Title: To Kill a Kingdom
Author: Alexandra Christo
Publisher: Feiwel Friends
Publication Date: March 6, 2018
Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy – Retellings, Siren
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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?
Thank you all again for bearing with my irregular upload schedule! The brunt of midterms are over and I have about two weeks left before the sweet freedom of spring break.
My adventure reading this book is something I want to preface before giving you all my review. I received an ARC back in January and started and read a good chunk of it that night. I then put it down for a couple weeks, read another large chunk in a couple days before putting it down for almost a month. By this point, I thought about putting the book down but instead acquired the audiobook and started it over to get a better feel for the story and flow of the book.
Starting the book over was definitely the best move. This is a book that is best enjoyed in one sitting (or as few as possible). The fast-paced narrative and character relationships grew in such an organic way that breaking up the reading experience would result in this getting lost. I know that was happening with me. Starting the book over resulted in me enjoying the book so much more than I was before and I think this is a book that will get better with multiple readings.
As a retelling, Alexandra Christo took a well-known story and added a fun twist. To Kill a Kingdom is a Little Mermaid retelling with influences from both the Disney classic and original Hans Christan Anderson tale. I will be frank, I haven’t read the original story in years, but I know the general similarities and differences. I personally noticed the Disney similarities more and love how they were integrated without feeling forced or cliche.
I LOVE how Christo used the lore and legends of Sirens and other mythical marine life to create an interesting dynamic between our leads. Similarly, I loved the Sea Witch and her role in the story. Using the mythology in this world, her motives were compelling and allowed the reader to sympathize with several characters despite different morals and goals.
The relationship between Lira and Elian was so much fun to read about. They start with such clear and passionate motivations. This added such an interesting dynamic to the story that really allowed the reader to connect with the characters. Their relationship elevated the plot for interesting to exquisite and helped this retelling stand out from the ones I’ve read recently.
Despite loving this story as much as I did, something I can’t identify is keeping me from giving it a 5-star rating. I will definitely be giving this one a reread when my head clears to see if it was just my mood or if I can identify or verbalize whatever it is.
Those who love dark retellings will absolutely love this story. Christo takes the classic tale we all know and love and adds her own spin. This story is full of magic and action and will definitely make you question characters and motivation. Take a weekend and get lost in this mystical world.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨ – 4.5/5 Stars