Title: To Kill A Kingdom
Author: Alexandra Christo
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: 4/5 stars
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?
I’m so glad that this is a standalone.
That’s not to say it was bad – not at all. I just don’t think I could handle a series like this.
I’m still trying to make my mind up on whether or not I actually like this book. I think I do; the world-building is beautiful, the characters are witty and there’s a decent plot to follow.
I’m just not wowed.
I was expecting to be up all night reading this (technically I was, but that’s because I couldn’t sleep because of the new bloody puppy next door) but it took me a good couple of weeks to finish.
(Of course, that’s possibly because I picked up Theatrical in the meantime and became far more invested within three pages than I intended.)
I love a good retelling (who doesn’t?) and that’s one of this book’s strengths – it takes The Little Mermaid and turns it right on its head with such amazing world-building and twists that I couldn’t help but get swept along.
Structurally, the dual-narrative worked well. Since I don’t normally like books in this format (*cough*Allegiant*cough*), I was surprised that I didn’t get confused. Lira and Elian both have distinct voices and goals, and keeping track of them was easy without being boring.
Obviously I’m a slut for witty banter, and the sass between the two protagonists is priceless. I did snort aloud a few times whilst reading this book, which is probably one of my main reasons for finishing it.
My favourite character was probably Kye, if I’m being honest. I seem to have a thing for “best-friend of main character”, and with his endless stream of hilarious commentary, why would I not love him? (Even better, he survives!)
Actually, that’s a point – no one important died. I think that’s something I’ve been missing from YA fantasy recently; authors seem to be holding back on killing off their darlings, and it irks me if there’s a large battle and they all miraculously survive.
The writing towards the end of the book wasn’t all that strong; it gave the impression of ‘Okay, we’re here, now all we need is a big battle and we can go home’, when the storyline may have worked better with a smaller battle between just Lira and Elian.
Everything felt very rushed, and every character possible was crammed into the final battle – given how well-plotted the rest of the book was, the sudden drop in quality is probably what crushed my high expectations.