The Kingdom of Liars (The Legacy of the Mercenary Kings #1)
By: Nick Martell
Format/Source: Advanced reading copy courtesy of Saga Press (Netgalley)
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 life, with his sister Gwen, performing crimes with his friends against minor royals in a weak attempt at striking back at the world that rejects him and his family.
In a world where memory is the coin that pays for magic, Michael knows something is there in the hot white emptiness of his mind. So when the opportunity arrives to get folded back into court, via the most politically dangerous member of the kingdom’s royal council, Michael takes it, desperate to find a way back to his past. He discovers a royal family that is spiraling into a self-serving dictatorship as gun-wielding rebels clash against magically trained militia.
What the truth holds is a set of shocking revelations that will completely change the Hollows, if Michael and his friends and family can survive long enough to see it.
I was updating some reviews that I had meant to send ages ago to NetGalley when I decided to wander around a bit and see what books were coming out. The book cover to this novel piqued my attention and I decided to give it a try. Thank you to Saga Press for letting me read this book. This book was released on 23 June 2020.
I wanted to like this book, I really did. As I mentioned the premise was interesting, loved the book cover, Brandon Sanderson was on the blurb…And yeah. What interested me the most about this book was the magic system, the Fabricators, and the use of memory in this novel. I wish it was explored more but there was a lot going on in this book: the politics, the dynamics, the struggle to survive. Part of the reason why I never fully immersed myself in the book was because I was never quite convinced by the worldbuilding; as interesting as the magic system was, the worldbuilding was overwhelming with elements that I just never felt wholly convinced (or maybe I’m just not into novels that carry elements of magic and guns. Unless Brandon Sanderson wrote it).
Another reason why I didn’t like the book as much as I wanted to was the main character. Michael…his intentions are well-meaning, the only one who coul really shoulder the memory of the Kingsman family, but man was he whiny, which then lends to some of his decision making. The whole scheme just did not convince me at all, he didn’t evoke enough empathy in me to see his story through with my support. None of the characters actually intrigued me so my interest waned.
So yeah, unfortunately I did not enjoy reading The Kingdom of Liars. It had potential with the complex web of politicking and scheming and social class upheaval as well as the magic system but the characters and the worldbuilding just did not do anything for me.