Review: To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo


To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo // VBC ReviewTo Kill a Kingdom
Alexandra Christo
Published: March 6, 2018 (Feiwel & Friends)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review Source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Beth

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

Lira is a siren princess—and she is deadly. She has been killing human royalty since she was 12, always ripping their hearts out of their chests to celebrate each birthday. She has been raised to be brutal—though nothing she does is cruel or horrific enough to please her mother, the queen. When she fails to kill the human prince who has been killing their kind, her mother banishes her to the human world as a plain girl, and if she does not deliver his heart, she will be stuck as a human forever.

Essentially, this story is a retelling of The Little Mermaid—though bloodier and more vicious as the older fairy tales tended to be. The first half, frankly, seemed a little too on-the-spot with the Disney version, even with the harshness of the original tale. It was hard to separate the Disney version from the one happening in the book. Having said that, the writing was excellent—otherwise, I’m afraid I would have called it quits.

However, the second half of To Kill a Kingdom was a rip-roaring adventure that truly put the Disney version to shame, and really managed to showcase Christos version of the tale. The writing flowed, and the characters really began to come into their own, rather than feeling like just a bloodier echo of stories past. Based on the last half, I would happily read more of Christo’s work.

The characters were intriguing, particularly Lira. I found that I liked her fierceness, and her strength. She made for a great female lead, something that thankfully seems to be happening more and more often. While Prince Elian was interesting in his own way, he was not nearly as strong for me as Lira was. I did very much enjoy him with his crew; the banter and affection were fun to read, in direct opposition to that of the Siren Queen and those around her. Bloodthirsty and cruel don’t begin to cover it.

The settings of the book were actually quite varied. From under the sea (see what I did there?) to a variety of countries within the book’s world, each of them totally different and unique. From frigid and covered in snow and ice, to the land of gold, to another covered in fog and grey. Each of those countries could be the focal point of a complete story within themselves, they were laid out so well.

I really did enjoy To Kill a Kingdom. It was more of a struggle to keep my attention focused during the first half, because I kept feeling like I already knew this story and how it ended. Luckily the second half won me over, and at that point where the comparisons were no longer valid, the tale really took off and I didn’t want to put it down to even cook dinner. I look forward to reading more of Christo’s work, since this is her debut!

Sexual content: none

2 Responses to “Review: To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo”

  1. Jennrenee says:

    I so loved this book. I started with arc and was a little bored at first. Changed to audio and was never bored. Not sure if the book just took off or the audio helped

    • Beth C. says:

      It’s good to hear that the audio was good – I have several friends who enjoy audio, but I’m always hesitant to recommend because it can be so hit-or-miss with the narrator!

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