I was never a fan of The Little Mermaid. Really, I wasn’t a fan of any ‘classic’ Disney movie, apart from Treasure Island and Toy Story.
But, when I read the blurb for Alexandra Christo’s To Kill A Kingdom, I knew I had to have the book, and I had to read it ASAP.
That ASAP turned into a three-month wait, but I’ve now managed to read it, and my God, it was worth the wait.
To Kill A Kingdom follows the story of Princess Lira, a siren, heir to the Sea Queen’s throne, known to human’s as The Princes’ Bane. Every year, on her birthday, she hunts down and rips the heart of a young prince, delighting in the kill, proving herself to be the vicious killer her mother wants her to be.
But, when she angers her mother, The Sea Queen turns her into a human and sets her the task of killing Prince Elian, a prince turned pirate. A pirate who specifically hunts down and kills sirens, on a never-ending mission to rid the world of sirens, specifically, Lira, the Princes’ Bane.
I have to admit, when I first read the blurb, I was totally sold on the concept, but when I later looked it up on Goodreads and found out that the book was a romance, I turned skeptical.
I’ve never been keen on romance novels, or YA with romance in. There’s very few I can stand, as I always find that the love story takes over the actual plot of the book. It’s a massive pet peeve of mine and has had me DNF’ing more than one book in the past because of it.
But, I have been trying to work on this, seeking out books with romances in that I actually like. So far, it’s been mostly a losing battle. 90% of the books I’ve tried have wound me up to the point of giving up, and I was nearly ready to give up entirely on my quest to like YA romances.
Then along came To Kill A Kingdom.
Elian and Lira’s romance was subtle and built up over the course of the book. It was believable, it didn’t derail the storyline. They didn’t spend chapter upon chapter mooning over each other.
Instead, they sassed each other, they battled side by side, and overall, they were a believable couple. A proper hate/suspicion to love relationship, which played second fiddle to the storyline described on the back of the book.
In a lot of ways, Lira and Elian reminded me of Kell and Lila from A Darker Shade Of Magic series by V. E. Schwab, which is one of my favourite series’ of all time. They were a battle couple, who never forgot their mission, or who they were inside.
Yes, they were on opposite sides, but they grew to be on the same one. They argued, they snarked, and they certainly didn’t trust each other for the majority of the story. But I loved it!
And that’s without talking about the characters, who were all excellent additions to the cast. I loved Elian’s pirate crew, the evil Sea Queen, the mythology surrounding this world. It was beautifully crafted and perfectly put together.
My only problem was that I wished we had more detail of the sirens in Lira’s life. We saw many people from Elian’s life, but very few from Lira. I would have liked to have seen more people from her kingdom and her family.
Other than that, I loved this book. It restored my faith in YA romances, and in YA in general. It was brilliant and so worth the hype it gets.
4/5 stars, without question!