Review: To Kill A Kingdom, Alexandra Christo

There are no spoilers in this review.

First, I want to thank Kat @ Life & Other Disasters for buddy-reading this with me. This was, as always, so much fun (even if you devoured part of the book without me. I can’t really blame you on that one). Go read her review right here and show her some love ❀
To Kill A Kingdom has made its way into the book blogging community a couple months before its release and has known a LOT of hype, too. A loose retelling of the Little Mermaid, a hate-to-love relationship… I had to say, this had already tons of points to win my heart, but to be honest, I didn’t expect to love it this much? I’m not sure why I felt that way, but boy, I’m glad I did love this.

A BEAUTIFUL RETELLING WITH A GREAT WORLD-BUILDING

πŸ’­

β€œLove is a word we scarcely hear in the ocean. It exists only in my song and on the lips of the princes I’ve killed. And I have never heard it from my mother’s mouth.”

Right from the first pages, To Kill A Kingdom takes you into an incredibly vivid, dark and crazy-well built world. This is a retelling of The Little Mermaid, but there is so much more to it than that. First of all, it’s a loose retelling. Second of all, it has sirens, pirates, mermen, mermaids and so on. Third of all, and what probably impressed me most of it all: the world-building is actually so lush and colorful outside of the ocean and I absolutely loved it. Every place we visited on the characters’ journey was detailed, without taking over the narration or boring us ever, painted with beautiful, gold colors and making us get a taste of the food cooking on market stands. I loved the thought that went into world-building, making this book really stand out and alive.

PRETTY COOL MAIN CHARACTERS AND MY FEELINGSSSSSS EVERYWHERE

πŸ’­

β€œHe has eyes like vast pools and a jaw made from shipwrecks and broken coral. Every movement he makes is as quick and fluid as a tidal wave. He belongs to the ocean. He is made from it, as much as I am.”

Yet, aside from the world-building, the characters were also bursting with life and making me have all the emotions. Unapologetic, bold, incredibly fun and unique, I absolutely LOVED Lira’s character. She was strong, yet flawed and if, at the beginning, she was fierce and quite mean, I loved seeing her grow, change, get in touch with her feelings and humanity overall and I absolutely loved her evolution. Our prince / pirate (okay, sailor, that’s for you, Kat) Elian, was quite great as well and I just loved every single interaction our two main characters had.
Yes, this is an enemy-to-lovers kind of story (and this is not a spoiler, I mean, you can guess this right from the start). The relationship felt well-handled as I felt the characters’ feelings change as they got to know each other, let down their barriers and everything else. I HAD FEELINGS about them, okay. Basically that’s it.
The side characters were also quite amazing – I really appreciated the crew and how we managed to get to know glimpses of their past through the narration and how they joined Elian on his adventure. Kye was adorable okay he was my favorite.

A FAST-PACED, ADDICTIVE READ

πŸ’­

To Kill a Kingdom was a fast-paced, want-to-devour-it-all kind of story, really and I totally get why my buddy-reader couldn’t wait for me, sometimes. It was quite dark at times there were moments that made me gasp that I did not see coming and the writing was also very beautiful, compelling without being overly complicated. I just found that this book was sort of an addictive read.

OVERALL

πŸ’­

With a beautiful world-building, A+ character interactions and development and amazing action scenes, To Kill A Kingdom certainly deserves all of the hype, if you ask me. I’m not putting the 5-stars entirely, because I remain a small bean and it was really dark , hearts-taken-out-of-chests moments and I am a marshmallow. But I’d heavily recommend it to anyone loving retellings, great world-buildings, hate-to-love relationships and just read the damn book already.

β€œHow strange that instead of taking his heart, I’m hoping he takes mine.”

Final rating:Β  4,5 drops!

A million thanks to Hot Key Books and NetGalley for the digital review copy of this book. This did not, in any way, influence my thoughts and rating.


Alexandra Christo, To Kill A Kingdom, Β Published by Hot Key Books, March 6th, 2018.

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Dark and romantic YA fantasy for fans of Sarah J Maas – about the siren with a taste for royal blood and the prince who has sworn to destroy her.

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 unsavoury 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?

Did you read To Kill A Kingdom? Do you want to?

Do you know other retellings of The Little Mermaids? Are you also fond of the enemies-to-lovers trope? Let me know in comments!

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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. πŸ“š |🌍 | πŸ’ž Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

86 thoughts on “Review: To Kill A Kingdom, Alexandra Christo

  1. Enemies to lover is in fact my fav trope! And this book is on top of my wishlist, I wish I could get it soon, I’ve heard so may great reviews and now I’m even more curious after reading your review. Fantastic review Marie, I love your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yay! Your review is up!! I’ve been waiting to read it and you definitely managed to put most of my sentiments into words. And can I just say that the visuals you chose are STUNNING!!!! I don’t know how you found them, but they basically represent my dream world!
    Here’s to us buddy reading soon again, but maybe without me barging ahead again haha (no promises)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww thank you, I’m so glad you enjoyed it and the visuals, I won’t tell you how long it took me to find these, but… I’m glad I did haha they really spoke to me.
      YEES, buddy reading again soon, hopefully πŸ˜€
      Thank you so much, Kat! ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t had a chance to read this yet but it sounds so good! I haven’t really read many (if any) Little Mermaid retellings (it’s not super popular for some reason) and I’m definitely looking to read more of them! Anything with retelling in the name is my game. And, based on your review, I’m thinking I’ll love it πŸ™‚ Mostly, I’m so glad you thought the side characters were developed well. The side characters in the actual Little Mermaid (Sebastian amiright??) are my absolute favorites. Lovely review, Marie!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t read many retellings of that story either, but I’m glad I found this one, it was brilliant and original and the characters were amazing. ❀
      YEES SEBASTIAN, I LOVED HIM haha πŸ™‚
      Thank you so much, Laura! πŸ™‚ ❀

      Like

  4. Oooooh, I’m so glad you loved it – this is one of my most anticipated books on my TBR! I love dark retellings, and I love hate-to-love relationships, so your review has just left me dying to read it!!

    Like

    1. Ahhh I’m so happy to hear it! I hope you will be able to read it soon and that you will love it πŸ˜€
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Mattie! πŸ™‚ ❀
      (Also, thought I'd let you know that your blog link in your profile, feedmebooks. wordpress . com isn't working anymore πŸ™‚ )

      Liked by 1 person

  5. omg, I absolutely LOVED this book. I was on a bit of an ocean-fantasy kick after reading Sea Witch and this book was even better than that one! I thought Lira was such an interesting character, and I loved the whole cast of secondary characters as well. I agree that the world-building was really spot on. Every place they went was described so vividly and the world-building really added to the story. This is definitely one of my personal favorites for the year so far, so I’m really glad you enjoyed it πŸ™‚

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    1. Oh I haven’t read Sea Witch at all, you would recommend it? πŸ˜€
      I have to agree with you here, I loved the cast of characters so, so much, they all were amazing and their interactions were so much fun to read πŸ™‚
      Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment, Mel! πŸ™‚

      Like

      1. Oh yes, absolutely! It’s an Ursula/ little mermaid villain origin story and it’s so wonderful. There are definitely similarities between the books but they’re also very different.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Simant (from FlippingThruThePages) has been recommending this to me for the entirety of March and though my huge TBR isn’t allowing me to pick this up right now, I so lot want to!! Firstly, a fast paced fantasy is exactly what I live for and a loose retelling is so perfect because I don’t have to keep my expectations super high in comparison to the original work, and can enjoy the story for what it is. The world building is amazing? They even mention the food in the market stands? I’m so lot in! ❀ And of course, hate-to-love trope is my guilty pleasure! πŸ˜€ Plus, I'm pretty sure I'll fall in love with Lira instantly because bold and fun characters always steal my heart ❀ Loved this review, Marie!

    Like

    1. SIM IS THE BEST, I’m so glad she recommended this book a whole lot, you have to read it, she is right about that πŸ˜›
      I really loved the world-building, it was beautifully-made, imaginative, easy to picture and everything else, I was so immersed into the story because of that πŸ™‚
      I hope you will be able to read it soon, Fanna, let me know if you enjoy it πŸ˜€
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve got to say with every review I read for To Kill a Kingdom (every glowing, highly-rated review) I kind of wonder what I was missing. I mean I enjoyed this book don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t a favourite of mine or anything the way it seems to be for everyone else who picked this book up.
    I’m really glad you enjoyed this one though Marie, and I did love Lira’s character too. She’s kind of a character I wouldn’t normally root for in books but there was something about the way she was written in this book that I could connect with her and love her you know?
    Great review, and again really glad you enjoyed this. πŸ™‚ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  8. ENEMIES TO LOVERS πŸ’— I’ve been eyeing this book for a while now and I’m very much excited about the romance and the mermaids and pirates – it all sounds very interesting to me!! As always I loved your well-written Review and the aesthetic, it made me want to read the book even more!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ooh I haven’t really heard of this but it sounds great even though I’m not really into dark stuff I guess. I’ve only read Marissa Meyers short story version which was pretty cool. I quite like enemy to lovers, but I don’t have a strong opinion on it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not into dark stories either, but despite some scenes, overall, it wasn’t that dark and I still managed to be completely transported into this world. I really hope you’ll give it a shot someday, Shanti πŸ™‚
      Thank you so much! ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m soooo glad you enjoyed this, can’t wait until you read Six of Crows and realise every other book you’ve read in your life is a lie and SoC is the only amazing thing that EXISTS. Anyways, I really liked this too! I thought it was REALLY interesting and I loved the relationship between Elias and Lira. I just read Daughter of The Pirate King and it’s very similar but also very…not good? Ahh

    Liked by 1 person

    1. πŸ˜…πŸ˜…πŸ˜…
      I swear I will get the book soon hahaha, I said I’ll read it this year and we’re in April… I’m good? πŸ˜…
      I’m so glad you enjoyed this book as well! I haven’t read Daughter of the Pirate King, but I heard good things about it so far? I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it too much! :/
      Thank you so much for stopping by, Ilsa!! ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  11. So glad you enjoyed To Kill A Kingdom! I read it last month and absolutely loved it! Too bad it’s only a stand alone! It’s so difficult to find dark novels about Mermaids/Sirens these days! Most authors kind of sugarcoat their true nature, which is more than savage to say the least! I was so impressed with the author’s take on them though and flew threw the book in a matter of hours! It balanced dark and nicely thought out perfectly, without being scary or anything like that! I also really enjoyed the character development and the fact that, even though the romance was definitely there, it didn’t overshadow everything else! I absolutely loved Elian and Lira’s relationship throughout the book and the back and forth between them! It was just so original and unique, making it impossible for me to stop talking about it! Thanks for sharing your amazing review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am not a fan of series, but that one, I was quite disappointed that it was a standalone haha, I could have read more and more about this fantastic world ❀
      I'm so glad to hear you loved this one so much – I have to agree with you, I loved the characters and their development so, so much and the romance was really sweet, though it didn't take over the whole plot, AS IT SHOULD and it was really, really GREAT for that πŸ˜€
      Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment!! ❀

      Like

  12. Ohhh this sounds fantastic and right up my alley! I’m really cursing my wallet right now because um NEED. I love retellings, especially dark ones (though not TOO dark I can’t handle scenes that are too graphic haha) and hate to lovers?? Mermaids?? I need this. Great review Marie!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Yay, your review is up! I am so glad that you loved this book as much as I did πŸ˜€ This book was really amazing and even I hadn’t expected it so be that good.. Don’t you wish that there should be a sequel? πŸ˜‚ I totally wish.. but the author is saying otherwise.
    Anyways, Kye was my favourite too 😍 And that slow burn romance between Lira and Kian.. thise moments were wonderful!
    Lovely review 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not always fond of series, but for that one, DAMN I would have enjoyed a sequel as well,I just loved the characters and the world a whole lot ❀
      Thank you so much, Sim!! ❀ ❀

      Like

  14. I love enemies to lovers so much. Most entertaining thing ever! And I enjoyed this book as well! In fact I’m giving it the same rating. I was just now working on my review XD

    The last mermaid books I read were the ones from the series Of Poseidon by Anna Banks. They weren’t very great, which was why I never touched another mermaid book again until I came across To Kill a Kingdom!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YAY, twins haha. I’m so happy you enjoyed this book as much as I did, it was such a fantastic book and I loved the world and the characters SOOO much. πŸ˜€
      Thank you so much, Pam ❀

      Like

  15. I want to read this book so much and you made me even more convinced to give it a go! I might wait until the more summer-y months of the year (even if it seems quite dark, it involves the sea and mermaids, so). I don’t think I’ve read a lot of books about mermaids and I’ve always been so compelled by them, so it’s quite a pity… I shall try to fix that. You also got me at enemies-to-lovers haha. Great review, Marie! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH this makes me so, so happy Lucie! This book had kind of a darker take on the whole mermaids story, but it was, captivating. The world-buildin was amazing and the relationships were SO GREAT to read about, especially if you love enemies-to-lovers πŸ˜€
      Thank you so much!! ❀ ❀

      Like

  16. I’m so proud of my little marshmallow for reading this book despite how out of your comfort zone this might have been!! I’m so happy you enjoyed it, I was nervous for a second there 😌
    Your review is lovely, I absolutely adore that aesthetic (it’s so fitting!!!) ❀ I’m so happy that you had feels for Lira and Elian because these two destroyed me so much. Omg, I’m still crying over them.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I do love me some retellings of fairy tales. There is always so much space for growth and development between the lines of the original story. And it sounds like Christo really hit the mark with this book! To Kill A Kingdom is a new book for me. Is this a stand-alone novel?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, from what I’ve heard it is a standalone novel. I’m not a fan of series, but I would have loved more of that one haha, it really was brilliant πŸ˜€
      I hope you’ll add it to your TBR and that you’ll enjoy it πŸ˜€ Thank you so much ! ❀

      Like

    1. Agree – it is so, so hard to have the right balance between too much, and not enough details to captivate us. It was just right there. I really hope you’ll love it, Melina! Thank you so much xx

      Liked by 2 people

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