The Kingdom of Liars by Nick Martell. Saga Press, June 2020. Cover artist uncredited
Nick Martell is a bit of a carte blanche. He’s never published anything before, not even a short story. At the age of 23 he sold his first novel, The Kingdom of Liars, to Saga Press, and it arrives in hardcover next week. Publishers Weekly calls it a “taut, clever [tale] of rebellion and regicide in a world where the use of magic comes at the cost of one’s memories.”
The Kingdom of Liars is the opening novel in a new series, The Legacy of the Mercenary King. Kirkus Reviews gave it a warm review, saying in part,
Martell’s debut novel is a shelf-bending adventure fantasy that chronicles the life — and looming death — of Michael Kingman, an ill-fated young man awaiting execution for the killing of a king.
Set in a secondary world — particularly noteworthy for a fractured moon whose pieces frequently fall to the planet, wreaking havoc on the populace — the narrative takes place largely in Hollow, a once-thriving kingdom now beleaguered by tragedy, treason, and an impending civil war. Michael is an outcast whose father was executed for infamously killing a child prince years earlier, and he’s obsessed with finding the truth behind his beloved father’s death. A war hero, the king’s adviser, and a man of honor, his father would never have killed a child, especially a child he vowed to protect. But with the once-venerated name of Kingman now irrevocably tarnished, Michael, a con man doing what he needs to survive, is faced with the monumental task of restoring his family’s name…
Martell generally keeps the pages turning with a story full of relentless action and more than a few jaw-dropping plot twists…. An impressive fantasy debut that creates a solid foundation for (hopefully) a much larger narrative to come.
The Kingdom of Liars will be published by Saga Press on June 23, 2020. It is 608 pages, priced at $27.99 in hardcover. The cover artist is uncredited. If you can’t wait that long, the digital version is available today, priced at just $7.99. See all our coverage of the best new SF and fantasy here.