Genre: Fantasy Age Range: Adult Star Rating: 4 stars Series: book two of trilogy
*SPOILER ALERT: contains SPOILERS for THE KINGDOM OF LIARS*
The Hollows is gripped in unrest and on the brink of civil war as an insurgency of anarchists rise, and brother and sister vie for the throne.
Michael Kingman thought he was going to die by the executioner’s axe, forever labelled as a traitor. Still alive, and under the protection of the Orbis Mercenary company, Michael and his family and friends are deeply involved in the seemingly rival conspiracies that are tearing The Hollows apart. With the death of the King, both the Corrupt Prince and his sister Serena are vying for the throne, while the Rebel Emperor is spreading lies amongst the people, and all of them want Michael dead.
Blurb taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.
THE TWO-FACED QUEEN dives into the mysteries and secrets of the world, the various historic powers at play. And, of course, Michael decides to go up against the lot. He honestly is recklessly overconfident, but that’s a really fun character type to follow along with in epic fantasy. Guarantees more disasters and actions.
This book absolutely delivers on the consequences of going up against so many overpowered individuals. I loved the action sequences in this book, which is not usually the bits of a book I gravitate towards. He just has so many “hope for the best” plans and that ends up with some great moments.
The expansion of lore and uncovering of secrets is also a lot of fun. A few flip several assumptions on their heads, others hint at more secrets to discover. Yet more add other enemies for Michael to decide to take on. I loved getting some mysteries solved and other partially. For a series, I think it’s important that the reader’s level of knowledge doesn’t stagnant at any one point (if too much is being held over my head, I get irritated, particularly if it’s been held over me a while) but also that there are still some things I want to discover in later instalments.
There is also a focus on the many broken and healing relationships Michael has. His ability to trust is not great (too many betrayals) but also his stubbornness (and horrifically bad luck when it comes to friends dying/people close to them dying) means there’s a lot of issues. And he is trying to heal them in this book. The flipside to his (sometimes stupid) actions breaking relationships is that he is now in a place where he does not give up on those people, determined to make things right again. It leads to a lot of great dynamics and evolutions of relationships as he effectively irritates some people back into liking him.
There is one book left to go, THE VOYAGE OF THE FORGOTTEN, and I’m excited to see how it all ends.
Read my reviews of other books by Nick Martell:
The Legacy of the Mercenary King (this series):