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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 in the second novel in the critically hailed Legacy of the Mercenary King series which Brandon Sanderson called “excellent.” Michael Kingman thought he was going to die by the executioner’s axe, forever labeled as a traitor. Still ali 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 in the second novel in the critically hailed Legacy of the Mercenary King series which Brandon Sanderson called “excellent.” Michael Kingman thought he was going to die by the executioner’s axe, forever labeled 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. This is a story of betrayal, murder, and rebellion, and in this direct sequel to the debut novel The Kingdom of Liars, also some hope for justice. For readers who love the intrigue and widening scope of epic fantasy like Sanderson’s Mistborn and Week’s The Black Prism, you will find your next must-read fantasy series.


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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 in the second novel in the critically hailed Legacy of the Mercenary King series which Brandon Sanderson called “excellent.” Michael Kingman thought he was going to die by the executioner’s axe, forever labeled as a traitor. Still ali 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 in the second novel in the critically hailed Legacy of the Mercenary King series which Brandon Sanderson called “excellent.” Michael Kingman thought he was going to die by the executioner’s axe, forever labeled 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. This is a story of betrayal, murder, and rebellion, and in this direct sequel to the debut novel The Kingdom of Liars, also some hope for justice. For readers who love the intrigue and widening scope of epic fantasy like Sanderson’s Mistborn and Week’s The Black Prism, you will find your next must-read fantasy series.

30 review for The Two-Faced Queen

  1. 5 out of 5

    Petrik

    I have a Booktube channel now! Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/petrikleo ARC provided by the publisher—Saga Press & Gollancz—in exchange for an honest review. 3.5/5 stars Overall, The Two-Faced Queen a good sequel. Similar to its predecessor, the first half was a bit of a struggle for me, but the second half was great. “To be forgotten feels more like death than death.” The Kingdom of Liars by Nick Martell was a debut that surprised me last year. If you’ve seen the reviews or receptions towa I have a Booktube channel now! Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/petrikleo ARC provided by the publisher—Saga Press & Gollancz—in exchange for an honest review. 3.5/5 stars Overall, The Two-Faced Queen a good sequel. Similar to its predecessor, the first half was a bit of a struggle for me, but the second half was great. “To be forgotten feels more like death than death.” The Kingdom of Liars by Nick Martell was a debut that surprised me last year. If you’ve seen the reviews or receptions towards Martell’s debut, both positive and negative, I think I can assure you that the majority of them are valid. Personally, I found Martell’s debut thoroughly engaging, but I did find that the deliberately written-to-be-infuriating main character in the first half to be difficult to tolerate. The second half of the novel, however, was incredible. Now, what do I think about this sequel? It’s more or less the same as my overall feeling on the first book, with a few differences here and there. “Some childhood traumas were like sunburns, other like broken bones, the most extreme like scars—faded but not forgotten.” The Two-Faced Queen is the sequel The Kingdom of Liars, it is the second book in The Legacy of the Mercenary Kings series by Nick Martell. Although the story does takes place after The Kingdom of Liars, there’s a kind of standalone nature to the narrative that I think people who haven’t read the first book could actually understand what’s going on. Similar and at the same time different to my experience of reading The Kingdom of Liars, I did find the first half of The Two-Faced Queen to be a struggle to read. But this wasn’t caused by Michael Kingman’s annoying attitude; Michael has improved and matured a bit—note the word a bit—here. From my perspective, it felt like the plot was directionless, and to be honest, quite all over the place in the first half; some scenes and events, to me, actually felt like fillers. Sometimes, we can gauge how much we enjoy reading a book by how fast we’re able to finish it; it took me four days to read through the first half of the book, and it took me only one day to read through the second half. Now you see what I mean? In a similar way to Martell’s debut, the second half of The Two-Faced Queen provided a far more engaging narrative compared to the first half, and I won’t lie, it was even quite emotional at the end. “Yeah, well, we can’t all be the perfect Michael Kingboy can we?” “Kingman,” I said. “My last name is Kingman.” “Then why do you act like a child? Kingboy makes more sense.” There are, of course, more positive things to take from this sequel. One, after the events of the first book, Michael Kingman is more tolerable now as the main character; he’s still stupid, at times, but he has certainly matured a bit. I did, however, want more of Serena, though. I honestly thought she would have more appearances or roles in this book, but the majority of the book still revolves mainly around Michael. The second positive thing is the expansion of the world-building. I honestly thought The Kingdom of Liars would’ve worked well as a satisfying one-off standalone, and as it turns out, it seems that Martell truly still has several things in store for the series. The topics of legacies and families are still the most pivotal themes of the series; I highly enjoyed reading about them, and Martell’s prose continues to be accessible and engaging. “I think, if possible, we deserve to hear about our parents’ flaws from themselves so they can teach us to be better than they were.” Although there’s a bit of a middle book syndrome to it, I’ll say that I had a good time reading this sequel. The last 20% of the book, in particular, was just incredible. There are revelations, there are tensions, there are emotions; Martell has satisfyingly concluded The Two-Faced Queen by setting the stage nicely for the big showdown to come in the third—and I think the final—book of the series. I’m looking forward to finding out how the story ends. Official release date: 25th March 2021 (UK) and 23rd March 2021 (US) You can pre-order the book from: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository (Free shipping) The quotes in this review were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication. You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions Special thanks to my Patrons on Patreon for giving me extra support towards my passion for reading and reviewing! My Patrons: Alfred, Alya, Annabeth, Ben, Blaise, Devin, Diana, Edward, Estefani, Hamad, Helen, Jimmy Nutts, Joie, Lufi, Melinda, Mike, Miracle, Nicholas, Shaad, Summer, Zoe.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nick Martell

    Well, with its release date only a little more than three months away, I guess I should talk about book 2 of the Legacy of the Mercenary King series. Statistically, The Two-Faced Queen comes in about 30k—for a total of 180k—words longer than the Kingdom of Liars. In a lot of ways, this book was easier to write than the Kingdom of Liars. Which is wild considering I wrote it in about a little less than a year throughout 2018/2019. I think most authors talk about second book syndrome that I don’t n Well, with its release date only a little more than three months away, I guess I should talk about book 2 of the Legacy of the Mercenary King series. Statistically, The Two-Faced Queen comes in about 30k—for a total of 180k—words longer than the Kingdom of Liars. In a lot of ways, this book was easier to write than the Kingdom of Liars. Which is wild considering I wrote it in about a little less than a year throughout 2018/2019. I think most authors talk about second book syndrome that I don’t need to go over it. I was lucky enough to escape it by writing this book before my first was out. The only voices in my head were my agent and editors, and that has made all the difference. I’m incredibly proud of this book. I think more so than the Kingdom of Liars. This is the book of my heart and probably a good indication of what I’ll do for the rest of my career. Maybe not now that I’m thinking of the standalone I’ve been itching to write in my free time. Anyway. Rather than set things up, I pretty much spent most of the book knocking down pins. I also think I learned a lot from my debut and took everything up to it’s max. More magic. More consequences. And more wham moments. If you thought that scene was fun in the first, just wait to you see some of the ones in this book. There’s nothing I can really say about this book that’s not a spoiler. I can’t talk about the magic and what the readers will learn about it. I can’t talk about Michael and his growth from a child with delusions of grandeur into something truly infamous or his relationship with the extended cast. And I definitely can’t talk about Dark and what’s going on with him. But, regardless, I hope readers enjoy this novel and the continuing evolution of the cast of characters. There are no heroes or prodigies or chosen ones or those compelled to act because of destiny in this book. Just young adults struggling to find their place in a messed up world. But, if I can give one bit of advice, remember Michael Kingman’s story is a tragedy. He was never going to be the one who saved the world, but maybe he can be the one to break it. After all, what is a legacy if not an inheritance? Onward to book 3. * Less than 6 months remain. Two truths and a lie: The Princess of Hollow is a new POV The Princess of Hollow shows up 5 times in book 1 The Princess of Hollow goes on a revenge tour

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    "The Two-Faced Queen" is the sophomore volume of the series, a fantasy series featuring a lead character whose legacy was loyalty to the Crown, but who has now been branded a traitor. Fabrications are the magical powers here, but their use leaves one with memory gaps. Perhaps a far more succinct novel would have focused better. This one lacked a focus and the characters lacked believability. "The Two-Faced Queen" is the sophomore volume of the series, a fantasy series featuring a lead character whose legacy was loyalty to the Crown, but who has now been branded a traitor. Fabrications are the magical powers here, but their use leaves one with memory gaps. Perhaps a far more succinct novel would have focused better. This one lacked a focus and the characters lacked believability.

  4. 4 out of 5

    FantasyBookNerd

    The Two-Faced Queen is Nick Martell's exhilarating sequel to his debut The Kingdom of Liars. I must say when I read The Kingdom of Liars, I was pretty impressed. Nick Martell did a fantastic job, writing an intriguing and well-paced plot. He introduced characters that are engaging if sometimes a little annoying, and endearing. There was intricate world-building and a complex magic system. So, when I saw that the story of The Two-Faced Queen continued in the city of Hollow, I was wondering how Nick The Two-Faced Queen is Nick Martell's exhilarating sequel to his debut The Kingdom of Liars. I must say when I read The Kingdom of Liars, I was pretty impressed. Nick Martell did a fantastic job, writing an intriguing and well-paced plot. He introduced characters that are engaging if sometimes a little annoying, and endearing. There was intricate world-building and a complex magic system. So, when I saw that the story of The Two-Faced Queen continued in the city of Hollow, I was wondering how Nick Martell was going to expand on something that he had done a pretty good job of building in the first place. Well, he showed me, didn't he? It turns out that Nick Martell had a whole lot more up his sleeve and The Kingdom of Liars was just the tip of the iceberg. The story takes place shortly after the events of the Kingdom of Liars and we find him indentured to Dark, the Orbis Corporation Assassin. His mother is no longer a Forgotten and the family are now living in Kingman Keep. Outside the walls, the rebellion is still encamped slowly strangling the city of Hollow. In addition to this, refugees are flooding into Hollow, making a bad situation worse. As part of his apprenticeship with Dark, they are tasked to find out where the refugees are from and who leads them. This sets off a series of events. Firstly, a series of horrific murders lead to the return of a serial killer that has lain dormant for a number of years. The city of Hollow is now in the hands of Serena, The two-faced Queen of the title, who just happens to be Michael's childhood best friend and has set out to kill him because she thinks he killed her father. Oh, on top of that he has to pass his apprentice assassins test. Just another day at the Kingsman residence then! Structurally, Nick Martell does not shift much from the first book. Michael is the main character. However, in this book, he is not as difficult to spend time with, and Nick Martell does a nice job of retconning book 1, which gives a different perspective of Michael’s behaviour in Kingdom of Liars. Additionally, Michael grows in this book, which I liked a lot. I think the skill that Nick Martell shows in growing his characters organically is clearly evident. Michael seems more like a real person. Yes, he does make mistakes, and at times he does not see the bigger picture, but we see him learning from his mistakes. Unfortunately, some of the characters that we spent time in book 1 with, such as Kai do not get as much page time as the previous book, but I found that the relationship that grows between Michael and Dark is quite a fascinating one, and made up for the absence of the other characters. Naomi is a lot more prominent in the Kingdom of Liars, and we see the after-effects of the incident that involved the Crooked Prince. We learn that as well as losing her job, it is also causing her pain to the extent that she has to seek other means in order to control this. However, a number of the characters get their time in the spotlight. For one the Two-faced queen herself, Serena, who deluded by her grief, relentlessly chases Michael. Symon, the King of Stories, who I have to say I found quite interesting and wished we could have spent some more time with him, although he gets two interludes in the book in order to change the focus from Michael. Most interestingly, however, is Gwen. I have always found Gwen to be a character that I wanted to spend more time with, and in this book, we get to do that. The plot of the book runs at full pace, yes there are some lulls in it, but generally, Nick Martell creates a sense of urgency as the book comes to its conclusion. One of the things that I really like about Nick Martell’s writing is that he successfully weaves cross-genre plots. In one instance there is the serial killer plot and the race against time to find the killer before they strike again, interweaved with a solid fantasy book of rebellion and unrest. On top of this, Nick Martell massively increases the world that the characters inhabit. We get more about the magic system and the lore too. And as we spend time with Dark and Michael, we get more information about the Assassins company and get to meet the crew. In the Two-Faced Queen, Nick Martell successfully weaves a thrilling plot, expansive world-building with fantastic characters in a book that you won’t want to put down.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    This was fun! Sure, I did request the book and then discovered that it’s the second in a series and I had not read the first one. But thought, feck it, I can totally dig in and see how goes. Imagine my achy-breaky heart bursting with joy when I saw that author had included a ‘Story So Far’ to kick off the sequel. ‘Story So Far’ is my favourite addition to sequels. Thank you authors who do this! What can I say without spoiling this book and its predecessor? While I felt like I was able to enjoy TTFQ This was fun! Sure, I did request the book and then discovered that it’s the second in a series and I had not read the first one. But thought, feck it, I can totally dig in and see how goes. Imagine my achy-breaky heart bursting with joy when I saw that author had included a ‘Story So Far’ to kick off the sequel. ‘Story So Far’ is my favourite addition to sequels. Thank you authors who do this! What can I say without spoiling this book and its predecessor? While I felt like I was able to enjoy TTFQ without having any prior insight, I would be inclined to take a dive into the first book anyway. The author has a knack for building on momentum and I believe that the intricate world, characters and political and otherwise struggles are so vast that I hardly got the rounded be all- end all of it. In fact, TTFQ, once it started, felt like it was on a course for disaster for some of our characters with conflicts and mysteries piling up and with hardly any time to take a breath. One simply cannot stop reading because the loose ends are many and there shall be answers, dammit! You know what? I’m going to admit this. I might as well… I am somewhat glad I failed to be aware of book 1. Without previously sampling the author’s style, the world and setting we’re in, the characters and the various elements, I feel like I personally gained a whole lot of ‘hot damn’ moments out of TTFQ. I simply didn’t know what to expect and boy, oh boy, was a figuratively slapped in the face with awe-inspiring revelations chapter by chapter. You need to know that the characters are all of them intriguing, making you want to know more. They are entirely human and we’ll, maybe a bit more than just human *taps nose You’ll want to know that the world and political intrigue and the, can I say, fractions that the author has created are entirely ripe and multiple and serve a purpose. You’ll want to know that the story flows and rolls like an avalanche. Taking you to scenes and moments of stillness, grandeur, amusement, flourish, quiet comprehension. The magic in this book, I wouldn’t probably call magic. It’s more like… Oh! I know how to explain and some of you will roll your eyes so hard at this, you’re risking an eyeball muscle strain. So… Seen Twilight movies? You know the way the vamps have powers there to either make you see things or feel things or create a protective shield? Yeah. That. Anyway! Moving on. The final thing I wish to mention. The thing that rounded the whole book up for me, made it beautiful, worthwhile, wholesome… The crux of it all: family. I wish I could explain how the book felt relevant in this. I’ll try. Have you ever experienced that moment when you realize that you’ve stepped over that invisible line that separated the vision you had of your close family through the eyes of a child, and now you see, maybe even without wanting to see it, admit it, that the people you always, hand on heart, thought were the fairest, most honest, never do wrong kind of people, are in fact, well, utterly full of shit and even though you still love them and would do anything for them, you will take anything they say with a pinch of salt and perhaps, sadly, respect them a little less? Well. The Two-Faced Queen made me think such thoughts. Final- final thing you’ll want to know, is that this book, this series in fact I feel I can safely assume, has some of you’re favourite fantasy elements. Such as: assassins, serial killers, royalty, a fully formed society, revenge, redemption, lovelovelove (love is the root of all troubles, after all!), immortality, altogether faulty and far from perfect characters to battle for your favour…and … who knows what other mystical beasts

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    Thank you Gollancz and Orion Publishing Group for giving me an advance review copy of The Two-Faced Queen! I have been provided a review copy in exchange for an honest review. I was pleasantly surprised when I found The Kingdom of Liars a solid fantasy debut with intriguing world-building and strong storytelling. The ending of Kingdom of Liars teased this book's titular character's growing involvement in the story, and that got me even more excited to pick up Two-Faced Queen. The Two-Faced Queen c Thank you Gollancz and Orion Publishing Group for giving me an advance review copy of The Two-Faced Queen! I have been provided a review copy in exchange for an honest review. I was pleasantly surprised when I found The Kingdom of Liars a solid fantasy debut with intriguing world-building and strong storytelling. The ending of Kingdom of Liars teased this book's titular character's growing involvement in the story, and that got me even more excited to pick up Two-Faced Queen. The Two-Faced Queen continues Michael Kingsman's story where it last left off: alive, but now an apprentice mercenary to the mysterious Dark while still trying to restore his family name. Further complicating matters, however, Hollow is struck by an assassin and a thought long-gone serial killer on the loose. As Michael and Dark attempt to unravel the mysterious murders, Michael finds himself not only having to regain the trust of those he cares for, but also having to grapple with several shocking truths from Hollow's history. The worldbuilding undergoes a massive expansion, and the world Martell constructed continues to grow richer in its awe-inspiring span. Michael's narration, his thoughts and feelings continue to be intertwined with his understanding and views of the world around him. He knows things, but there are also times where he stumbles in confusion and uncertainty, worrying that he would someday make a fatal mistake. Martell isn't afraid to throw both Michael (and us readers, who are learning things along with him) into uncertain, confusing, and risky situations and I have to applaud this about his storytelling. It shines more light to this aspect of Michael as a character which makes him all the more human. Michael is a changed person compared to his persona in Kingdom of Liars, but we readers the only ones so far to know that ;) In fact, Michael not only still has to deal with the general distrust the city of Hollow has for him, but he's also crossed some potentially dangerous people in his previous self-centred exploits. Chief among them is the Princess Serena Hollow, heir to the throne and the royal with a deep, yet strained bond with Michael. With Serena's introduction as the titular Two-Faced Queen, Martell expands his cast as well as giving greater focus to his already existing ones (notably Naomi and Trey). It was refreshing to see that not just Michael, but all the other characters are also portrayed as humanly as Michael is. They stumble, they hurt, and they bleed all the same and it makes everyone involved such a compelling cast. I can definitely see this series being adapted for TV and I would gladly binge-watch the series to see any of them. (Although I will say that I wish Serena had been featured a lot more given that this is technically her book. She is the most appealing part of this book for me, another testament of Martell's excellent characterization. Ruthless, cunning, yet she wears her heart on her sleeve - her scenes are definitely hard to put down) Martell significantly pumps up the suspense (naturally, given the serial killer arc) in The Two-Faced Queen. There are many twists and turns in the story, and more of Dark's mysterious past revealed to be a lot more important to the overarching narrative. Furthermore, Michael's growing use of Fabrications also begin to take its toll on his memory, his narration beginning to have more widening gaps. I loved how this injected a sense of paranoia probing at the fear of losing important information that you might not be able to ever recover — adding to the growing suspense in the book. As exciting as this book was, however, it all becomes too much at some point (I think momentarily my brain shut down) and going through the book can be a slog given the onslaught of information/events/twists, which is why I wouldn't really recommend reading this book in one sitting (rather, read it in bite-able chunks). Martell also takes the opportunity to showcase his veracity in his storytelling: his combat scenes are raw, quick, and brutal. There's not much waiting for the enemy to mess up, and there's more visceral, bloody, and painful strikes which his characters take the brunt for. Somehow this is reminiscent of Anna Stephens's approach to combat battles in her Godblind series. The Two-Faced Queen concludes its whirlwind of a story with more conflicts to come, more mistakes (and dread for their consequences), and a promise for an exciting adventure as Martell prepares to expand his story beyond Hollow's walls. It is definitely a much wilder ride compared to its predecessor, and Martell's dropped one too many explosive revelations for me to be able to tell the direction this series is going. All in all, though, Martell's The Two-Faced Queen is a strong follow up expanding on his storytelling strengths: compelling characters and narratives; and strong, evocative world-building that only continues to grow richer as it expands its scope. The Two-Faced Queen is available for pre-order, scheduled to release on 23 March 2021 (US)/25 March 2021 (UK). My review can also be found here.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy Szal

    Now, this is how you write a sequel. While the first book showed us a glimpse at the political and social underpinnings of a city in peril, THE TWO-FACED QUEEN throws us right into the middle and adds serial killers, dragons, and mayhem for good measure. There's some truly satisfying and explosive moments in this book, including one that actually saw my jaw dropping open in shock. And I don't shock easy. You'll know the moment when you see it. I'm not the target audience for slow-burn fantasies. Now, this is how you write a sequel. While the first book showed us a glimpse at the political and social underpinnings of a city in peril, THE TWO-FACED QUEEN throws us right into the middle and adds serial killers, dragons, and mayhem for good measure. There's some truly satisfying and explosive moments in this book, including one that actually saw my jaw dropping open in shock. And I don't shock easy. You'll know the moment when you see it. I'm not the target audience for slow-burn fantasies. But the engaging characters and dialogue between them - crammed full of insults and delicious sarcasm - gave the book a sharpness that the first, in a way, was lacking. The latter half of this book in particular is an avalanche of emotions, mayhem and brilliance, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with it. Fantasy fans would be wise putting this one on their radars.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Zandt McCue

    The worst part about The Two-Faced Queen is that it ended. Years ago, I was out dining with family when it was commented on that I always order the same thing and I was made to order a Filet Mignon instead. The irony here is that whenever we went to a restaurant that had Crab Cakes on the menu, that would be what my Father ordered after going over the entire menu. Without a doubt. Every time. When the food came, I noticed that the Filet was small and of course it was gone in a flash. That cut is The worst part about The Two-Faced Queen is that it ended. Years ago, I was out dining with family when it was commented on that I always order the same thing and I was made to order a Filet Mignon instead. The irony here is that whenever we went to a restaurant that had Crab Cakes on the menu, that would be what my Father ordered after going over the entire menu. Without a doubt. Every time. When the food came, I noticed that the Filet was small and of course it was gone in a flash. That cut is considered to be one of the best. The perfect, most tender slice. The Two-Faced Queen is that Filet Mignon. If the book had been a quarter as perfect, but double the size, I would still have gobbled it down like the mortal enemy of cows that I am. I wish I had kept a log or filmed myself while reading this so that you could observe how many times I said "Jesus Christ!" or cursed. I can tell you that I read this on my Kindle and at 11% was my first Jesus Christ moment and around the 90% mark was a full-blown "What the ****?" This has shock, after shock, after shock, after shock. The Two-Faced Queen continues the story of Michael Kingsman while leaving the comfort so many book series find themselves in. There's a level many books find themselves in. Mistborn, for instance, even though the stakes get higher and the world expands has a constant feel to it. What Nick Martell does here is "I've already done that, this is where we are, and it's about to explode." Michael's redemption is prevalent but everyone comes up to bat in this book. Trey & Naomi have wonderful storylines. I was beyond excited to have the Princess be in the spotlight this time around as her brother was a force in the first book. Every scene she had in Kingdom of Liars always got my attention. Martell even threw in an appearance by Em, the Baker's daughter. He's smart enough to take us on a different adventure while reminding us we are still in the same world. Talented, damn it. And these people feel real. They aren't cardboard cutouts of generic fantasy characters. They curse and they **** and they tease and they hurt and they bleed just like the rest of us. Without having to kneel to the Grimdark side of things to have personalities. This is something newer writers should take note of. There's a way to express people without being a caricature. Evan Winter is another writer who is good with this. What was really badass this time around was that the plot includes both an assassin and a serial killer on the loose. They contribute to the craziness but there is no escaping the situation surrounding the Princess, Michael, and Dark. The mystery surrounding Dark is a huge focal point. You could easily argue for him to be on the cover of this book. Speaking of which, both covers are absolutely beautiful. God, so much happens in this book that it's hard to talk about without giving out other key information. As I'm rewinding it in my head I'm remembering other details that conveniently slipped away and must most likely be waiting for us in book three. I'm still stunned at some reveals. I even was so caught off guard at one point that I threw my Kindle down and had to get up from the couch and shake it off. Minor Spoilers: (view spoiler)[A few passing thoughts to close this out. Naomi this time around definitely gave me Maya Hawke-in-Stranger-Things vibes. You'll understand. There also must be something agreed upon by most writers putting out secondary books in 2020 (or early 2021) that all sequels must have more dragons. (hide spoiler)] Overall, this is a solid book from a solid writer. The type of book we read for. I'm honored to have been able to read it early. I'll leave off with one of my favorite quotes from the book because I absolutely loved it. Spoilers only because it's wonderful to come across these things on your own as you read. It doesn't affect the story at all. (view spoiler)[There were two kinds of people in Symon's mind: Those who respected books and those who didn't. And anyone who fell in the second category would be lucky if they were erased by history rather than dehumanized. (hide spoiler)] For what it's worth, as I can't have milk or eat Chocolate without suffering, the cows truly have the upper hand in our rivalry.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Katy

    3.5 stars The Two-Faced Queen is the sequel to The Kingdom of Liars, following Michael Kingman after he has been framed for the murder of the King of Hollow. Set in a world where the cost of magic is losing memories and secrets about the city and it's history are coming to light. A serial killer has made a recurrence in the city, alongside Michael being accused of killing the king and being in the warpath of the princess Serena, soon to be the queen. Michael and Serena were childhood best friends 3.5 stars The Two-Faced Queen is the sequel to The Kingdom of Liars, following Michael Kingman after he has been framed for the murder of the King of Hollow. Set in a world where the cost of magic is losing memories and secrets about the city and it's history are coming to light. A serial killer has made a recurrence in the city, alongside Michael being accused of killing the king and being in the warpath of the princess Serena, soon to be the queen. Michael and Serena were childhood best friends but now Serena hates him. In order to save himself from execution he is protected by the company he works for as well as agreeing to investigate the murders. There is a lot going on in this book and I feel like the first half suffers a bit from feeling directionless with too much going on. For me the second half of the novel was a LOT stronger than the first. I feel like the plot becomes a lot more cohesive and starts moving in a direction that was really enjoyable, with some great reveals! I loved learning about the dragons and Dark's agenda. Also the whole heart eating thing was slightly creepy but also ngl I loved reading about it and how it fit into the story. While I didn't love any of the characters enough to bump this up to 4 stars, I really liked Naomi and Chloe (basically the gay characters lol) and I feel like once Naomi came into the story it really started picking up for me. Michael was a decent character and fairly solid for a main character, there was nothing I disliked about him but I didn't quite feel a deep emotional connection. I did really like the villians though (pretends to be shocked), I always like it when villians have well portrayed motivations and we get to see a bit of their backstory. I wasn't a big fan of the "romance" between Michael and Serena, although I usually love the childhood best friends to lovers trope I didn't really feel the connection between them and the dynamic just felt a bit off to me. In conclusion I had a fun time reading this but it probably won't stick in my mind.

  10. 5 out of 5

    DTBooks

    “History is defined by moments. Moments of bravery. Moments of foolishness. Moments of compassion. Moments of hate. These moments are impossible to identify when they happen, and usually only seen in hindsight.” 3.5 ⭐️ This was such a wonderfully thought out plot. So many little details that the author wove together to tell an epic story. The story and the intricate details enthralled me and had me eager to keep reading one. Personally I didn’t care for the tempo of the writing. While the story “History is defined by moments. Moments of bravery. Moments of foolishness. Moments of compassion. Moments of hate. These moments are impossible to identify when they happen, and usually only seen in hindsight.” 3.5 ⭐️ This was such a wonderfully thought out plot. So many little details that the author wove together to tell an epic story. The story and the intricate details enthralled me and had me eager to keep reading one. Personally I didn’t care for the tempo of the writing. While the story and characters were wonderful and I was fully invested in the story I found my mind wondering at times due to slow moments that lasted a bit too long. Overall a wonderful story that shows off the talents of Nick Martell

  11. 5 out of 5

    Myra Bryant

    This book was fabulous, a thrilling continuation from the first book and I can't wait for more. As with his first book, Nick Martell sends twists and turns that you frankly do not see coming, leaving you with a truly OMG did that just happen reaction that you experience almost continuously throughout the entire book. A must read!! This book was fabulous, a thrilling continuation from the first book and I can't wait for more. As with his first book, Nick Martell sends twists and turns that you frankly do not see coming, leaving you with a truly OMG did that just happen reaction that you experience almost continuously throughout the entire book. A must read!!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Xerxes

    This review contains spoilers and I received an ARC from Netgalley so all thoughts are my opinion. Thank you to Will O Mullane, Gollancz, and Nick Martell for this! Michael Kingman deserves a bloody break. Actually, I’d be swearing right now when I’m writing this review as I am so emotional writing this. A masterpiece. A true masterpiece! The Two-Faced Queen is a fantastic book, it improves upon the sequel in so many ways. It made me go emotional I had my fists bawling in certain high moments. H This review contains spoilers and I received an ARC from Netgalley so all thoughts are my opinion. Thank you to Will O Mullane, Gollancz, and Nick Martell for this! Michael Kingman deserves a bloody break. Actually, I’d be swearing right now when I’m writing this review as I am so emotional writing this. A masterpiece. A true masterpiece! The Two-Faced Queen is a fantastic book, it improves upon the sequel in so many ways. It made me go emotional I had my fists bawling in certain high moments. High tension action, gripping drama, and so many secrets. This book is a temple of secrets. That I can say without a shadow of a doubt. This is a story that had me broken down to tears. A story, that had I looked at it again, would still cry over. I am so amazed, and yet so sad and so happy at the same time. This is a story of triumph over evil. I don’t care how grim-dark it is, there is an element of heroic scope in this story. An understanding. A very mature understanding of the grim realities of what is a hero, and what is a villain. I can see my own bias towards Michael in this story. And to be honest, I don’t mind at all. I have not seen such a character like him, and neither would I ever want to again, because a character like Michael achieves so much in this novel, that he may be the very best definition of what defines an actual anti-hero. He is like Jorg Ancrath from Mark’s Lawrence’s The Broken Empire trilogy, similar but not too familiar. Jorg is more of a coward, whereas Michael is more of a villain trying to be a hero. If these two were to ever meet, I am sure they’d have a lot to talk about. A lot. I just want to get this out of my system. The people treating Michael as a person who’s a liar, a man that lies to protect his family, are so rude and bad to him I was wondering for a second. Michael may not be the best hero, nor the best villain. But he is Niccolò Machiavelli reborn. He is a clever man. The result of his upbringing of being branded a traitor for something his father was accused of, does not mean that all the people in this world have to be rude to him. I’d argue that most of the characters were far more selfish and evil. Michael is an innocent human being that was beset by powerful figures such as the cunning Angelo, his foster father, and Domet. A man whose’s motives are still shrouded even to this day. And the entire conflict between the Hollow and the Kingman family. Jeez the Hollow’s need to give it a break. They really need to. Do you know who I’m most angry at? Serena. She is no doubt grieving over the loss of her father. But I ask. What did Serena’s family do to help King Issac’s mental health? Easy, let’s put the blame on Michael because he is there! Although Serena does improve at the end. And Naomi, who is a great character, I just have to say stop flirting with Michael when you have feelings for another person. This, this right here. You see my emotions coming alive as I write this review? This is the hallmark of a great writer. This is the stuff of legends. This is what stories are made of. This is how you tell a story. Kingman may never seek to be a hero, he may never seek to be a good man. But he has a curse. A curse to help people and get insulted by those that were his friends and are still his friends. Trey and Rock? Best characters. I don’t want Trey and Kingman to confront…but there is a chance. Was I a character in this story, I’d be a High Archmage that could be a Spellborn mage that can manipulate memories for good. Not bad. And I’d say to most of Michael’s friends and enemies. That man has sacrificed himself for you. He’s done a lot more in this book, been on the receiving curse of endless insults, of endless banter. Perhaps you lot could be a little more grateful. If Michael were gone, I’d bet you would miss him. Because I have never seen such a character like Michael, and nor should I ever hope to. I do not think I would want to see a character like that, who has achieved so much throughout all the ups and downs he’s gone through. In the end, Michael has one of the best redemption arcs in this entire novel. And Nick, you’ve done it. I don’t know what structure you used. I know when I read your tweets about writing this novel and how you were struggling through it. Guess what? This was worth every minute. Every minute of blood, sweat, and tear that went into the making of the Two-Faced Queen’s manuscript has worked. I have discovered so many secrets, that I wonder what I would do with all that knowledge. I pity Michael, for he has a far greater destiny ahead of him. A far greater one. Remembered memories are bitter and sweet, are they not? This novel will take you all over the place. You will discover heart-breaking secrets, engage in vicious brutal combat, and witness some of the most horrifying scenes you’ll see. The quality and level of writing are akin to that of the writers who write the scripts for Elder Scrolls Online, Dragon Age Inquisition, and God of War. Some criticism I’ve had is I’ve noticed there are a lot of noble families. I would have wanted more simplification of them. Another thing is I need a map. There are so many new empires, kingdoms that I want to explore, plus pirates and ships! This world is much bigger. I say dear reader when you read the first book, the Kingdom of Liars, this book expands. And it expands wonderfully. Dark is one of the deepest, best characters I’ve read. He still holds more secrets than I know. And Angelo is a horrendous being. As was Dark’s Grandfather. As is nearly everyone except Gwen, Dawn, Trey, Rock, Michael, Juliet, Domet, the King of Stories, and the true villains of this story. And a request. I want more of the King of Stories. There is a certain place called the Gold Coast…and I say to Nick, give me pirates, give me oceans, give me glorious naval battles, give me sun-baked deserts, and give me Arabian-style fantasy, please. Let me meet with the Sultans of the Gold Coast, or something like that. Oh and just have Serena and Michael marry each other and break the stupid rigid traditions that their family imposes on them please? It’s clearly evident, the two are in love with each other. I don’t need to be Odin in American Gods to figure that one out from the first book! I’m shipping them now. You, sir, have done a tremendous book. This is one of those books where my criticism, is naught but few! This is one of those books you need to have on your bookshelf. But it is imperative that you buy both: The Kingdom of Liars Book 1, and the Two-Faced Queen Book 2. Without these two in order, you will not understand the chain of events that link this book together. It is fantastic, and I thoroughly recommend this novel! Thoroughly!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Susanna

    The Two-Faced Queen is the second book in Nick Martell’s The Mercenary Kings series, which started with The Kingdom of Liars. It’s epic fantasy set in a world where using magic results in a memory loss and a broken moon drops pieces down to the earth. I received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I had a lot of issues with the first book—the plot was all over the place and there were too many unnecessary characters, among other things—but I decided to give the sequel a t The Two-Faced Queen is the second book in Nick Martell’s The Mercenary Kings series, which started with The Kingdom of Liars. It’s epic fantasy set in a world where using magic results in a memory loss and a broken moon drops pieces down to the earth. I received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I had a lot of issues with the first book—the plot was all over the place and there were too many unnecessary characters, among other things—but I decided to give the sequel a try. Unfortunately, the issues continued. There were, if possible, even more going on than in the first book. The rebels, the king’s death and Michael trying to prove his innocence, the princess and the succession to throne, Michael trying to restore the Kingman legacy, avenging his father and taking revenge on his step-father were joined with refugees from a far-away country, Michael training to be a mercenary, a serial killer, and an assassin, to name only a few. And all of it was Michael’s responsibility. Needless to say, with everything going on, the focus wasn’t properly at anything. Like in the first book, Michael was running all over town, doing this and that, and mostly failing. None of the plotlines flowed organically, let alone so that the reader could follow or anticipate what would happen. There were no logical plot points or climaxes. Continuity and logic issues that I hope only occur in the advance copy I read—characters showing up in scenes they’re not supposed to be or knowing things they’re not supposed to know—didn’t help matters either. There were no moments of peace to give Michael—and the reader—time to reflect what was going on and why. Mostly, I suspect, because the author had no idea either. The entire first half felt like a collection of filler scenes to make the book long enough for some imaginary epic fantasy word count. For example, Michael made a lot of noise about the necessity of helping the refugees as part of his Kingman legacy, but a chapter later they were completely forgotten and never brought up again except as props. There were too many characters too like in the first book—mostly the same characters, with nothing to do. Problem for this reader was that they weren’t really re-introduced or connected to the events of the previous book. The author assumed that the reader would remember them all, but personally I had no clue. I spent the first half of the book wondering who all these people were and why they mattered. It didn’t make things easier that some of them were seen in new light. Michael got his memory back at the end of the previous book and the nameless people of the first book were now his old friends. Unfortunately they weren’t connected with the memories the reader had of them. Who was Joey and why he needed heart surgery? Who was Dawn in the previous book? It didn’t help that the author can’t really create distinct secondary characters. I could’ve sworn that Michael’s sister Gwen was a soldier or in law enforcement in some capacity, yet she turned out to be a blacksmith who liked to dress as a boy. I had no recollection of that. The only positive change was Michael himself. Now that he could remember who he was, he was less obnoxious and obsessed with revenge. Like he said himself, the curse had prevented him from growing up. Not that there was much character growth here, but at least he tried to be a better person. The second half of the book was better and more coherent, with a few truly emotional scenes at the end. All the unnecessary distractions were eliminated and the plot concentrated on finding the serial killer. Their identity was a twist that would’ve been more impactful with better foreshadowing from book one. Now it was merely one of the WTF moments the book was full of. In my review of the first book I noted that it could’ve used a stern editor that would’ve cut the unnecessary plotlines. The second book would’ve benefited from multiple point of view characters. They could’ve been given some of the plots that poor Michael tried to handle by himself to add some depth and coherence to them. The author clearly has a lot he wants to tell, but the chosen method doesn’t do it justice. The one additional POV there was didn’t move the plot forward at all and so was fairly useless. I think the books’ problems stem from worldbuilding. Martell has clearly spent years creating a complex and intriguing world containing everything possible, and wants to cram it all in, whether it serves the overall plot or not (like what’s with the moon). Many scenes existed solely to introduce the world, making the plot incoherent. The plotline about the immortals will—likely—be the guiding line from here on. In hindsight, it probably was that in the previous book too. It merely got swamped under all the unnecessary distractions. The book ended at a new place for Michael. The issues with his step-father aren’t solved and new issues have emerged. There’s so much to come that this likely won’t be a classical trilogy but a longer series. I’m not entirely sure, however, that I’ll continue farther than this with Michael.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mogsy (MMOGC)

    4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2021/03/29/... Wow, so that all just happened! Last year, Nick Martell’s The Kingdom of Liars surprised me, and now its follow-up The Two-Faced Queen has done it again, in the best way possible. Few things please me more as a reader than to have a sequel not only live up to its predecessor but also surpass it, and this is what we have here. The story picks up soon after the events of The Kingdom of Liars, and be advised this review may 4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2021/03/29/... Wow, so that all just happened! Last year, Nick Martell’s The Kingdom of Liars surprised me, and now its follow-up The Two-Faced Queen has done it again, in the best way possible. Few things please me more as a reader than to have a sequel not only live up to its predecessor but also surpass it, and this is what we have here. The story picks up soon after the events of The Kingdom of Liars, and be advised this review may discuss plot details from the previous book if you haven’t read it yet. Our protagonist Michael Kingman, accused of killing the king, had thought he would be facing execution but instead finds himself apprenticed to Dark, an assassin of the Orbis Corporation. But while this may have earned him a momentary reprieve, Michael isn’t out of the woods yet. A whole slew of people in the kingdom still wants him dead, and some of them sit in pretty high places, including Serena, known as the Two-Faced Queen. She and Michael used to be childhood friends, but all that ended after he was implicated in the death of her father. Now she only has room in her heart for revenge and will hear none of Michael’s claims of innocence. As Serena and her brother are locked in a power struggle for the throne, however, the Rebel Emperor has been taking advantage of this unrest to sow even more chaos around the Hollow. In his work with Dark, Michael has been tasked to investigate some of the mayhem caused by the rebellion’s siege on the city, leading them onto the trail of a brutal serial killer known as Heartbreaker because of the way he rips the hearts out of his victims’ chests. Ah, and the plot thickens! I will confess, one surefire way to hook me into a story is to throw in a murder mystery. Generally speaking, that kind of thing usually leads to increased interest, which is exactly what happened as the more intense pacing and elevated suspense meant I was all in on this hunt for the killer. This was also an improvement over the first book which was marred in places by prolonged lulls and confused, meandering threads. On the whole, this aspect of The Two-Faced Queen seemed more focused and balanced, the story racing along at a more energetic pace, not to mention all the unexpected reveals and surprises along the way! Now, I don’t want to give too much away, but I’ll just say this: Dragons! The characterization was also much improved. Recall how in The Kingdom of Liars, my impression of Michael was that he was a frustrating and impulsive protagonist, and I hated the way he was constantly being manipulated. While some of this could have been explained by the memory-degrading effects of doing magic in this world, it was undeniable that much of his irresponsible behavior was also driven by his own stupidity. Well, you’ll be glad to hear that Michael’s personality has matured somewhat in this sequel. He still has his flaws, of course, but he has also learned to recognize his weaknesses (plus, it helped that this book provided a new perspective, putting some of Michael’s actions and motivations from the first book in a whole new light). As well, I am practically squirming with excitement over the more developed relationships. I’m especially interested in what’s happening between Michael and Serena and the direction things are headed with them, as in many ways they remind me of Imriel and Sidonie from Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel Legacy (and those who’ve read the series will probably know why my eyes are completely glued on these two!) Then there’s the writing, and Nick Martell is doing extremely well in perfecting his craft. His prose has definitely smoothed out, and I feel there’s less of a reliance on overused tropes. However, the world-building still feels a bit sparse, and it may be just a matter of knowing how and when to flesh things out. Occasionally, I still had trouble visualizing the environment, but I was not as distracted by it this time around, since the story kept me better engaged. Anyway, I know I’ve already covered the many areas in which this book showed improvement over its predecessor, but there is still one final, very important measure I need to discuss, and that is my outlook for the future of this series. When I finished The Kingdom of Liars, I felt encouraged and cautiously optimistic for the sequel. When I finished The Two-Face Queen, however, it was with unadulterated, full-blown excitement for what’s going to come next! A lot happened in this book—some readers might even say too much—but the fuller, more riveting storyline was honestly quite enjoyable for me, and the last half was especially packed with intrigue and potential. Overall, it would seem that my faith in the author was not misplaced. Nick Martell is well on his way to becoming a huge talent in the world of fantasy fiction. These first two volumes of The Legacy of the Mercenary Kings series have already made quite a splash with me, and things just keep looking better and better. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa (Intotheheartwyld)

    I would like to start with saying thank you to Netgalley and Saga Press for providing me with an early Arc in exchange for an honest review. The Two-Faced Queen is the sequel to the Kingdom of Liars and while its a direct follow up, I can't deny that it does do a good job standing on its own. The author included a "Story so far" page and that alone did a great job giving a quick run down of what happened in the first book. Everything else about The Two-Faced Queen minus the characters, location a I would like to start with saying thank you to Netgalley and Saga Press for providing me with an early Arc in exchange for an honest review. The Two-Faced Queen is the sequel to the Kingdom of Liars and while its a direct follow up, I can't deny that it does do a good job standing on its own. The author included a "Story so far" page and that alone did a great job giving a quick run down of what happened in the first book. Everything else about The Two-Faced Queen minus the characters, location and few mentions of events in book one, make this sequel feel like a standalone. Now don't go thinking that's a bad thing, the stories do still connect, but there were plot points that felt extremely important in the first book that where only mentioned with a passing glance in book two. For example, I did not get more information on Celona the Moon, which I will be honest made me super disappointed. Hopefully that will be tackled in the third book, or I am sorely invested in the wrong story element. The first half I struggled with, which was the same issue I had with the first book, but only this time, the story felt all over the place, and almost directionless. I just didn't understand where the plot was going which fed into the feeling that it was its own standalone story, I was struggling to connect the main plot of this story to the plot in the first book, and it doesn't really, aside from it being a plot to delve more into the magic system and who Dark is. And don't even get me started on that guy, I am so unbelievably confused over my feelings towards him now. The entire story just turned into an entire mystery story, from learning about the past, to Dark and the magic, every thing was a mystery. Speaking of the magic system we did learn more about it, we also learned that apparently no one in this book likes to answers questions, which I will be honest became an annoyance through out the story. Every time Michael asked questions he got half answers or was told he would learn soon enough. You can only feed me so many breadcrumbs before I get annoyed and stop caring. I wanted to learn the same things Michael was wanting to learn but so much was just left unanswered for the longest time, this including how the magic of the world works and there are still parts I don't have answers too. While it took majority of the book to get some of these answers the journey to get them was frustrating. The parts of the magic system that was finally revealed took me by surprise and left me shocked. I wasn't expecting the reveals we got, I'm not going to delve into what exactly happens as that would ruin the fun for someone else, but it seems the running idea of sacrifice for magic use works no matter what part of the world you live in, what is sacrificed is what is different and two in particular left me uncomfortable but I have to give credit they are an uncommon use that I have come across in books so I can appreciate the creativeness behind them, they are just uncomfortable.. So I'm interested to see where things go in the next book, since not all the places and how they use their magic was revealed in this installment. The second half of the book was where things finally started to make sense and come together and the pace really picked up and just grabbed my attention and kept me hooked. Reveals of who or what someone was was finally coming to light. Plans where starting to roll into motion and lives where being lost. And what ultimately brings my rating from a 3 to a 4 was the end made me cry, it brought tears over characters who I didn't think I would be upset over, but it freaking did. The same exact thing happened in book 1, the end got me and made me feel so many emotions and the questions, not all of them, but some none the less were finally answered. Of course there are now more questions that need to be answered and I want to know them, so Of course I'm going to be reading the 3rd book in this series. Maybe this review comes off negative, I hope it doesn't, I really did enjoy it, the first half was just a struggle and it was difficult to follow along at times due to every characters inability to answer a question straight forward, but the later half is totally worth it, and just action packed and captivating. Oh I will say, I noticed a lot of people where happy with Michael in this book not being as "Dumb" and "stupid" as he was in the first book, I would like to kindly say I am in the minority here and I missed that aspect of him so much. His bad choices and dumb decisions where what made me fall in love his character and I just at times felt like I wasn't reading the same Michael in this book, please make him do dumb stuff again haha.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    ** I received an advanced copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This book is scheduled to be published on March 23, 2021 in the US. ** Possible Triggers: Death | Trauma | Mutilation/Torture | Suicide Summary: This is the second book in the ‘Legacy of the Mercenary Kings’ series. The second book follows immediately after where the first book left off. Characters: The story follows one point of view (Michael Kingman) throughout its entirety. Michael Kingman: The main ch ** I received an advanced copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This book is scheduled to be published on March 23, 2021 in the US. ** Possible Triggers: Death | Trauma | Mutilation/Torture | Suicide Summary: This is the second book in the ‘Legacy of the Mercenary Kings’ series. The second book follows immediately after where the first book left off. Characters: The story follows one point of view (Michael Kingman) throughout its entirety. Michael Kingman: The main character of the book. You become intimately familiar with the way he operates and his thoughts on everything he has to do as a Kingman. I am a little conflicted on the character. On the one hand, he seems very self-aware and is constantly telling the people he loves (and strangers - really he talks to everyone) his shortcomings and how he intends to amend his mistakes. On the other hand, even while he's beating himself up internally for not being enough, he's always giving himself more and more impossible odds to overcome - and weirdly accomplishing the tasks (sort of). It’s almost like a false modesty? I don’t know how to describe it any other way exactly. I do really appreciate a character that can admit their faults AND apologize though. Kudo’s on not making him a complete and utterly insufferable buttweasel. Personally, I think Michael Kingman is trying to compete against Fitz Farseer for “main characters that take the most kick’s while down”. Dark: Well, well, well my … not good sir. The revealed backstory of Dark is so interesting. How you learn about his past history, even more interesting. Can’t quite decide if he's supposed to be like a morally grey mentor or if at any moment, all possible redeeming-anythings for him will simply poof away. I think he may be my favorite character in the book. Positives: + Let's talk about how horrific the magical ailments are in this book. Not only does magic use have lasting cost and consequence, but there are magical illnesses/diseases that are intense. It almost seems like having magic could very well be a NOT good thing to have. Why would anyone want it at that steep of a cost? I really appreciate this aspect of the magic; use at your own peril. Let's also talk about how varied the magics were and all the hints at the various types of costs associated with each. While most of them were not explained in detail, the breadcrumbs that were scattered around were delicious. I can not wait to get into the next book where i am *fingers crossed* hoping that more of the other magics will be discussed. + I cried. I cried so much. I cried for characters I didn't even particularly like. Thank you Nick Martell for making me a snot nosed mess as I stayed up till 4 am in the morning trying to finish the book. I love a book that makes your emotions demand to be felt. + Symon’s intro. Symon in general? Such an unlikable character. Negatives: - Some minor misses through the story where it concerns small details (for example being locked into a room but leaving it a few moments later). This happened a few times in the beginning chapters and might have been caught before publishing. They did make me do a double take and reread back through the last few paragraphs JUST to make sure i wasn’t imagining stuff. - The pacing was a little weird. The first 50% of the book was a pretty slow build up and the once you passed that half way mark it was like you were being bludgeoned by the book in the chest as event after event tried to make your poor little heart strings snap. Final Thoughts: I really enjoyed this second book in the series. The enjoyment level of the read was off the charts by the time I got to the end. I want to shake the hardcover and demand it drops another little hard cover so I know what happens next. The book only takes place in one city, but talks about various other cultures and locations in the world that sound amazing (that maybe we’ll even get to visit in later books?!). There is political intrigue, blood feuds, fantastical creatures, assassins, mercenaries, and SO MUCH brutal magic. Want to get punched in the feels? This series is for you. I am very interested in finding out what will be happening next.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ray Curto

    I was given a free copy of Two-Faced Queen by Nick Martell (author), Gallery/Saga Press(publisher), and Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. Two-Faced Queen is the second in the Legacy of Mercenary Kings trilogy. Kingdom of Liars is the first in the trilogy and was published in 2020. Two-Faced Queen is the first novel that I have read by Mr. Martell. I would characterize Two-Face Queen as fantasy based in an urban setting. I might even consider the novel to be new adult or college age due I was given a free copy of Two-Faced Queen by Nick Martell (author), Gallery/Saga Press(publisher), and Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. Two-Faced Queen is the second in the Legacy of Mercenary Kings trilogy. Kingdom of Liars is the first in the trilogy and was published in 2020. Two-Faced Queen is the first novel that I have read by Mr. Martell. I would characterize Two-Face Queen as fantasy based in an urban setting. I might even consider the novel to be new adult or college age due to the age of the main character and some of the minor characters. This review will not contain any spoilers. The world building is this novel’s greatest strength. The story takes place, for the most part, in a city that is developed and interesting. Mr. Martell creates interesting backstories for the main character’s ancestors and that of the princess, a minor character, and her family that rule. I would have preferred if the histories of the families and the city were featured more in this story. The magic system is not as clearly defined as I would like which made it difficult for me to understand. Dragons are mentioned a little bit in this story, but I would have like to see more of them. The bits and pieces of the magic system that I understood were interesting, but I would have like to have seen more in this story. Mr. Martell wrote this novel in first-person point-of-view of the main character. Mr. Martell created a main character that I found to be not interesting nor compelling, but annoying and somewhat boring. The main character is a twenty-something man who is trying to decide if he should walk away from his family, convince the princess – who he is supposed to have a future with – that he did not kill her father who was the emperor, deal with a brewing rebellion, find a serial killer, find an assassin who is killing nobles, and become a member of a mercenary company. There are few side characters such as the main character’s sister, a woman who wanted to be the main character’s paramour, the princess, main character’s friend who is a daughter in a high noble family that I think are more interesting than the main character. I would have liked if Mr. Martell may have included point of views from some of these characters to get their perspectives of what happens in the story. Mr. Martell features too many characters and several plot points that I could not keep straight who is doing what and why. I think if there were less characters and less plot points then I think the novel would be tighter and would improve the pacing of the story because this novel is too long. Another aspect of the novel I had difficulty with is there is no foreshadowing, nuance, or subtlety. An example of this is when the identity of the serial killer is revealed it is when the main character encounters the serial killer for the first and only time, and, as a result, the reveal did not have an emotional impact. I think there is no opportunity to discover little plot nuggets or clues because everything is out in the open due to the characters saying what they are thinking or being revealed through the main character’s point of view. There is more telling than showing in this story. I think story would have been more interesting and engaging if the main character had less to do, some of the other characters had more on-page time, and the novel included other characters’ point of views which would enable the reader to get a wider view of the events as they unfolded and the world in which this story takes place. I rate Two-Faced Queen 2 stars. I would like to thank Mr. Martell, Gallery/Saga Press, and Netgalley for the free ARC.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Reece

    ARC from NetGalley It's difficult to articulate my thoughts on this one. I did enjoy this book. It was good. The magic system is getting a bit more interesting. We now have some interesting beasts coming into play. There's a lot going on, a lot of mysteries. There were a few things that turned me off though. This is going to be rambly. The Heartbreaker serial killer was kind of a shitty subplot. It felt like a distraction, filler, and only existed in order to help facilitate other subplots. (view ARC from NetGalley It's difficult to articulate my thoughts on this one. I did enjoy this book. It was good. The magic system is getting a bit more interesting. We now have some interesting beasts coming into play. There's a lot going on, a lot of mysteries. There were a few things that turned me off though. This is going to be rambly. The Heartbreaker serial killer was kind of a shitty subplot. It felt like a distraction, filler, and only existed in order to help facilitate other subplots. (view spoiler)[The whole reason we have the Heartbreaker is to reveal Dark's motivation and to give Michael a stage to dramatically save Serena so she stops trying to kill him. Fine, but I take issue with the fact that the reveal showed two characters who we had never heard of before, and the subplot itself took up a significant amount of screen time. It was an anticlimactic distraction. The author had us guessing who of the current cast could have been the murderer, and it just felt crappy for it to be some randoms. Additionally, and maybe this was just an error since this was an ARC, but 6 people are taken, and the Heartbreaker's note in blood says, "Five have been taken. All will die if you refuse to play." So that sent my mind spinning thinking, okay, if 5 were taken and 6 are gone, then one of them has to be the Heartbreaker. Then it wasn't, and nothing came of the 5/6 situation, and it was irritating. (hide spoiler)] I didn't like the reveal. It felt cheap. I did not like this subplot. It was one of the main reasons I dropped a star. When I was reading it, I had to stop and angry-type an angsty note-to-self: 36% and we've somehow come to be in an early 2000s horror film. A centipede crawled down her throat and it bulged as it went down? How big was this thing? Her gag reflex is so strong that she could let a fucking giant bug crawl down her throat without gagging, and she didn't bite it because she didn't want them to hear the crunch? Also this sing-song voice thing, it's bad. Another round of BS is a significant spoiler, well two (this is another one of my notes, so it isn't particularly thoughtfully written): (view spoiler)[ So the redeemer or whatever she's called is a dragon and also went to school with Michael's mom? What is the relevance of that? Why did he bring her that book? Why mention it at all if you are just going to kill her? Was it just so we had a tiny hint of who it could be since the whole Heartbreaker subplot came out of left field, trying to goad us into believing it was a character that we had been introduced to but actually 2 people we had never heard of previously? Or is there more to it since Dark went to fetch her heart, and we have no idea what came of that? Also, those mercs came to the gate stating that they had killed the emperor, an immortal, presented her charred beyond recognition head, and Michael didn't say anything? He never thought to say, hey yeah Serena, you can't trust that guy because he told you he brought you the head of a fucking immortal? Yet later they casually mention they assume she is still alive, and we find that she is, obviously, because she is fucking immortal. It was just irritating and should have been caught in beta, unless I was just really tired when I read it and missed some shit. (hide spoiler)] So yeah. This was a good book. It was interesting. But it wasn't without flaw, and it could have been better. I still enjoyed it though, and I still want to read the next one.

  19. 5 out of 5

    ann

    received an e-ARC from netgalley in exchange for an honest review. "Yet, the thing about consequences was that they always caught up eventually." final rating: 4.5/5 stars, rounded up to 5. review. WOW. okay. this is going to be very rambley because i just finished it and i have a LOT OF FEELINGS. so, getting approved for this arc was a little scary - i hadn't read the first novel yet, so i decided to take a peek at chapter one and decide if i was gonna continue as-is or if i should purchase received an e-ARC from netgalley in exchange for an honest review. "Yet, the thing about consequences was that they always caught up eventually." final rating: 4.5/5 stars, rounded up to 5. review. WOW. okay. this is going to be very rambley because i just finished it and i have a LOT OF FEELINGS. so, getting approved for this arc was a little scary - i hadn't read the first novel yet, so i decided to take a peek at chapter one and decide if i was gonna continue as-is or if i should purchase the first one beforehand. well, i'm happy to say this book does an excellent job of not losing its audience if you're to come into this one before the previous. i'm definitely bumping up the kingdom of liars on my tbr, anyway, just because this was excellent and i want to reread this with all of that first book's context in mind for further Excellence - but i never, at any point, felt lost or confused. the first couple of chapters were teetering at a 3/5 for me, they were slow and lumbering and i felt like nothing was really... happening. i started to get worried i would be in the minority and absolutely dislike this book, but then i saw a review here mention a twist at around 11%. and just. wow. it's true. it picks up at 11% and from there on it grips you utterly and completely. i've never had a book start off where i thought, "i can't distinguish a single one of these characters" and end with me absolutely enthralled with all of them. these characters have so much life to them. you're rooting for so many of them, even if they're not particularly good people or their goals are flawed. the first-person narrative caught me off guard at first, but it works here so well. the person michael is at the beginning of the book and who he becomes at the end are so different, and his character arc is one of my Personal Favorite Things an author can do with their protagonists. it just kept getting better and better for me as i read more and more and uncovered more of the worldbuilding and plot along with the main character. the prose was excellent (particularly as we got closer to the end, i cannot wait until this is out to slather that ONE LINE everywhere), the characters were excellent, and the setup for what's to come next is excellent. i genuinely can't wait to see what's next for michael and for this world. (i am now appointing myself as nick martell's personal marketing manager. i'm getting him these preorders if its the last thing i make my friends do)

  20. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

    I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. The Two-Faced Queen was another “cover request,” and it’s the latest in the list of acquisitions that served as a reminder to check the description and Google the book prior to impulse-requesting, due to it being second in a series I haven’t read, and unfortunately, one case where I could not easily acquire book one (the library didn’t have it and I wasn’t sure if I had time for another I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. The Two-Faced Queen was another “cover request,” and it’s the latest in the list of acquisitions that served as a reminder to check the description and Google the book prior to impulse-requesting, due to it being second in a series I haven’t read, and unfortunately, one case where I could not easily acquire book one (the library didn’t have it and I wasn’t sure if I had time for another chunker of a book if I did buy it). Thankfully, I was tipped off about the recap at the beginning, allowing me to get the gist of what happened in the previous book to the point where I didn’t feel lost starting on book two. And the fact that it’s woven in so it’s part of the narrative, and not some disjointed narrator telling you what happened ensures that it’s possible returning readers might enjoy it too, especially if they also need a refresher after a long time between books. There’s a lot going on, with a lot of political intrigue, mystery, and other conflicts, and the twists and turns keep coming at a breakneck pace. I was glad that I could still get elements of the world building, a part that didn’t come through in the intro, in bits and pieces throughout, and it provided a real sense of uncertainty. The cast of characters is large, and I was glad to have a guide to keep track of them. Some stood out more than others, but I was intrigued by all the rivalries and alliances between the various characters, with family being a major theme. Michael, as the primary POV character, is fairly interesting, even if he does have his flaws and make some dumb choices. I’m not sure how I feel about the other characters as yet, and perhaps I’ll have a fuller picture once I go back to read the first book (whenever I have time to do that!), and definitely want to read future books in this world, regardless. Reading the second book first was a gamble, even with the aids the author provided and the assurance from another reviewer who also unintentionally skipped the first book, and I’m glad that it more or less paid off in a pinch, although I will endeavor to avoid such a situation in the future. And while I do think you will get a fuller picture than I did if you do read the first book, it is good to know that you can start here if you are absolutely unable to get your hands on the first book for any reason. Either way, it’s a compelling and intriguing fantasy, combining both familiar and unique elements in the genre that I think all epic fantasy fans will enjoy.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Andreas

    Synopsis: This is the second novel of Nick Martell’s Legend of the Mercenary Kings series, sequel to last year’s The Kingdom of Liars. Main protagonist Michael Kingman escaped his death once more under the protection of the Orbis Mercenary company. Inside Michael’s beloved city Hollows the two siblings Queen-in-Waiting Serena and her brother the Corrupt Prince long for the throne. Serena seeks revenge, because she doesn’t believe in Michael’s tale that her father, the former king, committed suici Synopsis: This is the second novel of Nick Martell’s Legend of the Mercenary Kings series, sequel to last year’s The Kingdom of Liars. Main protagonist Michael Kingman escaped his death once more under the protection of the Orbis Mercenary company. Inside Michael’s beloved city Hollows the two siblings Queen-in-Waiting Serena and her brother the Corrupt Prince long for the throne. Serena seeks revenge, because she doesn’t believe in Michael’s tale that her father, the former king, committed suicide. Outside the city, the rebellion under the Emperor is still waiting to assault the city. Michael has to follow Orbis mercenary Dark’s command as his apprentice and solve numerous riddles and most importantly: catch a serial killer Heartbreaker, who tears out his victims’ hearts, and also win back Serena’s trust and love. He tries to figure out the inner workings of Orbis company, because he wants to advance as a fully accepted member and get free of Dark’s harassments. Walking among Immortals and dragons, fighting against unknown types of magic, he can only trust in his family. Now, can he? Review: I struggled to find back into the setting, because I didn’t remember all the names, abilities, and numerous relations exposed in the first volume. Yes, it is a highly complicated, tangled mess of a novel which asks for a lot of concentration. This hurdle lasted for the whole first half of the novel before I was fully able to enjoy the ride and the plot picked up speed, action, and energy. It developed into a fast-paced, witty fantasy thriller featuring a highly capable foe who set up a kind of tournament for his victims, just for entertainment. Lots of characters from the first novel got more attention and details, especially Dark, that uber mercenary, losing layer after layer like an onion. But even at his core, he is always able to come up with an unexpected twist for naive Michael. Michael matured only a tiny bit: “Yeah, well, we can’t all be the perfect Michael Kingboy can we?” “Kingman,” I said. “My last name is Kingman.” “Then why do you act like a child? Kingboy makes more sense.” This sequel finishes the setting of the city Hollow and opens up the world for the next volume. I’m very looking forward seeing this, hopefully next year. Recommende for advanced readers of Epic Fantasy.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Reid Edwards

    Martell has followed up The Kingdom of Liars by expanding upon his strengths in The Two-Faced Queen - fantastic first-person narratives, strong and evocative world building, and thrilling combat. His protagonist, Michael Kingman, continues to be a great narrator, with his thoughts and feelings intertwined with his understanding and views of the world around him. At no point can you be positive that Kingman knows everything that is happening around him, and Martell is willing to let him be confus Martell has followed up The Kingdom of Liars by expanding upon his strengths in The Two-Faced Queen - fantastic first-person narratives, strong and evocative world building, and thrilling combat. His protagonist, Michael Kingman, continues to be a great narrator, with his thoughts and feelings intertwined with his understanding and views of the world around him. At no point can you be positive that Kingman knows everything that is happening around him, and Martell is willing to let him be confused and uncertain, a refreshing take on the epic fantasy genre which can sometimes feel overwhelmed with omniscient heroes and villains, sure in their words and actions. Martell continues to drip-feed the world to the reader, with little and little bits of knowledge gained throughout the book; any time exposition is used, it's due to conversations Kingman is having, cleverly allowing the reader to learn as he does. Finally, the combat throughout the story is raw and brutal; there isn't a lot of waving of swords around and waiting for your opponent to make a mistake. Martell is willing to explore the fact that combat is quick, bloody and painful, and his characters take the brunt of his honesty. All in all, The Two-Faced Queen is a great sequel to a strong novel; the story drives forward, the characters grow and you're left wishing the next one was already written. A note - if you haven't read The Kingdom of Liars, you need to do so - while this is a strong stand-alone novel, most of the motivations and overarching themes emanate from the first book, so you'll likely miss out on a fair amount without it as the foundation.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jae

    this was disappointing. i got in the book and the first few chapters seemed really promising because of the promise of character dynamics and i guess that set unrealistic expectations, but welp the more i read i realized a lot other aspects are there that i didnt enjoy. The first of which is the writing style, it felt.. umm boring (simply imo). I think the main reason was that while the characters and the plot itself were pretty okay, it wasnt something phenomenal or even something that had a gri this was disappointing. i got in the book and the first few chapters seemed really promising because of the promise of character dynamics and i guess that set unrealistic expectations, but welp the more i read i realized a lot other aspects are there that i didnt enjoy. The first of which is the writing style, it felt.. umm boring (simply imo). I think the main reason was that while the characters and the plot itself were pretty okay, it wasnt something phenomenal or even something that had a grip on me, so i looked to the writing style more to try to find smth to hold on to, and its definitely not a beautiful lyrical writing style, but at the same time i found that it also lacked in descriptions to build any atmosphere within the writing, making it seem monotone hence i found it boring. With regards to the plot, it felt abundantly overused and there weren't nuances, the characters while had depth, did not grow within the story or did anything for me to have been invested in them and the character dynamics were simply cringe at best. Ill say that the magic system too couldve been explored a bit more but i liked the idea of it. In terms of worldbuilding, i think this aspect is what i like the most about this book, especially around the 70% mark and the bits about the history really intrigued me, wish it led to a better usage and incorporation of which in the present timeline tho. Anyway, this book simply wasnt for me. If youre an epic fantasy reader check this out and see whether you vibe with it!! Thank you to netgalley and Orion Publishing Group for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Books and H2O

    Whew! Martell did it again, with all of the tenants of strong writing. We are granted engrossing first-person narratives present in his first novel, Kingdom of Liars, thoroughly realized world-building, superb combat, and compelling story - not to forget the strong development of real, gritty well-considered characters, too. I loved how, through the protagonist, we learn about the world and the unfolding story. We are intimately invited into his thoughts, perceptions (whether encompassing or lim Whew! Martell did it again, with all of the tenants of strong writing. We are granted engrossing first-person narratives present in his first novel, Kingdom of Liars, thoroughly realized world-building, superb combat, and compelling story - not to forget the strong development of real, gritty well-considered characters, too. I loved how, through the protagonist, we learn about the world and the unfolding story. We are intimately invited into his thoughts, perceptions (whether encompassing or limited by his realistic scope), and the views that shape his ideas. He sometimes stumbles and is uncertain and is more realistic for it. The prose and details were so easy to set the reader for total immersion. I became lost in the character and couldn’t stop reading. Martell isn’t forgiving to the reader either. We are not omniscient entities; we, too, learn as the main character learns. Although frustrating at some points, I think it adds to the reader’s relationship with the story and connection to the protagonist. Michael Kingman, like the reader, is figuring out the world as he goes. I enjoyed this novel and am looking forward to more of Martell’s writing. I think it’s a strong follow-up to his first novel and one that should grace everyone’s shelves. The only note: make sure to read his first book, not for a continuation of the story, but for context that will add depth to The Two-Faced Queen. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Graham Davis

    I think this book and the series so far are phenomenal. But forget what I think, forget what any other rando on Amazon reviews thinks. If you're a fantasy fan, you are probably well aware of who Brandon Sanderson is and how cutthroat Kirkus reviews are. Just scroll back up and look at their glowing reviews. They have absolutely nothing to gain by burying or propping up this rookie author/series. The fact that both of them speak highly of this series should AT LEAST make this series worth a glanc I think this book and the series so far are phenomenal. But forget what I think, forget what any other rando on Amazon reviews thinks. If you're a fantasy fan, you are probably well aware of who Brandon Sanderson is and how cutthroat Kirkus reviews are. Just scroll back up and look at their glowing reviews. They have absolutely nothing to gain by burying or propping up this rookie author/series. The fact that both of them speak highly of this series should AT LEAST make this series worth a glance. The main character is a little shit teenager who knows better than everyone around him. Cringe moment here, before you remember that Zuko from Avatar started the exact same and ended up being the best-developed character possibly to ever grace a child's cartoon show. The Two-Faced Queen, the second book in The Mercenary King series, sees this little shit, Michael Kingman, start to grow into a character worthy of cheering on. Not here for the characters? Well, it wouldn't be a worthwhile review if I didn't mention a shattered moon dropping debris on the planet, a powerful yet balanced magic system that robs users of their memories, and a chronic cycle of revenge and blood among the characters. All I'm saying is don't be surprised if any haters of this book end up being its biggest fans in a few years as the characters continue their growth and more secrets are unraveled.

  26. 5 out of 5

    MsArdychan

    Please Note: I receive an advance copy of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence the opinions in my review in any way. For the most part, I try not to review books in a series unless I have read the previous books first. Imagine how dismayed I was when I finally had time to read The Two-Faced Queen, by Nick Martell, only to realize that this was book two in a series! I guess I was too enamoured by the beautiful cover when I requested it from NetGalley. " Please Note: I receive an advance copy of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence the opinions in my review in any way. For the most part, I try not to review books in a series unless I have read the previous books first. Imagine how dismayed I was when I finally had time to read The Two-Faced Queen, by Nick Martell, only to realize that this was book two in a series! I guess I was too enamoured by the beautiful cover when I requested it from NetGalley. "Okay," I thought, "no problem. I can knock out the first book, then move on to the next one." So, I downloaded the The Kingdom of Liars (book one) from the library and learned that it was nearly 600 pages! I then checked on how long The Two-Faced Queen was, also around 600 pages. Oh boy! Well, after a marathon of reading over the last week and a half, I have finally read both novels. My head is spinning from the rich world-building, the huge cast of characters, and layered storytelling. It was totally worth it. Please see my complete review on my blog: www.ponderingtheprose.blogspot.com on March 24th, 2021.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Henry Lazarus

    Michael Kingsman had been on trial for killing the king of The Kingdom of Liars (paper) but got free by joining a mercenary company. He now has to help one of the Mercenaries, a man known as Dark who can fabricate knives out of darkness, to find a serial killer called Heartbreaker because he cuts the heart from his victims. This is a world in which magical fabricators pay for their magic with memory loss, and where immortals are created by people surviving their death by having enough desire to Michael Kingsman had been on trial for killing the king of The Kingdom of Liars (paper) but got free by joining a mercenary company. He now has to help one of the Mercenaries, a man known as Dark who can fabricate knives out of darkness, to find a serial killer called Heartbreaker because he cuts the heart from his victims. This is a world in which magical fabricators pay for their magic with memory loss, and where immortals are created by people surviving their death by having enough desire to complete a task. The serial killer may be one of those immortals and impossible to kill. It doesn’t help, that the Queen in waiting is the princess Michael was bonded to at birth. Serena is known as The Two-Faced Queen (hard from Gallery / Saga Press) and she is so convinced that Michael killed her father that she will do anything to get him killed. Unfortunately she is one of the targets of the Heartbraker. This is an excellent and I eagerly await the next part.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Peter Evans

    Michael Kingman returns in the second instalment of the Legacy of the Mercenary King series. This time he’s really up against it. With Princess Serena and her brother the Corrupt Prince wanting his head, and the Rebel Emperor also wanting the same, he will need all the help he can get from his friends and family, and even the odd enemy or two. He has to catch the notorious Heartbreaker serial killer, stop a rebellion and prove his innocence, along with other tasks, as well as saving his friends a Michael Kingman returns in the second instalment of the Legacy of the Mercenary King series. This time he’s really up against it. With Princess Serena and her brother the Corrupt Prince wanting his head, and the Rebel Emperor also wanting the same, he will need all the help he can get from his friends and family, and even the odd enemy or two. He has to catch the notorious Heartbreaker serial killer, stop a rebellion and prove his innocence, along with other tasks, as well as saving his friends and himself before all is lost. Nick Martell has produced another fantastic novel of the highest quality. His writing is outstanding. The characters are superb. The story is incredibly enticing and the atmosphere is magical. A truly wonderful story. I’ve loved both books in this series and can’t wait for more. Outstanding.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    The Two-Faced Queen is the follow up to The Kingdom of Liars. We are following Michael Kingman as he deals with the effects from the first book. The king is dead, and Serena, the Princess, believes Michael is responsible. Luckily for him, he’s under the protection of the mercenary company he works for. There is a lot going on in this book. Not only do we have the after effects of the first book, we also have a serial killer, and several other plot lines to follow. The first half of this book was The Two-Faced Queen is the follow up to The Kingdom of Liars. We are following Michael Kingman as he deals with the effects from the first book. The king is dead, and Serena, the Princess, believes Michael is responsible. Luckily for him, he’s under the protection of the mercenary company he works for. There is a lot going on in this book. Not only do we have the after effects of the first book, we also have a serial killer, and several other plot lines to follow. The first half of this book was a struggle for me, but I ultimately ended up enjoying it as the book progressed. Although this book was not as enjoyable as the first, I am still looking forward to reading the third book in this series.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    This is the second installment of the Mercenary Kings series, I would encourage reading the first even though Martell does give a synopsis at the books beginning. Again we find Michael Kingman rushing headfirst into trouble and trouble always finding him. This time he has regained most of his memories so we now know what he remembers about himself and the people in his life. He is now the heir of the renowned and cursed Kingman family and a mercenary in service to the Orbis Company. Both of thes This is the second installment of the Mercenary Kings series, I would encourage reading the first even though Martell does give a synopsis at the books beginning. Again we find Michael Kingman rushing headfirst into trouble and trouble always finding him. This time he has regained most of his memories so we now know what he remembers about himself and the people in his life. He is now the heir of the renowned and cursed Kingman family and a mercenary in service to the Orbis Company. Both of these entanglements pull Michael into continual murder, mystery and magic. Sometimes jaw dropping and over the top but always interesting. Looking forward to see where this series leads. Michael Kingman has developed into a character that is worth following. Thank you Net Galley and Saga for the advanced read.

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