To Kill a Kingdom: Review
To Kill a Kingdom, by Alexandra Christo, was billed to me as a The Little Mermaid retelling with a sinister twist- how could anyone pass that up?! This standalone fantasy did not disappoint, and it was everything in a dark fairy tale retelling that I imagined. Read on for my full spoiler-free review!
Note: I received a digital e-galley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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?
You may be familiar with the red-headed mermaid from Disney movies, and while Lira is also a red-headed princess of the sea, she is not a mermaid. She is a deadly siren, a bewitching creature of the sea that uses its voice to lure sailors to their doom. As the Prince's Bane, Lira specializes in capturing the hearts of princes from the one hundred kingdoms. Leave your notions of timid mermaid princesses behind, because Lira packs a serious punch regardless of whether she's on land or in water. She is glorious in her savagery as a siren in the water, and sassy and unafraid as a human on land.
One of my favorite parts of To Kill a Kingdom is the camaraderie between the crewmates aboard Prince Elian's ship. They each have distinct personalities and engage in witty banter that at times made me roll my eyes and at others, chuckle out loud to myself on the train. To be able to pack backstories into each character in a standalone novel is tremendous, and goes to show that there wasn't a single throwaway line in this book. Christo does a fantastic job of making every word count.
My favorite character of all though? The Sea Queen, master of the seas and queen of the sirens. She is a version of Ursula from The Little Mermaid movie, multiplied tenfold in her wickedness. She's got an incredible headdress crown-thingy, a pointy trident, tentacles, and an awful attitude about everything. Pretty much the perfect villain.
I want a whole series of dark retellings by Christo, after seeing what she is able to do with The Little Mermaid!
I rate To Kill a Kingdom 5/5 stars!
To Kill a Kingdom releases on March 6th, 2018 and you can pre-order it now!