TITLE: To Kill a Kingdom
AUTHOR: Alexandra Christo
PUBLICATION DATE: March 6th 2018
NUMBER OF PAGES: 352
PUBLISHER: Feiwel & Friends
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling
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?
FINAL RATING: 4.5 stars
I am in love with To Kill a Kingdom. There are so many things to love about this book. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to love this as much as I did because of the hype. Normally, I have bad experience with not liking hyped books. The same could not be said for To Kill a Kingdom because it is definitely worth the hype.
MY BULLETED THOUGHTS ON TO KILL A KINGDOM
• One of the things I adore about this book was the characters. Each and every character had their own personality. Yes, that includes the supporting characters.
• Lira, our main protagonist, is one of the best I’ve read. She isn’t your regular YA heroines that is so much like all others. She is an anti-hero. She isn’t a good person. She kills princes and takes away their hearts. She manipulates people to get what she wants. With that being said though, I loved how I also saw her vulnerable side and how she turned out the way she did. I liked how her character grew throughout the book, made her think whether her decisions about stuff she did was right. She developed a conscience that her mother, the Sea Queen, have tried to obliterate from her.
• Elian, our hero. Like Lira, he was not a good person in general. He also kills, but not people. He hunts sirens and kills them. He is the crown prince yet, he prefers to be with his crew and sailing the seas, scouting for new sirens to kill while onboard the Saad. Like Lira, his character also did quite a transformation.
• ALEXANDRA CHRISTO’S WRITING IS THE BOMB.
• I am a huge fantasy reader so world-building is extremely important to me. I am so happy to say that this book has one of the best world-building in YA books I’ve read in a while. The were a reasonable amount of time the author spent letting the readers in on the places and people in this world.
• The mythology about sirens and humans was pretty interesting. I like how there are back stories to go along with it.
• I liked how the author handled the expositions in this book.
• This book will start out slow. Be patient. It will reach a point where things are going to be happening back and forth, you won’t see things coming.
• To Kill a Kingdom is a The Little Mermaid retelling, only darker in tone and didn’t take a lot from the original source material. I loved how instead of mermaids, we get sirens. And instead of the main protagonist became human for a man, she became human because she needs to kill him.
• Can I just say how much I adore Madrid and Kyle? If you haven’t read this yet, they’re side characters that made such a positive impact on me.
• Just things are at their peak, the story would, sometimes, take a pause enough for us to love these characters even more, as well as develop their relationship.
• The Sea Queen isn’t my favorite villain because he can come across as two dimensional at times. Of all the characters in this book, she was the least that had a back story. You don’t get to know why she became the way she did. All you know is she’s evil, period.
• Aheeem. Let’s talk about the romance. Oh yes. I love myself a good i-hate-you-but-now-love-you trope. It’s one of the trope that I don’t really mind. I feel like Christo really did a good job in making us root for these two characters to be together. They were so different, yet so alike, and that’s why they couldn’t help but be drawn to each other.
• The under the stars scene!!! It took so long to get here. So worth it.
• There were times it dragged on more scenes than it should.
• The ending was something I was a bit iffy about. I kinda like it but I was a bit unsatisfied. It could have definitely been better.
LIKES AND DISLIKES
I am definitely looking forward to more of Alexandra Christo’s work. I find her writing amazing as well as how she develops her characters. I am hoping she does more retelling and spins them into something else, something darker like what she did with To Kill a Kingdom.