Title: To Kill a Kingdom
Author: Alexandra Christo
Date: 6th March 2018
Publisher: Feiwel Friends/Hot Key Books
I was very lucky to have been given a version of this author’s debut to read on NetGalley, but unfortunately I hit a reading slump halfway through this book. It had nothing to do with not enjoying the book, in fact, I really enjoyed To Kill a Kingdom and its refreshing take on sirens, mermaids and pirates. It isn’t very often that I read standalone novels (most books can’t do the character development justice in just one) but the character arcs in this book were incredible, especially Lira’s.
Princess Lira is well known among the seas and the lands, stealing the hearts of princes that sail the waves. She is feared by all, but her weapon, her voice, is taken away from her when she is punished by her mother. The Sea Queen took away what was most important to Lira and turned her into the one thing she despises – a human. The only way to return to her natural form is to take the heart of a Prince, who is also a pirate. Prince Elian runs away from his duties, dreaming of seeing all the kingdoms and spending his life on the sea. He hunts sirens along the way, ridding them so that people may board ships without being afraid. When he crosses paths with a strange woman in the waters, they embark on a journey that will lead them to the key to destroy all the sirens. But can she be trusted?
The world building in To Kill a Kingdom was wonderful and so magical, with amazingly vivid descriptions of what was happening under the sea, as well as on the surface and land. There are some great fighting scenes in this book that weren’t too detailed that you didn’t understand what was going on, but they had enough that you could picture it all in your mind. I’m going to say this now, the end of the book is amazing with incredibly descriptive scenes that were action packed. It was so good.
I can’t forget to mention the fact that the writing in this book was great, the dialogue was incredibly funny and witty at times (the banter between Elian’s crew was top notch). The dual POV really helps to give different perspectives, switching between Lira and Elian, and it was great to have flash backs to their pasts, seeing what their lives were like before they met. You really feel for these characters and want the best for them, especially when you see them being treating cruelly.
Lira was brutal, deadly, but at the same time she was thoughtful and caring. She is a very dynamic character, and she has some incredible lines when speaking to Elian. They had me smiling as I read their interactions which were so genuine. Nothing seemed forced at all and there was a lot of chemistry between the two of them. It was great to see Elian be more than just a Prince. He doesn’t let anyone do the heavy lifting for him and takes an active role in their mission to extinguish the world of sirens. He is more than just a handsome face, he’s a badass and it shows with how he talks and acts.
To Kill a Kingdom was very entertaining and it had everything I love in a YA novel. The fast pace matched the story perfectly, guiding us towards an incredible finale and an ending that left me smiling as I read the last page. It was perfect for me and it more than deserves the 4.5 stars I’m going to give it.