Review: To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

To Kill a Kingdom
by Alexandra Christo
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication date: March 6, 2018
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Rating:

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

 

 

 

 

Imagine The Little Mermaid, but with Ariel as a prince-killing siren. Lira’s banished from the sea and cursed to live on land as a human after she kills one of her mother’s subjects. Her task is to kill the prince who moonlights as the siren-killing pirate. If she can rip out his beating heart before her time is up, and bring it back to her mother, the Sea Queen, she can return to her people.

“Technically, I’m a murderer, but I like to think that’s one of my better qualities.”

One thing I really liked about this story is that everyone was a killer. Ever since she was old enough to hunt for hearts on her birthday (a ritual of the sirens), Lira has always chosen princes. Elian has taken it upon himself to travel the seas, hunting sirens. While Lira is known by the humans as Prince’s Bane, Elian is known as The Siren Killer. Both of which have seen, and been responsible for, their fair share of deaths. I just liked that this story didn’t focus on “perfect” characters. Instead we have a group of people who do what they need to do in order to survive.

While the majority of the story is of Lira as a human, trying to gain the trust of Elian and his crew in order to get close to them, she isn’t really a damsel in distress. Yes, she is completely out of her element. After all, she’s used to being this massively powerful being in the ocean, and instead if stuck being this feeble human. However, she doesn’t roll over and play dead. This girl goes down fighting. While she may not have claws for nails, and razor-sharp teeth, this isn’t going to stop her from going balls to the wall crazy during a fight, and I loved it. As time goes by, you can see Lira start to show a little bit more humanity, but she still retained some of her wildness.

The story is also in Elian’s POV as he commands his ship, his crew, navigates between royal politics and the laws of the sea. Even though he has taken it upon himself to rid the world of sirens one at a time, he doesn’t particularly enjoy it. Vile creatures they may be, he still doesn’t relish taking a life. However, when the Prince’s Bane kills one of his friends, he puts all of his efforts into finding her and putting her down for good. So, I was always on pins and needles wondering how he would respond when Lira’s true identity came to light.

If you are worried about this being some sort of whimsical romance between star-crossed lovers, have no fear. The romance is pretty low-key. A lot of the story focuses on their adventure. There’s a legend that there’s a stone that holds the sister power to the stone that the Sea Queen has in her all-powerful trident. Elian hopes to get the stone in order to kill the queen and her people once and for all. Lira hopes to use it to overthrow the Sea Queen and free her people from her mother’s tyranny. There are so many things that need to fall in place before they can even dream of getting their hands on the stone though. Let’s just say that a lot goes on during their adventure.

To Kill a Kingdom was full of adventure, danger, death, loyalty, friendship, and a smidgen of love. I loved watching this rag-tag group slowly learn to trust each other. You got to witness the sudden shift in Lira as she goes from being a siren to a human, and what that means emotionally for her. I also loved that we got to see the Sea Witch/Queen in all her tentacle glory. She was ruthless, vicious, and sadistic… and I LOVED it. If you’re looking for a good retelling of The Little Mermaid that is a bit on the darker side, then look no further! You won’t be disappointed with this one.

 

Favorite quote…

“I drop my hand and look to the floor, disgraced.

By falling for a monster, I have become one for her.”

 

16 Thoughts on “Review: To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

  1. This review makes me really happy, especially since this is what I’m gonna read next! 😀 I really hope it works that well for me, too. My best friend loved it and she’s impatiently waiting for me to get to it, hehe Well, her wait is almost over 😉 Yay for a great dark re-telling!

  2. That’s great! I’m curious now!

  3. Yay, this sounds just as good as I hoped it would. I’m all for adventure and dangerous, with a light touch of romance. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it!

  4. I like that the romance isn’t the primary focus for this book. It’s on my list to read since it’s a retelling of TLM and I haven’t read any others like it. I’m glad you loved it.

  5. Oh, I just read mykindlemom’s review of this one and she also enjoyed it. I always love retelling so I’ll definitely add this one on my list 😉

  6. Is this a stand alone? I didn’t even know what it was about and probably would have passed on it because I don’t read a lot of fantasy but this sounds wild! In a good way.

    Karen @ For What It’s Worth

    • Yes, this is a stand alone. Which is something that I love. There are no cliffhangers or long waits for the next book to come out. This is it. I hope you get a chance to check it out. I’m not a fantasy person, either. I like paranormal romances, but fantasy tends to be boring for me. However, something about this worked for me and I really enjoyed it.

  7. That sounds like it would be a good story.

  8. I’ve never read a book about a siren, after reading your review I want to go out and purchase it when it’s released.

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