Book Review – To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

to kill a kingdomPrincess 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?

***

gold_star-svggold_star-svggold_star-svggold_star-svg 4/5 Stars

I received this book from the publishers via Net Galley, in exchange for an honest review.

Oh wow. I need more Little Mermaid retellings in my life. And sirens and mermaids and seriously stunning standalone fantasy universes.

I love that both Lira and Elian were not your typical royalty. Elian was reluctant. And a pirate! But Lira? First in dealing with her family, I love that we get to see how hard she tries and a little into her logic there, but also to have a vicious and conniving princess really floated my boat. (Sorry I couldn’t help myself!)

I’d have liked to have seen more into the Sea Queen and why Lira was never enough, there was something there that I was almost expecting and didn’t happen, and so I was left with questions.

I did however love what we did see of her, and how much we got to know about siren lore. And the kingdoms on the land, with their different cultures and myths and royalties. It was detailed and it was glorious.

In the arc I had, there was no way of telling who was narrating each chapter, which made it a little hard for me to follow a couple of times, though this was honestly nothing major.

The storytelling and universe honestly deserve five stars. The only reason I am giving it four is that some of the side characters are a little un-fleshed out – for example, we spend a reasonable amount of time with the ships crew but don’t know lots about them. Also, I am unsure on the romance. I love the element I saw coming towards the end. And I love that neither of them change for the other and they appreciate each other’s flaws. Plus snark. But it still somehow felt a little forced. And certainly the resolution of it was pretty sudden, even if there was a lot of build up.

However all in, I definitely recommend this book! It’s dark and vicious and full of my favourite type of fantasy – a world you wish you had built because you’ve not seen anything quite like it anywhere else. Also I now need more sirens in my books.

 

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