To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a thrilling debut from Alexandra Christo, taking a unique perspective on The Little Mermaid. It’s rather rudimentary to compare TO KILL A KINGDOM to The Little Mermaid because apart from some basics on characterisation, there really is little similarity.
Firstly, in a sea of YA fantasy series, I want to shout from the rooftops that this is a full and rounded standalone. Yes, I said standalone and I felt complete by the end, so it does what it says on the tin.
Sirens are the name of the game in this book and Lira is a scrappy, fierce and murderous siren princess known across the world as The Princes Bane. Her mother, the Sea Queen is her nemesis but she is bent to her mother’s will. The Sea Queen is a rather frightening, violent dictator without ethics or scruples. Lira, initially with little to recommend her, undertakes a change about which I don’t want to say more. The character development was superb.
“The crew said her hair was as red as hellfire.”
“The Princes’ Bane is the greatest monster I’ve ever known, and the only one who’s escaped death once I’ve set my sights on her.”
Elian is more pirate than Prince of Midas, on a self-inflicted crusade to rid the world of sirens. There’s a lot more to like about Elian and he cuts a swarthy, heroic figure. The ship the prince operates from, holds a crew of friends, protectors and loyal sailors, they made for good reading. When Elian and Lira eventually cross paths, it’s not pretty but it’s explosive, violent and hateful.
“Look at you. My monster, come to find me.”
The story took hold of me from the first chapter and was a thrilling voyage across oceans and into unusual lands. I was interested throughout and dying to see what would happen. The romance is subtle but still kicks a punch, nevertheless, it doesn’t overwhelm the story.
“Me, my ship, and a girl with oceans in her eyes.”
I had a little niggle in this book regarding how the dialogue was written, my problem being that it is consistently unclear when the dialogue character changes, which stops your flow while you work out who’s talking. However, this is just a niggle and wasn’t a major issue.
I am truly excited about this debut, it’s uniqueness and strong writing of characters and story direction. YA fantasy lovers are going to rave over this, I’m sure.
I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.
Reviewed for Jo&IsaLoveBooks Blog.
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