Title: To Kill A Kingdom
Author: Alexandra Christo
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.
I found To Kill a Kingdom through a recommendation list, and it’s been sitting in my library stack for a while. When I realized that it was on its last renewal, I wanted to make sure to read it before I had to return it, and boy, am I glad that I was able to. I’m a total sucker for fairy tale retellings, and this was like The Little Mermaid with fangs, action, pirates, dark, ancient magic, and more than a little bloodshed. And honestly, I have to say, it was near perfect. Easily one of my favorite books of 2018! This was the classic tale that reminded me more of Brothers Grimm than Disney, and it was right up my alley. What a magical story!
Lira is the only daughter of the wicked, vicious Sea Queen, and The Princes’ Bane. Determined to live up to her mother’s expectations and the weight of the crown she will inherit, she kills princes and sailors without mercy, taking their hearts (literally) for her own. But in a cruel twist of fate, she kills one of her own. Her mother punishes her with the worst thing Lira can imagine: humanity. If she does not bring her mother the heart of Elian, crown prince of the nation of Midas, she will kill her own daughter and will begin the cruel war between sirens and humans anew. But Lira discovers that humanity goes deeper than a pair of legs and being able to walk on land, and she must decide whether to live up to her mother’s legacy or if she will take her new opportunity to create something entirely new, even if it means betraying everything she’s ever known…
This book was wonderful, and almost perfect. The Little Mermaid is one of my favorite fairy tales, and Christo gave it fangs, claws, and all the dark magic I could handle! The pacing was breakneck, the prose so lyrical and beautiful that I was seduced almost against my will, taken in as much by the treacherous ocean by Lira’s words. I loved the way that Christo provided two different points of view: vicious, fierce warrior princess of the ocean, Lira, and her latest adversary, Prince Elian of Midas, who longs for more than his royal station can give. He feels far more at home and fulfilled on the water, however dangerous it might be, secure in his position as an infamous siren killer. The two collide at the cusp of an ancient war, started by an ancient sea goddess, and they both discover that perhaps their way of life might be wrong, and that love seems to emerge from the most unlikely places. I loved every character in this story, but I loved Elian and Lira’s rich, exciting character development most. The Sea Queen, Lira’s mother, was also quite the standout; she was so deliciously evil! The bottom line: A darkly glittering fairy tale retelling with its own set of fangs and claws, To Kill a Kingdom captivated me totally, and I can’t wait to see what Alexandra Christo has up her sleeve next! An absolutely killer debut that seduced me as well as any siren! Next on deck: The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco!