Thursday, May 17, 2018

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

Title: To Kill a Kingdom
Author: Alexandra Christo
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Source: A&U/Hot Key Books

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?
Review by Nara

To Kill a Kingdom is a book that wasn't on my radar until quite recently....and I'm quite surprised because it is a book that should simply be on EVERYONE's radars. It's unique and has one of those anti-hero morally ambiguous protagonists that seem to be on the rise recently and is also a retelling/takes inspiration from The Little Mermaid. Not a lot to dislike about the novel overall.

I loved the protagonist Lira. She's the princess of sirens, and has spent most of her life capturing prince's hearts to increase her powers. She's known as The Prince's Bane. I loved watching how she wasn't necessarily apologetic about the lives she took, that she took it in her stride that the hearts she obtained would help her overthrow her evil mother (who is based on Ursula from The Little Mermaid). She does evolve throughout the novel, and watching that journey was fascinating as well.

Elian was a bit more of a classical pirate/prince figure (basically the prince who has a "side job" of hunting sirens). He wasn't quite as layered, but I did also really like his character, and how he interacted with the rest of his crew. Of course, his interactions with Lira were also top quality, with murderous banter not being something I've seen too often haha.

Overall, I thought the strongest aspect of the novel were the characters and character development. The plot itself was a little bit generic, but it was absolutely carried by how engrossing the characters were.

Overall: 9/10
Plot: 4.5/5
Romance: 4/5
Writing: 5/5
World Building: 4/5
Characters: 5/5
Cover: 4/5