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The Kingdom of Liars

(The Legacy of the Mercenary Kings #1)

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  861 ratings  ·  342 reviews
In this brilliant debut fantasy, a story of secrets, rebellion, and murder are shattering the Hollows, where magic costs memory to use, and only the son of the kingdom’s despised traitor holds the truth.

Michael is branded a traitor as a child because of the murder of the king’s nine-year-old son, by his father David Kingman. Ten years later on Michael lives a hardscrabble
Hardcover, 596 pages
Published June 23rd 2020 by Gallery / Saga Press (first published May 20th 2020)
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Average rating 3.69  · 
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 ·  861 ratings  ·  342 reviews

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Mar 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ARC provided by the publisher—Saga Press—in exchange for an honest review.

The Kingdom of Liars is a solid debut that’s quite challenging to get through at first, but the second half offers rewarding experience to those who read the novel to its completion.

Similar to many cases with debuts by an unknown author in the past, my interest to read The Kingdom of Liars, the first book in The Legacy of The Mercenary Kings series by Nick Martell, was sparked due to the gorgeous cover art by Bastien Lecou
Feb 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: net-galley
My thanks to Gallery/Saga press, Netgalley and the author Nick Martell.
I did give up on this book. I was not jiving with any characters. Also, guns. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy shooting. That's how I was raised. Paper targets, and Tin cans! But, I truly don't like it when guns cross over into fantasy. Sure, I'll admit that I adore epic and grimdark fantasy. Still, as soon as guns are introduced I cringe. I'm just a sucker for swords and all. I love trebouchets. Yeah, that is likely the wrong spe
James Tivendale
Mar 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: freecopy, fantasy
I received an uncorrected proof copy of The Kingdom of Liars in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Nick Martell and Gollancz for the opportunity.

The Kingdom of Liars, the first entry in The Legacy of the Mercenary King series, is the tale of Michael Kingman. He relays his story to us regarding the events that led him to be on trial as a King Killer, which he rather melodramatically refers to as "the greatest story ever told." Ten years prior to this, Michael's father was also t
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“We’re all selfish monsters— the only difference is some of us are more honest about it than others.”

I think my review will be short, My friend Chan wrote a review that perfectly sums up my thoughts and feelings about this book and I think she did it better than I can so feel free to check it out here.

Sometimes I am drawn to a book because of the nice cover, sometimes the synopsis and rarely by the blurb. This book had all 3 elements and
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
[2.5/5 stars] Kingdom of Liars had some good ideas and a wicked cool atmosphere, but the story itself lacked a bit of logical structure and flow.

The atmosphere created, with a shattered moon that periodically rained down on the city, combined well with both the contrasting lifestyles of the different casts of people and the general air of magic and mayhem, was superb! Easily my favorite element of the story. Even during parts I wasn’t totally sure I was onboard with, I kept reading to see what t
Nils | nilsreviewsit
‘Dying wasn’t new to me. I had an understanding that it would come for us all one day; all that differed was the time. It was oddly comforting in a way. It was the only time nobles, Royals, and commoners were the same. We all walked into the darkness in the end, meeting whatever waited for us. There were some days that I thought it would be the only time in my life I would be at peace.’

The Kingdom of Liars is the upcoming debut by Nick Martell. This is one book that certainly starts off with a b
William Gwynne
Mar 08, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, fantasy, audible
Before I get into my review, here is a link to my relatively new booktube, where my brother and I discuss all things books. The Brothers Gwynne

Nick Martell has formed a tale of engaging political intrigue, with compelling characters, and a smooth narrative voice. I listened to this on Audible, and the story was brilliantly performed by Joe Jameson, who I will definitely be looking out for in the future.

So, overall I really enjoyed this. It is a cyclical story, so we start at the end, in which ma
Chelsea Humphrey
I'm between 3-3.5 stars on this one, due to the painfully slow first half followed by an incredible second act. While I do not claim to be the resident expert on fantasy novels of any kind, I feel like I have read enough at this point to have a general understanding of the various tropes and sub-genres that are popular. That said, I initially requested this book for 2 reasons: 1) I'm really enjoying reading more adult fantasy than YA fantasy this year and 2) Brandon Sanderson blurbed it, so DUH. ...more
Deborah Obida
Buddy read with Mary Ann

Kingdom of Liars is a hard book to rate, I like it but I doubt I'll continue the series, I wasn't blown away.

This book follows Michael Kingman who is on trial for killing the king, he's either eighteen or twenty, the author kept going back and forth between the two ages. The book is written in Michael's first person POV, he narrated what happened to him and how he got to be in that position.

But sometimes it’s important to remember that you are mortal and that some goo
Athena (OneReadingNurse)
Title: Kingdom of Liars

Author: Nick Martell

Pub: Simon & Schuster

Length: 608p

Release: May 5th 2020 (I thought there was a new date but it is available on Amazon now)

Rating & Recommend: ⭐⭐⭐ maybe

Thank you to Bookish First and Simon & Schuster for my ARC of The Kingdom of Liars by Nick Martell.  Book was claimed in exchange for an honest review and all opinions are my own!

So there is obviously a lot going on in the book, and it is a whopper at 608 pages.  The book is told in first person, as Michae
Martells’ “Kingdom Of Liars” is the first novel in a planned epic fantasy series, “Legacy of the Mercenary Kings.” It is a complex fantasy featuring a feudal court, a vicious rebellion, magical powers (fabrications), and court intrigue. The world-building is terrific, offering the reader a glimpse of a small corner of the universe, the Hollows, which despite the name which might lead you to think of forests and streams, is a feudal city of lords and ladies and a desperate underclass keyed up to ...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

It’s probably no surprise that The Kingdom of Liars was one of my most highly anticipated releases of 2020, with a premise that promises magic, intrigue, and adventure. Although the novel does falter slightly at times, as debuts often do, I’m pleased to report that it exceeded my expectations and I found it to be an excellent and compelling read.

The protagonist of the story is Michael Kingman, son of the most notorious tra
James Islington
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
More a quick recommendation than a proper review, but this is another debut I’ve enjoyed recently! I initially gave The Kingdom of Liars a shot because the core concept (memory as a cost for using magic) sounded fascinating, and while that didn’t play out exactly as I expected—it’s a more a danger for those who overuse their magic, rather than an everyday cost—it’s still used to good effect, and the smartly plotted story was more than enough to keep me engaged. There’s great worldbuilding, chara ...more
May 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Nick Martell's The Kingdom of Liars was an OK fantasy debut that recovered from a slow start to become an enjoyable tale despite its flaws. The story had a decent mix of action, intrigue, and mystery and the fantasy world and magic created by Matrell were fairly cool and interesting despite still feeling a little underdeveloped and vague.

This is the first fantasy debut I've tried in over two years after my batch of 2017 and 2018 fantasy debut attempts turned out to be so awful they killed my fa
Jeremy Szal
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: blurbed, 2020, fantasy
In my blurb for this book, I called it, "a richly rewarding fantasy that seethes with mysteries, fused with a mindscrew of a magic system". At the risk of becoming a self-quoting tosser: it really is that good.

You won't find dragons and oaths and tales of heroism here, not in the traditional sense. Here, the storytelling revolves around the idea that using magic makes you suffer from memory loss. As a result, the central narrative revolves around people lying and deceiving and misleading people
TS Chan
ARC received from the publisher, Saga Press, in exchange for an honest review.

Kingdom of Liars was one of the most hyped up debuts in 2020, and I believe it's partly due to Sanderson's blurb. While I'm not disputing what Sanderson said about this book, the enjoyment I derived from reading it was a whole lot more mixed than his blurb would suggest.

I'm not going to describe the book's plot as the synopsis was comprehensive enough without revealing too much. The balance of plot and characterisation
Abi (The Knights Who Say Book)
I wanted to give up 3% into my eArc of this book based on the bad writing, but I didn’t want an unfinished book dragging down my Netgalley record, so I persevered in the hopes that it would get better. It didn’t.

The characters are not fleshed out. There are quite a few of them—not more than a book could handle, mind you, so that’s not really an excuse—and none of them get enough focus for me to actually care about them. Michael is constantly telling you how much he cares about his friends and ho
Nick Martell
Mar 05, 2020 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
First off, let me say right off the bat that I’m biased. I wrote THE KINGDOM OF LIARS primarily during my last two years of college. I sold the novel in January 2018. And now, about two and half years later, the book will finally be available for everyone to read.

When I wrote THE KINGDOM OF LIARS, my goal was to tell the story of what would happen if a legendary family had a morally questionable child that crumbled under the pressure of emulating his ancestors. Because hasn’t anyone ever wonder
Apr 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Actual rating: 2.5 stars

I tried so hard to like this book. The premise was really promising. A magic system that feeds on memories? That’s a fascinating concept! But the magic was barely explored or explained in any meaningful way. And while this is billed as an adult fantasy, it felt so young adult in tone that I felt suckered into reading something I hadn’t actually agreed to. The setting was vague in its description to the point that I had a hard time putting myself into the action. The suppo
May 05, 2020 marked it as to-read
I mean, if Brandon Sanderson blurbed it, right?
*Thea 'Wookiee'sMama' Wilson*
I can honestly say that this is great debut fantasy novel that keep me hooked from beginning to end. The action was non-stop and the characters were realistic, flawed and interesting to get to know. The world building was decent and will obviously grow given time as the series grows. The only flaws I could find were the lack of detail on the magic system and the outside rebellion that was only touched upon but not really explained, saying that it is early days in the series and I am sure these w ...more
May 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Rating: 9.0/10

Thanks to the publisher and author for an advance reading copy of The Kingdom of Liars for review consideration. This did not influence my thoughts or opinions.

The Kingdom of Liars is an ingenious and stunning debut fantasy novel. A magic system with harsh consequences, an intriguing array of characters, and world-building that begs for its own stand-alone novel make this a must-read for 2020.

This novel has been on my “need-to-read” list for some time and I am so glad that I finall
Mar 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
A fantasy debut full of twists, mystery and reveals. Honestly, this book was very unpredictable for me; I really didn't know where things would end up and it had me guessing right up until the very end. The plot twists were my favorite part of this book.
The magic reminded me a bit of Brandon Sanderson with its unique naming system and the very real cost of magic use. The idea of memories was explored a lot in this book and I found this theme to be extremely interesting. I haven't read many books
Jun 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
This quite prominent Moon on the cover has been breaking apart since forever. The parts sometimes rain down on Michael Kingman’s city “Hollow” where all of this doorstopper of a novel is situated. The Kingman family has protected the city since its founding, functioning as a check-and-balance for the king’s power. Michael’s father has been executed because he murdered the King’s son. Michael and his siblings have been branded as traitors, and they barely survived the following riots.

Ten years la
Andria Potter
Feb 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Heavy in politics, lots of rebellions, death, and intrigue. After a while I lost interest though that's through no fault of the books. Michael Kingman is a fascinating character and I will be seeing where this story goes later on. DNF at 54%. ...more
Ellie Manning
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
A wonderful fantasy novel, by debut author Nick Martell, that I couldn't put down!

Michael Kingman, branded a traitor for the crimes of his father, has a family legacy to live up to and a past to confront to do it. In a world where the nobility can use magic at the price of their memories, Michael must face the political corruption of the High Nobility of the Hollows in order to find the truth about his family, and himself. But who's memories can he trust, if not his own?

Pub date 05/05/20.
Jun 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Michael is the son of a traitor, and he lives basically by his wits. He also seems to lie a lot, mostly filling in gaps in his memory. Those gaps are interesting to us as the reader, because the magic system in this world is one of the things that can create them - using magic steals memories.

When Michael is recruited to find out more about his father's crime, it is of course something he is interested in.

I enjoyed this book. I had some Goodreads friends that got frustrated with the main charac
I was really excited to get my hands on this one, and I really enjoyed reading it! I think it's a very solid book one, and it definitely left me curious as to what is going to happen in the next book. I hope I don't have to wait too long! I read a lot of reviews saying that the beginning dragged a bit, but I didn't think so. I thought the beginning was interesting, and I liked seeing the world slowly come to life and learning more about it. The end was unputdownable, though! Super exciting stuff ...more
May 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received a complimentary copy of this eBook ARC from the author, publisher, and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Michael Kingman and his family have been branded traitors by the King after their father killed the King's son Davey Hollow. Determined to clear their family name, Michael takes a job from the mysterious high noble Charles Domet to be his personal companion and to participate in the Endless Waltz in order to join his country's high society of Hollow again. Can he survive t
2 stars, Metaphorosis Reviews

Michael Kingman is the son of a traitor, but also the descendant of a family that made the kingdom what it is. Trying to find a place in society, he stumbles onto a mystery that may explain much about his executed father.

I generally ignore blurbs, but every now and then, if it's from an author I like, one catches my attention. Sometimes, that's a mistake. I picked up Nick Martell's The Kingdom of Liars mostly for its interesting premise that magic costs
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Nick Martell was born in Ontario, Canada before moving to the United States at age 7. After graduating high school on Long Island, he majored in Creative Writing at Pennysylvania’s Susquehanna University. He started writing novels regularly in fifth grade, and his debut novel, The Kingdom of Liars, sold when he was 23 years old. Currently, he lives outside Allentown. Follow Nick on Twitter, @macma ...more

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The Legacy of the Mercenary Kings (2 books)
  • The Two-Faced Queen (The Legacy of the Mercenary Kings, #2)

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“I don’t want to be remembered . . . I just want to live without fear.” 0 likes
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