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
“Love 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
“He 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
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.
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.
“How strange that instead of taking his heart, I’m hoping he takes mine.”
Final rating: 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, Published by Hot Key Books, March 6th, 2018.
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!