A Masterclass in Grand-Scale Storytelling: The Legacy of the Mercenary King by Nick Martell

A Masterclass in Grand-Scale Storytelling: The Legacy of the Mercenary King by Nick Martell


The Legacy of the Mercenary King trilogy: The Kingdom of Liars, The Two-Faced Queen and The Voyage
of the Forgotten
(Saga Press, February 8, 2022). Covers by Bastien Lecouffe Deharme and Benjamin Carré

I love it when a fantasy trilogy sneaks up on me.

It seemed like just yesterday we were reporting on the imminent release of The Kingdom of Liars, the debut fantasy from 23-year old wunderkind Nick Martell, getting rave reviews from all quarters. Now I find the third volume in the trilogy will be released in a matter of weeks…. how did that happen?

The acclaim for this series has only grown with each volume. At Tor.com, Paul Weimer described it as “Something like PKD and [Gene] Wolfe teaming up to write City State Fantasy.” Kirkus called the first one “An impressive fantasy debut,” but pulled out all the stops for The Two-Faced Queen, saying “Simply put, this series is a masterclass in grand-scale storytelling. The future of epic fantasy is here — and this saga is it.”

Here’s a snippet from that enthusiastic coverage of Book Two at Kirkus.

The meaty sequel to Martell’s debut, The Kingdom of Liars (2020), continues the epic narrative of Michael Kingman, who — falsely accused of killing a king — is tasked with saving the very realm where his life has become forfeit.

A month after King Isaac was presumably murdered, Serena — Princess of Hollow and heir to the throne — is preparing for her coronation. Although she deeply wants to execute Kingman, a close childhood friend who she thinks killed her father, she has more pressing concerns. With a rebellion looming outside the city’s wall, bloody civil war brewing, and an infamous serial killer loose inside Hollow, Serena comes to an uneasy agreement with Kingman…

Powered by an impressively large cast of well-developed characters, immersive worldbuilding, a multitapestried narrative that adeptly weaves together numerous storylines, and an abundance of jaw-dropping plot twists, this novel also works on a more sublime, symbolic level… Simply put, this series is a masterclass in grand-scale storytelling. The future of epic fantasy is here — and this saga is it.

Here’s the details on the complete series.

The Kingdom of Liars (608 pages, $27.99 hardcover/$17.99 trade/$7.99 digital, June 23, 2020) — cover by Bastien Lecouffe Deharme
The Two-Faced Queen (592 pages, $27.99 hardcover/$18.99 trade/$8.99 digital, March 23, 2021) — cover by Benjamin Carré
The Voyage of the Forgotten (592 pages, $28.99 in hardcover/$14.99 digital, November 1, 2022) — cover by Benjamin Carré

See all our coverage of the best new SF and fantasy series here.

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