The Kingdom of Liars

(The Legacy of the Mercenary Kings #1)

by Nick Martell


My Five Word TL:DR Review : Magic, Politics, Revenge, Secrets, Lies

The Kingdom of Liars is a really good start to series.  I can’t deny that I’ve taken my time with this one but that’s more due to my ever changing-up-and-down reading mood which can go all over the place on a simple flight of whimsy and I then find it’s better to leave whatever I’m reading to one side and start something different for a while.  As it happens, having a break was definitely the right choice.  I picked this one back up and thoroughly enjoyed it. 

As the story begins we meet Michael Kingman, awaiting trial for regicide, Michael is about to tell his story.  This is a rather complex tale of a family, sworn to protect the royal family.  Over the years their exploits have become legendary and their determination to protect their legacy and name a thing of pride.  Unfortunately, their good standing came crashing down when David Kingman was accused of murdering the Prince and found guilty.  Executed for treason, David’s family were branded, they lost their home, livelihoods and respect and now David’s son Michael seems to be in a similar plight.  Like father/like son?  – or perhaps innocent men are being accused of crime they didn’t commit.  The question is why.

In fact the why and who is the real driving force here.  Michael has spent the year’s since his father’s death going through the stages of denial and anger and has become consumed with the need to know what really happened. This is all taking place during a time of unrest.  The current King is not loved, the surviving Prince is feared and hated, the nobility are at each other’s throats jostling for position and wealth, and rebellion is brewing.  On top of that, the magic that the nobles use comes at a terrible price, the loss of memory, and this basically means that not everyone can be trusted.  

I’m probably not writing the best description of what really takes place here but I really don’t want to give too much away. Basically, on the eve of the Endless Waltz, desperate for answers, Michael makes a few too many pacts and with all these people and deals to juggle things start to spiral out of control.

Anyway, no more elaboration about the plot.  Let’s talk about other things.

Well, firstly, this book does have something of a set up feel to it, to be fair though there’s a lot to fit in.  The world is interesting and I’m definitely curious to learn more about the history, about the Mercenary’s and about the broken Moon, just to give but a few examples.  But, in spite of that slight set up feel the second half of the book really does pull you in.  Things begin to twist and turn and the author delivers a steady stream of revelations.

Secondly, Michael.  I like him, which is just as well as he’s the one we stick with for the entirety of the book.  However, liking him doesn’t mean that I didn’t sometimes feel intense frustration at the choices he makes. Sometimes it feels like he’s running around like a headless chicken and his priorities have a way of waning and waxing to the point where even the mercenary that he hooks up with has a go at him for not seeing anything through.  

I have to say I was fascinated with the man named ‘Dark’ and Domet too.  The fear and respect that everyone has for both these characters definitely gives them an intriguing edge and I’m hoping for more – can’t deny it.

In conclusion, after a slightly slow start I enjoyed this one very much and look forward to picking up the next instalment.

My rating is 4 out of 5.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.


16 Responses to “The Kingdom of Liars”

  1. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    When a series’ starter gets a 4-star rating, despite a few “hiccups”, it means I need to pay attention… πŸ˜‰
    Thanks for sharing!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yes, I enjoyed this one, the main character can be frustrating but he’s still a character that I liked, I just may have wanted to shake him a little.
      Lynn πŸ˜€

  2. Tammy

    Glad you enjoyed this. I am behind of course but will try to fit it in by the end of the year. I guess this is officially the time where I am saying that now, which means the end of the year is coming fast!

    • @lynnsbooks

      I actually can’t believe how quickly this year is going – slow down, pretty please.
      Lynn πŸ˜€

  3. proxyfish

    This looks like a really promising series… if I can deal with the sometimes frustrating protagonist! πŸ˜€

    • @lynnsbooks

      Haha, yes, quite. Although I do like him – he’s just a bit frustrating sometimes.
      Lynn πŸ˜€

  4. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    I know what you mean about Michael. You can’t help but like him, but my god, you also want to punch him in the face most of the time!

  5. Ola G

    I’ve heard lots of good things about it, so I’m pretty happy you enjoyed it too! It’s on my TBR, and I hope to get down to it this year πŸ˜‰

    • @lynnsbooks

      Bit of a slowish start but I really did enjoy it.
      Lynn πŸ˜€

  6. waytoofantasy

    This one does look pretty good, Lynn! Glad you enjoyed it!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, it took me a while to get into it but then it hooked me.
      Lynn πŸ˜€

  7. jessicabookworm

    This sounds like a good start – I hope you have the chance to read more of the series. πŸ™‚

    • @lynnsbooks

      I will definitely read the next one, I’m hoping that the main character starts to mature a little bit because he can be a bit reckless and not always think straight, but he’s still a decent character to read.
      Lynn πŸ˜€

  8. Looking Back at 2020 : The Ghost of Books Past | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] Kingdom of Liars by Nick MartellΒ  – Magic, Politics, Revenge, Secrets, Lies – I very much look forward to the second instalment (The Two-Faced Queen) […]

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