To Kill a Kingdom took me over 3 weeks to read, but I enjoyed those 3 weeks spent desperately trying to squeeze in time for this gory “The Little Mermaid” retelling. This is going to be a SPOILER review, but before I get into this, I’ll give a quick description in case you are interested in reading it but don’t really know what it’s about! My quick thoughts are that I really did like it and you should check it out if you like mythology, deadly characters, and a fast-paced plot.
To Kill a Kingdom is a magical, mythical, and yes, bloody retelling of “The Little Mermaid” following our two main characters, Lira, a siren heiress who takes the heart of a prince for each year she has been alive, and Elian, the human heir of Midas but siren killer and sailor at heart. When Lira kills one of her own, her mother banishes her from the sea as a human with the task of retrieving Elian’s heart in exchange for her place back in the sea. But what happens when Lira finds a place with Elian and his crew? And what happens when they find out the truth of who she is; a siren on a ship of siren killers.
After reading the first 50 pages of To Kill a Kingdom, I immediately thought “The Little Mermaid” meets “Throne of Glass”. It has the core story of “The Little Mermaid” and the initial drive and goal that our main character, Celaena, has in “Throne of Glass”. While I am not a huge fan of the Throne of Glass series, I did enjoy the first book though so I knew I would like To Kill a Kingdom. And I did! A lot!
One thing I appreciated about this book a lot is the consistency of the characters. Lira and Elian are both murderers and don’t flinch at the sight of blood. I was worried that as we followed them through the story, that they would soften a bit because of each other and their growing feelings, but luckily that didn’t happen. Well, I mean they did fall for each other but they were still themselves. Sometimes, authors kind of soften their characters personalities when a relationship forms but luckily, that was not the case for this book. When it comes to our two main characters, I am not sure I could pick a favourite. There were times I liked Lira more than Elian and times where I liked Elian more. I do love their names though, and for some reason that made me love this book even more. They were both strong-willed and brave and intelligent in a lot of similar ways which was interesting because I haven’t read many books where the love interests and two POV characters were THAT similar. It made for a nice connection at the beginning though because them being so similar meant they quickly understood the each other. I was really surprised to like them both equally because when it comes to having more than one POV, I rarely ever like them all.
One thing I was kind of sad about when it came to characters was the rest of the cast in this book. The sailors of the Saad just really fell flat from me and I didn’t connect with them at all. Maybe it was just me but I feel like they were just there. Kye and Madrid were close to feeling like real people to me, but only just when the book was wrapping up. That is one thing that disappointed me and kind of made me not love the book as much as I could of, but since Elian and Lira were such strong characters, it kind of makes up for it. Kind of.
The plot was a lot of fun and pulled me in from page one. I mean kickass sirens and a deadly siren queen? Yes, please. The story was dark from the beginning and for the most part, kept the darkness which was perfect considering most of the days I read this book were cold and wet. As Elian and Lira started actually liking and caring for one another though, the mood and atmosphere of the story got lighter, like the clouds of a storm were finally parting. I thought the pacing of the plot was fast but not too fast for the most part, however, I thought the last 100 pages just happened all at once. The author sped through them and there was a lot more telling rather than showing I found. This threw me out of the story a little bit, but I was so deep already that it wasn’t enough for me to put it down or anything luckily. When it came to that final fight scene though…that was a little fast in my opinion. I mean, I am not saying I want a long, drawn-out fight scene because ugh, boring. I just wanted a little more substance to it so it would slow down a tad. We finally got to the end and it was a battle between the sirens and the humans, mostly focused on Lira and her mother though. We got no insight really to what was happening around her and Elian, or maybe we did but it just wasn’t enough for me to really envision it! And then bam, Lira has convinced the sirens to join her side and turn against her mother. And then bam, her mother is killed. And then bam, story over.
I know I complained a lot towards the end, but apart from those last 100 or so pages, I did really enjoy this book. I just had some problems with it but hey, no book is perfect. Would I recommend this book? Yes! If you love myths and legends, especially The Little Mermaid but with a bloody twist, then give it a shot. If you have read this book, let me know what you thought in the comments! Or even better, if you have a review of this book as well, link it for me to check out. Out of 5 stars..this book would get a solid 4/5 stars!
Anyways, that is all for this review on To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo and I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts. Let me know if there are any specific books you want me to read and review, otherwise, my next book review will (most likely) be The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth sometime in late October! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts which are all linked below. Thanks 🙂
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