Title: To Kill a Kingdom
Author: Alexandra Christo
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Fairy tales, Mermaids, Retellings, Young adult
Dates read: 27th – 28th June 2020
Publisher: Hot Key Books
5th sentence, 74th page: “Have you known for a while?” Sakura asks.
I have a heart for every year I’ve been alive.
There are seventeen hidden in the sand of my bedroom. Every so often, I claw through the shingle just to check they’re still there. Buried deep and bloody.
Princess Lira is siren royalty and revered across the sea until she is cursed into humanity by the ruthless Sea Queen. Now Lira must deliver the heart of the infamous siren killer or remain a human forever.
Prince Elian is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world, and captain to a deadly crew of siren hunters. When he rescues a drowning woman from the ocean, she promises to help him destroy siren kind for good. But he has no way of knowing whether he can trust her…
I’ve had this book sitting on my shelf for a while, and I kind of figured that it was just going to be another cute little retelling. I was excited to read it, but wasn’t desperate to. And then I read this. And honestly… WOW! This is an AMAZING Little Mermaid retelling. I honestly just can’t get it out of my head. It’s dark, it’s fun and it’s weirdly sweet…
Probably one of my favourite things about this novel / retelling is that Lira is completely predatory. She isn’t the nice, sweet, innocent mermaid of the Disney stories. Or even the kind of sad sack from the original Hans Christian Andersen story. Instead, she is tough, hungry and completely powerful in her own right. I also love that she is seriously sarcastic and aggressive in so many, many, many ways. Which, of course means, she fits perfectly with Elian. He’s also a pretty intense predator, and a pirate. Although, in this battle, I think it’s actually Lira that I found more intimidating and powerful… just as it should be.
Although this is a really nice little romance, it’s definitely not going onto my romance shelf. It’s a little unromantic in many places, and although it does still follow that fairly typical YA romance pattern… there is something a little extra about it. Something that doesn’t give me romantic feelings, but rather, happily ever after, big smile feelings…
The world building, characters and story line of this novel is just phenomenal. It made the story completely impossible to put down and forget about. Impossible to forget and stop thinking about. What makes that fact really horrible… this is a standalone. I would love to find out more about how Elian and Lira get along in the new world that they’ve created. Find out more about Lira’s cousin… there are so many more stories I want told from this world!!!
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