Kingdom of Liars | Review

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The Kingdom of Liars by Nick Martell
The Legacy of the Mercenary King #1
Saga Press
This book was provided to me for free by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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.

Nope, just nope. I couldn’t finish the book. I managed 75%, and I dragged myself for most of that. The most exciting part of this book was the prologue.

I was intrigued by the summary, thinking this was going to be exactly what I was looking for. Brandon Sanderson even said it was a excellent debut. It’s not.

I read the prologue, and became even more excited. In the prologue, the main character is on trial, I was curious to see how we got there. In all honesty, I still am curious, but can’t bring myself to pick up the book again.

I only made it through the first chapter before the dragging started. At first it was only slight, but as I read another chapter, I had way more questions about character motivation than there were answers and I began loosing interest. From here, I managed maybe another chapter or two every few nights. Then the questions just mounted, and mounted, and soon a month and a half had gone by and I was only 75% through. Being an ARC, I wanted to finish, in case there was some redeeming quality, or we finally got the answers to all the questions I had. Instead another week or two went by and each time I tried to pick up the book, I just couldn’t. I finally had to admit defeat and I DNF’d this book.

The setting is good, but a story can’t rely solely on setting. It needs plot, and characters. For me, the characters make the plot. Without believable characters, you can’t have a believable plot. The evidence is all here in this book. Given the number of books out there to be read, I highly doubt I’ll be picking up another book of this series.