To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
This was sort of a retelling of The Little Mermaid, but not exactly. I really enjoyed buddy reading this with my blog counterpart Rae, and as always we loved and ached for the same things. First of all I loved the premise of this book. We have this enemies hate-to-love type of trope with the sirens that take the hearts of humans, and the prince who is the siren hunter.
I really liked how the book focused a lot on the character building for each Lira and Elian and their motivations. However, I thought their relationship development was a little stunted. In fact, they go from just starting to get a long, to just barely getting romantic, and then you’re like at the end of the book. Now, I don’t mind a slow romance, but I do mind when it’s sort of thrust forward with just a little to back it up. The romance, really could have been built up upon during the character development and This was also a decently short book, and could have actually gone a little longer to supplement for this. Thus my 4 star rather than a 5 star.
Trigger warnings: violence, murder
The World Building
I loved the Midas bit that was thrown into this book! It wasn’t anything major, but just added a little dash of flavor! Honestly, it wasn’t even necessary for the actual plot, but having the prince come from a golden city, was just, you know, extra. I really liked the distinguished between the sirens and mermaids too. I thought it gave the world way more depth to have them be similar, but different species.
Having the many different cultures was fun, especially having the one country where the princes and princess had Japanese names, especially considering the meaning of the given names. I always find it fun to have a little dash of a different culture mixed into fantasy worlds.
Lira had the biggest character arc as she learned to adjust from siren to understanding humans, particularly Elian. While it took a majority of the book for her to understand the loyalty that people put into following him rather than from fear, she at least had some of her own background regarding loyalty, particularly with her cousin. I love that her deep seeded need to please her mother was an large part of her personality and drive, and that by the end she had to decide what it was she truly wanted, versus what she thought her mom wanted.
Personally I wasn’t a huge fan of Elian just because his conviction sort of wavered. With all his talk of honesty, I thought his reaction to the truth of the sirens would have had a little more time to adjust. Again, the book could have been a little longer.
Metric – Too Bad, So