Review: To Kill A Kingdom – Alexandra Christo

37769536Verdict: Surprisingly charming.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Published by Hot Key Books, March 6th 2018

Genre: YA Fantasy

Find it on Goodreads.

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 was so much fun to read. I have been struggling with YA for a while now, but I pretty much thoroughly enjoyed this. This was exciting and glorious and just overall a great surprise.

This Little Mermaid retelling is charming but also surprisingly evil. Lira is believable as a bloodthirsty siren while at the same time being a sympathetic main character. But even more so, I enjoyed spending time in Elian’s head. It is rare that I find the male protagonist in a YA novel not only bearable but rootable and completely fleshed-out. The conflict between the two sides of the age-old war between sirens and humans was believable and as such a great foundation to the shifting characterizations.

The language is mostly good, sometimes maybe a little bit clumsy in its descriptions. As such it was neither distracting nor enhancing the story. Which is fine for a plot driven novel like this one. I found the dialogue snarky and honest and often funny. The relationship between the two protagonists was believable and fun to follow – and I say that as somebody who if often bored by romance in fictional narratives.

I am also glad this was a standalone – as much as I enjoyed series of various lengths it is also nice to have a satisfying ending after one book. Although I would love to see more of this world – because the glimpses of the hundred kingdoms Christo offers are just marvelous.

I received an ARC of this book courtesy of NetGalley and Hot Key Books in exchange for an honest review.


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