Book Review: The Kingdom of Liars by Nick Martell (ALC)

The Kingdom of Liars

Author: Nick Martell

Narrator: John Skelley

Publication Date: 23 June 2020

Genre: Adult Fiction – Fantasy

Length: 15 hours 52 minutes

Publisher: Recorded Books, Inc.

In this brilliant debut fantasy, a story of secrets, rebellion, and murder are shattering the Hollows, where magic costs memory to use, and only the son of the kingdom’s despised traitor holds the truth.

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’ve put off writing this review for so long because I honestly just don’t even know what to say. 

The first half of this book literally bored me to tears. It was so much of an info dump and that pacing was slow that I just didn’t really know where we were headed. Since I listened to the audiobook, I juSt does it up. 

Furthermore, in the beginning, the main character, Michael Kingman is arrogant and infuriating. I understand that he’s been branded a traitor due to his dad slaying the King’s son, but he definitely was a bit much.

So while the first half of the book was inundated with painfully laying the foundation and court politics, the second half of the book was a completely different story.

All of a sudden, I found myself deeply immersed in an adventure full of danger and intrigue as well as complicated court politics. Michael transformed into this character that I couldn’t help by love.

At over 500 pages, this story read like two different stories rather than one cohesive one. I am intrigued to see how this author grows and develops. 

Thank you to Recorded Books, Inc. and Librofm for providing an ALC for review. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.


  1. This sounds like a great premise but would you still recommend picking it up with how much you struggled with the first half? Would you have preferred to have done the physical copy if you could have chosen?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Since the first part of the story was slow for me, I am glad that I did the audiobook instead of physical. If I had read the physical copy, I would’ve been more likely to DNF the book versus push through. I am much more lenient with audio since I can speed them up to focus.


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