Hi Book Lovers!
Time for another review. First, I received three different copies of this book from different book boxes several months ago. Second, the cover is, honestly, appealing as all get-out. Third, I can’t recall a time I’ve read a Little Mermaid retelling or a book about sirens. I finally decided to give it a go and here is what I thought!
To Kill a Kingdom
By: Alexandra Christo
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?
“Technically, I’m a murderer, but I like to think that’s one of my better qualities.”
“The true danger is people. They are unpredictable. The betrayers and the liars.”
“Royalty cannot be unmade. Birth rights cannot be changed. Hearts are forever scarred by our true nature.”
“‘Wars aren’t won by running,’ she says. ‘You can’t win a war,’ I tell her. ‘Someone else just loses.'”
“Some people burn so brightly, it’s impossible to put the flames out.”
I did not enjoy Lira. I’m so sorry, but I just didn’t. Well, let me take that back a bit. I enjoyed her at the start when she was so ruthless and cold as her namesake should be. However, the way she developed fell so flat for me and I ended up feeling like cringing often in the second half of the book at her character’s terrible thoughts and plans.
On the other hand, I mostly enjoyed Elian. I kept wanting to roll my eyes at how often he thought about how he didn’t want to rule a kingdom. Which. I mean. Fine. You don’t want to rule. But stop obsessing over it and make a decision – either don’t rule or suck it up and rule. Geez. Besides that, I enjoyed watching his banter and kindness with his crew and even Lira throughout the book. I was happy with some of his choices by the end and happy FOR him.
I feel like Elian’s crew held the most enjoyment for me as well as the sea witch who was so brutal and ruthless which was, at times, the only complex thing going on.
This book started out strong for me and I was excited to see where it was bound to go. However, I quickly became annoyed by the middle of the book. I’m 100% sure that after every single page I turned in this book from the middle on I thought “I have no idea how this story can be wrapped up to where I enjoy what comes out of it all”. Every. Page. To be fair, I was right and that I didn’t enjoy the ending which fell extremely flat.
The ending was unrealistic, frustrating, and whatever battle, fight, or even argument I hoped would occur only fizzled my dreams slowly but surely. I’m all about loose endings. I’m also about nicely wrapped up endings. I can go both ways here. The way this wrapped up was fine for a standalone book, but also gave me a slightly sour taste in my mouth.
Overall I mainly enjoyed the characters and the majority (more than the first half) of the story. However, I do wish that this story had continued on the path it began and it would have felt better executed that way. I’m glad I read this and enjoyed the voyages on the sea and dealings with sirens and mermaids. It inspired me to pick up other mermaid/siren/sea books afterwards so for that, thank you.
- I was trying to search for other people’s To Kill a Kingdom reviews here but haven’t found as many as I thought I did months ago. Tell me, have you read this?
- If you have, let’s discuss. Good and bad!