Hi everyone! First of all, a quick thank you for your patience and support while my posts are a bit sporadic – I’m well and truly up to my neck with the house move but things are going well!
Today, I’m reviewing To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo – I’ve seen this book around a lot lately and I just had to read it!
What the book was about
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 siren-kind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?
What I thought of it
This debut fantasy standalone is awesome. I absolutely loved the world building and the amount of detail the author provided about the different kingdoms on land and in the sea. Blue-lipped snow princes and queens who make any man they touch lose their minds with love? YES TO ALL OF IT. I would happily read more books set in this world and definitely think the potential is there for the author to expand.
It’s very impressive that the author was able to create such a vivid world in the limited pages she had. (You would think that such a well-developed world would cause the book to be much longer.) I do think the novel was the perfect length; it was action-packed and never once slowed down from it’s break-neck opening pace. I felt breathless reading it at times; the fact that every single chapter was action-based and focused on moving the plot forward made for an exhilarating read.
The characters are one of this debut’s major strengths. There is an incredible (diverse!) cast and I felt like I could picture every one of them clearly. I was also living for their banter. The sass levels are high with this one. The hate-to-love subplot was a delight and I loved it so much more than I thought I would.
Further points for character development. I loved following Lira’s journey and seeing her grow. There was a really REALLY interesting exploration of abuse in the guise of the Sea Queen and I am so impressed that the author tackled such an important topic in a debut fantasy (whether she intended to or not). This was such a strong debut and Christo is definitely one to watch!
The publishing world seems to be treating us to a plethora of mermaid stories this year – have you read this one yet? Or any others that you would recommend? Let me know in the comments! x