Book Review : To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

At first, I thought this book might be a new fantasy series to look out for.

But HOW EXCITED I AM when this book proves to be a STANDALONE!!


Genre : Fantasy, Young Adult, Retelling
Page : 344 pages
Published : 6th March 2018


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?


“Technically, I’m a murderer, but I like to think that’s one of my better qualities.”

I was giddy, nervous, have another stream of high hopes but scared to anticipate too much since fantasy standalone tend to lack something and feels quite different to series fantasy.

Oh well. This book is EVERYTHING I could’ve asked for in a standalone fantasy!


To Kill A Kingdom— centres on Princess Lira, a siren royalty who kills princes for their heart. Punished by Sea Queen for the crime she commit, she was transform into a human and was found by Prince Elian, a siren killer.


THE WRITING

Usually, I left the writing style as one of the last point to discuss in a book.

But not this one.

Because it’s FREAKING AMAZING.

From the very start, the book is already very fun to read. It’s pacey, fun, addictive, basically everything you wished for in a writing style of a book. It never bore me and I. couldn’t. stop. reading.

The writing style never missed a beat and somehow always managed to maintain the highly fast paced of the story. This book made you go: “Okay. One more chapter.” at 1 AM but somehow you managed to stay fixated in the same spot hours later, forgetting to sleep and keep wondering what’s the story will bring in next.


THE RETELLING

I have never read any retelling based on The Little Mermaid before (except watching The Little Mermaid based on Disney and another one episode based on the original story of Christian Anderson.) and so, I am very excited with this retelling.

I love how this book consist of the most important point of The Little Mermaid. Basically every key point and events you remembered about the story, blend in perfectly with the story.

Another thing I love about the retelling is it does not pour in every plot of The Little Mermaid inside the book. The retelling is enough to aware readers that this is inspired by The Little Mermaid story and amazingly, the plot unfolded quite differently from The Little Mermaid itself.

A whole new story without putting in too much predictable The Little Mermaid stuff but enough to keep readers aware of the retelling.


THE CONCEPT

One of the most exciting thing to discuss about the book is the concept!

Now we all notice The Little Mermaid is basically about the mermaid princess who wonders the sea, the evil sea witch and the prince! To Kill A Kingdom also has the factors above but it’s way much more than the usual fairy tales.

To Kill A Kingdom is on a whole new different level where we have a siren royal princess who killed princes for their hearts, the evil Sea Queen and the pirate prince with his crew who hunts siren! I mean, how exciting was that?! They’re are all powerful and charmer in their own way.

It’s a wonder how the innocent retelling turns to be a complicated bloody arena for the princess and the prince! Also, I love how the prince is not just a prince. He’s a pirate and a hunter with crews. Not just a mere prince born just to sit enjoying royalty with his good looks and luck.


THE ROMANCE

Oh my god.

One of the best standalone fantasy romance I’ve read.

It’s not cheesy, it’s not heavy on romance, it rarely even have any romantic moments but I love the romance to the moon and back.

I love how it took time to build the chemistry and the bond without forcing the romance to work. It just flow effortlessly. Obviously, it’s an enemy to lovers troupe where there are bantering and distrust but I love how subtly these all changed course without really focused on the romance.

It’s a side genre but I love how full it is in the book. The kind of romance that do not have much scenes on it but made you addicted with the relationship.

When I finished the book, I realized how fairy tale the romance is without all those cheesy stuff and romantic moments. If you let me rant day and night about it, I won’t ever shut up about the romance. It’s not much but it’s enough.


THE STORY

It’s highly addictive.

Along with the writing style, the story is so addictive and creative that will made you couldn’t stop reading. It’s told by in the point of views of Lira– the siren royalty and Elian– the siren killer.

I also love how this book never stray off the goals and never spare a second to roam around any unnecessary topic or sub-plot. Including romance. Therefore, the momentum is always there. Fast pace and goes straight ahead.

In some of the covers and the blurb, It’s stated that To Kill A Kingdom is perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Sarah J Maas. I’m not really sure about Sarah J Maas, but I found some parts are quite similar to Leigh Bardugo’s writing plot and ideas. I’ve read Six of Crows duology before and found some parts to be quite similar.

Therefore, if you love Leigh Bardugo’s work, you might as well try this one!

But I just wanna say, despite the similarity, nothing is affecting the story line. Everything goes perfectly fine and honestly, I love the story a lot.


To Kill A Kingdom is absolutely highly recommended. Everything about this book is addictive and I think it has been one of my favourite retelling now.

“They’re from everywhere and their homes are nowhere.”

Author: Celine

8 thoughts on “Book Review : To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

    1. AHHHHH I FOUND ANOTHER READER WHO CRAVED ABOUT THIS BOOK AS MUCH AS I DO! Since this book is so good, I think I might do some re-read someday in the future! Anyway, thank you so much for visiting Octavia!

      Liked by 1 person

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