Hi everyone! Today I’m going to be reviewing To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo.
To Kill A Kingdom follows our two protagonists – Lira and Elian – and what happens when their worlds collide. Lira is siren royalty, ready to take the queen’s throne someday when she is cursed to become a human by her mother. Elian, on the other hand, is a siren killer, captaining the Saad and determined to save his world. When Elian rescues a woman from the ocean, their worlds are suddenly brought together – but they both have their secrets, and things are bound to get messy…
One of the many things which stood out to me in To Kill A Kingdom would definitely be the world building. Christo did an absolutely marvellous job of crafting the different kingdoms as well as the world of the sirens and the mermaids, and I really admired her ability to do it all so seamlessly. I hadn’t read world building like it since the Shadow And Bone series (and I honestly think To Kill A Kingdom might have topped that), so it was lovely to see!
The adventure throughout was also absolutely brilliant. Their quest to find the Crystal Of Keto ensured there was never a dull moment and the different steps undertaken to fulfil this ultimate goal were all great to see – particularly the exploration of the different kingdoms. The fact that Lira and Elian both had different motives and uses for the crystal also kept the tension high – I found myself whizzing through the pages to discover who would succeed!
Lira and Elian’s dynamic itself was also brilliant. The banter the two shared was definitely one of my favourite parts of the book, and I really enjoyed reading the progression of their relationship – particularly given the circumstances. It was a really lovely example of a great enemies to lovers and certainly added to the tension throughout!
Of course, Lira herself was probably my favourite character. She was such a strong and complex character and I found her incredibly interesting. Her sarcasm and slightly snarky attitude was so much fun to read and I really admired how determined she was to reach her ultimate goal. Lira was definitely one of the best characters I’ve read in a while, that’s for sure!
Of course, I think one of the things which made Lira’s character so great was definitely her character development. Reading her progress throughout the book was lovely to see and it was great to see her flourish at the end. What made this development even better was that it was a more gradual development, which definitely made it that much more realistic.
I also really loved the crew of the Saad! Honestly one of my favourites things about it was the pirate aspect and the crew mates themselves were so loveable. The overall bond they shared combined with their individual personalities made it impossible not to root for them. My favourite would definitely have to be Madrid, who was super strong and a really great friend to Lira!
Another aspect I really liked was how relatable parts of the book were. Of course, not many of us might be able to relate to the specifics – I don’t know any princesses struggling to meet the queen’s expectations, for example – but when you look at the book broadly it’s impossible not to see how relevant these themes actually are. I’m sure nearly all of us have struggled to meet someone’s expectations (be that a parent, a friend or a partner) which made Lira’s journey in particular all the more poignant.
The ending was also brilliant. It was so satisfying seeing it all come to a head and the final battle was certainly action packed, to say the least. It was so interesting to read and I absolutely flew through the pages, waiting to see what would happen next. What made this even better was that it took up a good chunk of the book, rather than the typical 30 or so pages. This definitely allowed for more epic events to happen and for the tension to build up!
The one tiny critique I have of this book is that I would’ve loved to see more crew mates. It’s mentioned that Elian captains a crew of around 100, although I believe we don’t truly meet any more than five. Obviously it’s understandable that not all of these had names, but it would’ve been nice to see a couple more of these characters. Despite that, this didn’t really detract from the book, so I wouldn’t let that stop you reading!
Overall, I would recommend To Kill A Kingdom to any fan of fantasties, as this was such an interesting addition and the world building was honestly superb. I honestly think this might just be my favourite read of the year so far, which is saying a lot! I’d also recommend it for any fan of retellings (particularly The Little Mermaid) because Christo brought such a fresh and unique take to the Disney story we all know and love!
Have you read To Kill A Kingdom yet? Will you be adding it to your tbr? Let me know in the comments!
I hope you enjoyed this review!