Book ReviewYoung Adult

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends | Pages: 342

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling, Romance

Rating: ★★★★☆

Synopsis:

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?

Review:

This book was a highly anticipated read for me. That said, I often find that when I really anticipate a book to be great, it falls flat for me. I’m so happy to say that this book totally lived up to my expectations! Overall, it was a great dark retelling with moments of great thrill and suspense.

The first thing I loved about this book were the characters! I loved both Lira and Elian. They were both so uniquely different and yet they blended so well together.  I loved that they both had their own storylines all while becoming increasingly intertwined the whole way through. Their developing relationship throughout the length of the novel was filled with witty dialogue and I loved it.

Lira was an enchanting, devious and loyal main character. While she was raised to be this cunning and mischievous individual who never thinks twice, I admired her willingness to accept the problems about her life/personality. It was a great story arc that I thoroughly enjoyed watching unfold. Elian was a fantastic second protagonist. I felt like he was this strong and conflicted individual who struggles with wearing a crown and loving the sea.

The other part I loved that is specifically linked to the two main characters is the fact that the book was written from both perspectives. I sometimes find fault with books that are told from dual perspectives, however, I feel as though Christo did a wonderful job at telling the story from the viewpoint of these characters. I found myself equally invested in each character’s experiences and view and the intertwined story that was told between both of them.

I really appreciated the darkness that came along with this retelling.  It was different and captivating. It was a great spin on a classic story that most people have enjoyed and I think Christo deserves complete recognition for turning this story into her own. While it was dark it was also suspenseful and action packed. It was a great mix and had me captivated the whole way through.

I am extremely glad that this book was a standalone novel. In the world of young adult fantasy, this is not necessarily common. Most fantasy novels require a commitment of three or more books. I was so glad that by the time I reached the end, everything was wrapped up. And I must say, it was wrapped up quite nicely. I found this aspect to be extremely refreshing and I commend Christo for making this decision.  Sometimes books are better off to be left at one book – forcing more can sometimes lead to an improper story or length.

Christo’s writing style was so lovely. It was hard for me to believe that this was in fact her debut novel! It has left me with the resounding feeling that I will be checking out any of her future novels – whether they be retellings or not. The world building and character development was great specifically because of Christo’s descriptive and smooth writing.

Overall, I’m super happy with this read and totally recommend it! It is definitely one to read if you’re into adventure, thrills, mermaids and sirens as well as standalone novels! I will definitely have my eyes open for any of Christo’s future novels!

Rating: ★★★★☆

Favourite Quote: “Technically, I’m a murderer, but I like to think that’s one of my better qualities.”

About the Author:

Alexandra Christo decided to write books when she was four and her teacher told her she couldn’t be a fairy. She has a BA in Creative Writing and works as a copywriter in London, both of which make her sound more grown up than she feels. When she’s not busy making up stories, she can be found buying far too many cushions and organizing food crawls all over the city.

Alexandra currently lives in Hertfordshire with an abundance of cacti (because they’re the only plants she can keep alive).

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Victoria @ The Contented Reader

Victoria @ The Contented Reader

Avid reader and tea drinker. I read and review young adult books on my blog, The Contented Reader!

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