ARC provided by Macmillan via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Book: To Kill a Kingdom
Author: Alexandra Christo
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: March 6, 2018
My rating: 5 out of 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?
Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow!
I forced myself to stay awake until 1 AM, bleary eyed, fighting off sleep, all while my heart was pounding so hard because I just HAD to know how this book ends.
You guys, I am shook.
This book has everything I love: Mythology, sirens/mermaids, royalty, kingdoms, pirates, hate-love romance, sarcastic, witty banter, adventures, epic battle scenes, POC representation, and strong females.
I didn’t know much about To Kill a Kingdom other than hearing it was a “Little Mermaid retelling but instead of saving the prince, the mermaid has to kill him.” Well, replace mermaid with siren, and that’s pretty much what we have, except it is so much more.
Lira is a siren, dubbed the Princes’ Bane. She takes the hearts of royal humans on her birth month, with hopes that someday she will rule the kingdom of Diavolos. However, her mother, the Sea Queen, is an absolute tyrant who would rather kill her own kind (and daughter) before giving up her throne. The Sea Queen gives Lira the ultimate punishment for accidentally killing a mermaid: Lira is turned into a human, and she must bring back Prince Elian’s heart.
On the flip side, there’s Prince Elian of Midas, captain of The Saad, and siren hunter. He would rather spend his life traveling by sea, hunting sirens, than be forced to take the throne and spend the rest of his life, literally, grounded. Elian is presented with an opportunity to find treasure that could perhaps end all sirens. But first, he comes across a drowning woman in the middle of the ocean…
Naturally, this is where Lira and Elian’s stories converge. Told in dual narrative, we are pulled into an epic journey that’s filled with witty banter and an angsty hate-love romance that kept me wanting more. I am floored this is a standalone, because I kept thinking, “how is this story going to wrap up within 384 pages!?” BUT, I can honestly say I am so thankful this book is no more than a standalone. It is perfection the way it is. Christo’s writing is so gorgeously woven, and she wrapped up everything beautifully. I found myself getting emotional over Lira’s inner moral battle, her rising humanity, and her defiance toward her mother. I related so much to these characters, albeit they were so morally grey. I appreciated so much how this wasn’t a typical damsel-in-distress fairy tale.
Guys, I have nothing bad to say about this book. Usually I like to format my reviews by splitting up “The Good” and “The Bad” into bullet points, but I can’t do it with To Kill a Kingdom. It is amazing the way it is.
This is my favorite book of 2018 so far, and I have a feeling it will be in my top five of the year. I hope you pick up this book and enjoy it as much as I did. To Kill a Kingdom releases March 6, 2018.