After reading Hades & Persephone a few times, it was time to move onto something different. One of my book clubs was debating on reading To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo. I ended up started it before it was decided what we were going to read for the month. Mostly as I remembered this was a twisted reimaging of The Little Mermaid, which was one of my favorite Disney movies growing up. It was one of the princess movies I watched a lot (granted I normally watched the sequel). So, I was excited to read this book especially after I remembered I already had it sitting on my bookcase for the last month or so after a major book haul.
This action-packed YA debut pits a deadly siren princess and a siren-hunting human prince against each other as they fight to protect their kingdoms.
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 and 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?
- Published: March 6, 2018
- Page Count: 346
- Genre: YA Fantasy/Folklore
My Thoughts on To Kill a Kingdom
Initially reading To Kill a Kingdom, I was drawn in by the fact that instead of sweet, curious Ariel who is drawn in by humans we are greeted by Lira. A siren who has seventeen hearts that used to belonged to Prince’s and is excepted to get another in a few weeks time for her eighteenth birthday. And instead of Prince Erik, we’re greeted with Elian who is more of a pirate and siren-hunter than a prince. It made the story interesting. Not to mention instead of King Triton, we have the Sea Queen who is both the ruler of the sea (King Triton) and the witch (Ursula). For a twisted retelling, it was hitting every nail on the head right away. And I was here for it!
Similar to how Ariel gets turned into a human, the same happens to Lira. Instead, she doesn’t completely lose her voice just her siren powers. I won’t spoil what happens, but I like that they follow a similar storyline. Though why Lira is turned is not some teenage girl with a crush like Ariel was. Lira is punished to be a human after failing to take Elian’s heart and killing a mermaid who tried to take the kill from her. I don’t think that’s spoiling much considering it’s in the synopsis of the book.
However, what happens next is quite different from the Disney tale. Or even the version from the original fairy tale, which honestly neither version follow except for the fact that the MC female becomes human and they fall for the Prince. Reading the two come to terms with their relationship is interesting considering they are literally enemies. Lira has been hunting Princes every year on her birthday for their hearts, and Elian kills sirens for a living. Plus, his ultimate goal is to rid the world of the Prince’s Bane (Lira) and the Sea Queen. Doesn’t really work well when the person you’re in love with turns out to be the very individual you’ve sworn to kill. I won’t spoil how it ends, but I think it’s very fitting for how To Kill a Kingdom is written.
The narrative is written in the first person, but the characters switch back and forth between Lira and Elian. So, you get to read each of their sides of what’s going on. And how they react to each revelation. It flows together perfectly, and each has its own distinguished voice. Even if you don’t read which character it belongs to you would easily be able to tell. Granted, that’s also since they recall things the other wouldn’t know. Lira’s chapters are often relating to the sea and sirens, while Elian’s is talking about royalty (as much as he despises it, the dude can’t escape it). But you can see the parallel between the two characters. They are very similar at the core. Both are royalty with a lot of exceptions on them and each is doing their actions in the name of their kingdoms.
Overall, I would give To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo 3.75 out of 5 stars. I would highly recommend it if you like YA Fantasy or reimaging classic folklore tales. This novel was also the debut novel for Alexandra Christo, and I for sure will be reading more books from her in the future. That is once I get through the massive amount of books on my shelves that I still need to read first.
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