“I was a siren and so I was a killer. It was never wrong or right; it just was. But now my memories are cruel dreams, twisting into merciless visions and accusing me of a past I can’t deny. The truth of what I am has become a nightmare.”
From the title and cover of the Alexandra Christo’s book, To Kill a Kingdom, I assumed I was going to get an interesting take on The Little Mermaid. I was definitely wrong. This book is Pirates of the Caribbean meets the Grimm’s version of The Little Mermaid mixed with some myth and politics.
I didn’t expect it to be so dark. The descriptions are not for the faint-hearted because some of them made my stomach turn – and I have an abnormally strong stomach. There’s a lot of violence and death and gore, but it all sort of worked well in my opinion. Lira wouldn’t be that intimidating to me if I hadn’t read a whole chapter detailing her seducing a prince with her song, drowning him, and then ripping his heart out with her bare hands. Lira’s character in general had nice growth because she started out as someone extremely heartless (despite having a collection of hearts), and she grew to actually care about people. It was nice to see!
Elian played the part of prince turned pirate well, and it was interesting to me that he and Lira mirrored each other in circumstance and even parts of their personality. Elian’s sass was my favorite thing ever, and he reminded me of Will Turner from Pirates of the Caribbean – minus Will not being a prince. He has a huge heart and wants nothing but good for everyone, and he’s just precious. The Sea Queen was by far the worst person ever, and I’m surprised by how heartless she was toward even her own daughter. I liked the side characters a lot as well, especially Madrid. I feel like she could have her own book with explanations as to how she got to where TKaK started. Her backstory would be really cool to see!
The only negative I really have is how long it took to really get going. Although the writing is really nice and descriptive, I felt like it dragged in parts. I did enjoy the dual perspectives because it was nice to see multiple sides to certain events that took place. The romance was nice without overpowering the plot or taking away from the character development in any way, so I definitely appreciated that.
All in all, I really enjoyed it! I hope Christo plans to revisit this world in other books because I’d definitely be interested in seeing more of Elian and Lira!
Have you read To Kill a Kingdom? What were your thoughts? Let’s have a conversation in the comments below!