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 unsavory 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?
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review
My Rating: 4 Stars
Every single year, I groan and moan and mumble about how few good nautical books are being released. The publishers have FINALLY listened to me! This year there are so many good sea themed books coming out: To Kill a Kingdom, Sea Witch, These Rebel Waves, and Isle of Blood and Stone, to name a few. This particular book was my most anticipated of these releases. A Little Mermaid retelling? HELL YES – I am so on board.
For the most part, To Kill a Kingdom did not disappoint. While not a full 5 star read for me, it was a great book. The writing was STUNNING – seriously, Christo has a way with words. Her imagery was just breath-taking, transporting me to a foreign kingdom with ease. Additionally, the characters were so easy to connect to. I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect to connect easily with a prince killing Siren Princess, I really didn’t. But I loved Lira – she was brave and clever, as well as bitingly sarcastic.
Elian was immediately charming. If his character walked the earth, he’d have more charm and charisma than Chris Pratt. He was funny, witty and a wonderful mix of Pirate and Prince. I really enjoyed the chapters told from his POV.
The romance was a wonderful slow burn that had me practically salivating for more. Elian and Lira grew closer over the course of the book and when they finally came together, I heaved a sigh of relief. They were just such a well matched pair.
Unfortunately, I did have some issues with the pacing. There was information that I found unnecessary. This information bogged the book down and made it all to easy to stop reading from chapter to chapter. I generally average a book every two days (maximum – I tend to read faster than that) and To Kill a Kingdom took me over a week to finish. I also really wish there had been a map. The world building was incredible but so hard to picture with no map to refer to.
My Takeaway: To Kill a Kingdom was a fantastically dark retelling of The Little Mermaid. It was gory, gruesome and beautifully written and developed. The character growth was phenomenal as was the romance. I just wish that the pacing had been a bit quicker and I really would have loved a map to refer to.