comment that it might as well have not been there in the first place. There
Jul 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
The King's Questioner wasn't bad exactly, but it wasn't very good either. Basically it was an interesting story, or should have been, but I didn't have an emotional connection to it--it didn't make me feel anything. 😐 Because of this, I got bored and had a difficult time finishing the book. However, this might be just me or my mood while I was reading; I'd hope that other people are able to enjoy it to an extent, even if it isn't the best book ever.

PROS: I found some of the mind-reading descrip
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you're a huge fan of fantasy but you're tired of dedicating yourself to huge series or 1000+ books, read this short, fun standalone book.

How do I sum up my feelings for this book? (Plot twist if I don't) Well, basically this book will make you fall in love with an amazing cast of characters. You ship them, you want to murder some of them, you want some of them to just... shut up for a minute. It gives you all the feels.

Then, on top of the characters, you have entered into a gorgeous high fan
Kate (Feathered Turtle Press)
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020
Not necessarily good, but not the worst book I've read.

The Good
– Very straightforward plot
– Not the worst book I've read
– Not trope-y

The Bad
– Not trope-y
– Characters are either boring or annoying
– Characters lack depth: What the hell is Kalen's motivation?
– What the hell is up with Luna's silver hair?
– Graceless, inexperienced writing
– Bloated by unnecessary descriptions and awkward sentences
– Ending every chapter with a dramatic line
– That goddamn ugly cover
– Cliche dialogue

The King's Questione
Erin Haggerty
Dec 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
Alright.... so this book had all the making for a really amazing read..... but it needed more.... off everything. I liked so much about it but it was like some one let the air out of the balloon mid way in its creation. The characters had solid bases and really could have come alive with a little more development. As well as the relationships that formed during the course of the bo0k as well. It was like someone pressed fast forward and while the plot was strong in what it wanted to present.... ...more
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book had a lot of things going for it in the beginning. A clever premise and likable characters got me invested, but unfortunately it just didn’t feel properly developed. The pacing and plot felt clunky (lots of description of odd unimportant things, rushed descriptions of actually relevant information,) and overall it seemed to suffer from a lot of telling instead of showing.

The author clearly has a great idea here, I just wished it had been developed more fully before publishing. That be
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Sadly this story suffered from being underdeveloped in my mind. The characters were on the edge of greatness and the story felt the same way. The premise sounded so amazing but the story itself lacked the spark to get off the ground. I wanted to really love this one but it felt like the author was afraid to go that extra step and break out of their shell. I wished that they wouldn't have held anything back.

Go Into This One Knowing: Underdeveloped
Hannah Michaels
Oct 27, 2020 rated it it was ok
This was one of the most boring books I've read this year. I was so excited because I liked the cover, but holy shit. The plot is super rushed, there's so many things that trail off and don't really become anything, and there's so many times where the dialogue and the story are just... bland. Maybe if this book was longer and more fleshed out it would have been better, but as it stood, this was hard to get through. The characters didn't feel fully formed. Their relationships were rushed and stil ...more
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
I received a digital copy of this book from Netgalley for an honest review.

The plot of this book sounded so good that I jumped ahead of some other books to read it. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. The idea of being able to access someone's memories for interrogation was good but the process was a little hokey with the memories being behind locked doors that Kalen has to pick lock. The story was slow and pretty boring and of course there was insta-love thrown in. None of the characters stood o
Katie Steele
Mar 01, 2020 rated it did not like it
Check out the original review and more on NovelKnight!

This book was provided by the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
When I first started reading The King's Questioner I was pleasantly surprised by how much I was enjoying it. it wasn't mind blowing by any means, but after being disappointed by several books in a row I was happy to be enjoying one. Unfortunately, that enjoyment didn't hold, and by the time I finished it, The King's Questio
KarenJo Custodio
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars

The King’s Questioner by Nikki Katz is a thrilling YA fantasy story filled with adventure, magic, drama, and plenty of thrills that will keep readers enthralled until the very last page.

Kalen has a rare ability that allows him to access someone’s personal memories with a touch. His gift (or curse as he likes to call it) makes him a valuable asset to the king and the perfect questioner to prisoners of the crown. When Kalen discovers a secret that could either destroy or save the kingdom,
Katherine Paschal
More book stuff can be found at

Kalen has a gift (or a curse if you ask him) where he can touch a person and discover their secrets, no matter how well they believe they are locked up. This skill makes him very useful to the king when it comes to interrogating prisoners. When Kalen discovers a secret he was never suppose to know, he sets out on a dangerous mission to save his kingdom and find the truth.

I am a super cover snob and I will admit that I was not r
Jan 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: completed-arcs
Find this review and more on my blog at Worlds Unlike Our Own .

Thank you to the publisher, Swoon Reads, and Edelweiss for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Kalen, who has the gift of seeing people’s memory with a single touch, is the King’s Questioner, and assists in interrogating prisoners for the King. But when Prince Cirrus falls into a coma one day and Kalen goes into his mind to wake him, he comes across a long buried memory that hides a terrible sec
Jan 15, 2020 rated it liked it
I've always wanted to read The Midnight Dance but you know... too many books, too little time... so I'm aware of Nikki Katz and when the opportunity came to participate in this blog tour, I had little hesitation. The blurb feels like it could be right in my alley even if the cover is somewhat unappealing but I'm one of those who thinks less is more and there was just too many things happening there. Still, I could have enjoyed the story... historical fantasy YA has always been a weakness of mine ...more
Cranky - The Book Curmudgeon
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing

When one writes reviews for every book they read, they tend to remember details from other books as well. This book brought nothing specific to mind. It was a refreshing story about a people wary of magic but who exploited the ones capable of using it when needed. The settings and people were well expressed, and I soon found myself in the middle of their adventures. I didn’t like the voyage on a ship in such rough seas on my first cruise either so I could sympathize with Luna.

Movies, Shows,
Jan 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Actual star rating is 3 1/2 stars

Note: This review contains NO spoilers

An entertaining and unique mystical story. I was fascinated with its premise/plot. I liked the somewhat imaginative description of Kalen's use of his gift. The characters were likeable and unlikeable alike... Ha! However, it does take a lot of imagination to get immersed into this story. I found that, although an intriguing story, it lacks development in both characterization and world-building. When I read I tend to imagine
Nov 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Solid 3/5 stars.

I needed more from this book. The writing style is good and the story is easy to follow along, so I had little issues with that. Most of my problems lie with the characters. Kalen's character is pretty strong, and if anything I wished to only see what lay ahead for his character by the end. In regards to Cirrus and Luna...Let's just say I needed a whole lot more before I consider giving this book a higher rating. I understood their purpose, and we did get to know them a little bi
Dec 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways, 2019
It hurts me a little to put this at a three. Over all I want to give it 3.5; though lacking in spots of character development and complexity, it was a good read: enjoyable and fun, a lighthearted journey.

Let me break my thoughts down a bit.

I love Kalen’s powers. I like the basic qualities laid out for Kalen, Cirrus, Luna, and Reign. But I agree with other reviewers that they needed a little *more*. A little more humanity, a little more depth.

As for the plot, it was pretty straightforward. I c
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