Recently I read To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo and found it very enjoyable. I wanted to share my thoughts and feelings about the book with you.
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?
This book is a retelling of the Little Mermaid, but with murder instead of love. Having always found the Disney version a little irritating, I loved the change from wanting to win the prince’s heart metaphorically to literally wanting to rip his beating heart from his chest. As this is a retelling, the story line was a little predictable, given that the original tale is so well known. However the details in this story are what make it truly special.
Haven’t met an engine I couldn’t fix yet, the human body’s just another machine.
The way the politics of this story work, acknowledging the high and low points of being royalty really added to this story. We see the sacrifices they have to make for their people and how that can affect the lives of those in charge. It was also interesting seeing how they manage the responsibilities of their future crown with the life they want to live now, when they have more freedom. This book really showcase the dilemma that all young people face between enjoying their youth and preparing for a future that they don’t want to embrace yet.
Marriage is a side effect or royalty
The dual perspective in this book was quite interesting to read as Lira and Elian spend most of the novel together, so we get a much more rounded perspective of the situation. Since the two POV characters are trying to kill each other, but don’t realise the full situation, it allows the reader to be aware of the brewing conflict throughout the book, anticipating problems that not all of the cast can see yet. This leads to revelations being more impactful, as we can see how long the deceptions have working, and what the other characters thought of the situation prior to the big reveal.
“You haven’t steered us wrong yet.”
“That just means nobody will be prepared when I do.”
I did think that the ending of this book was a little rushed. The final battle was incredibly fast paced, and in the heat of the moment, important information is easily lost. I found that key plot related conversation and action was easily buried in the background of general fighting, leading to the conclusion being a bit confusing. Because of this I gave the book four stars.