To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
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 unsavoury 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?
This was such a nice surprise!
I was given an e-arc of this novel on Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review, and I’m pleasantly surprised that I absolutely loved this book! I’m surprised because I’m not usually a fan of retellings, especially of fairy tales.
A lot of what retellings do is make cute fairy tales more deadly, bloody, and violent. But what these retellings forget is that Disney films are already retellings, and most fairy tales are already pretty dark and brutal. So, while I haven’t read The Little Mermaid or watched The Little Mermaid, I thought that might be an advantage. I had an idea of how the story goes, but it wouldn’t be glaringly obvious if the story went in a different direction, because I don’t know the original.
But I feel like I should read the original tale because this was great!
I’m a lover of anti-heroines, we all know this, and since I’ve seen snippets of The Little Mermaid, I know Ariel is not the type of character that comes to mind when I think anti-heroine, but Lira is, for most of the book, a complete anti-heroine, and I love my bloodthirsty siren daughter. I loved the similarities between the lives of Lira and Elian and how they worked to defeat the evils of their own lives while still being morally grey characters.
I loved the setting, both in the ocean and on land, especially each ‘kingdom’ and how creative each were. Some were clearly modelled from real societies, but there was one that valued love and affection and it looked like a giant Valentine’s Day card – which was sometimes hard to picture, but I still enjoyed it!
I’m also just so thankful that this wasn’t instalove, or just had passages that were jarring. Budding YA romances love to have sentences that clearly indicate feelings really obviously like ‘we were arguing but I was staring at his big, burly muscles’ when they barely know each other! So I liked that this book wasn’t solely built on two main characters falling in love, but still had room to make it more authentic.
To Kill A Kingdom is a standalone, which I was surprised about, but it still ended beautifully. I think if this isn’t a standalone, then that might cause a few problems – this story definitely ended on the last page of this book.
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Publication Date: 6th March 2018
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ .5