To Kill a Kingdom | Book Review #19

Hey guys! Hope y’all are doing good and taking care of yourselves. I hadn’t been online much last month. I was contemplating a lot on how I run this blog and other stuff in life and thought of changing a few things. I needed a change and went with changing the color and format of some of my posts.

There have been many new readers on this blog, and I couldn’t visit their blog yet. I’ll be doing that soon, and before you go to the review, I wanted to say welcome to this blog!

About the Book

Title: To Kill a Kingdom • By: Alexandra Christo

Published by: Hot Key Books • On: March 6th 2018

Genre: YA Fantasy/ Dark Fantasy • Standalone

Pages: 361 • Format: Kindle eBook

Pace: Medium • Age: 13+

I have a heart for every year I’ve been alive.

There are seventeen hidden in the sand of my bedroom. Every so often, I claw through the shingle just to check they’re still there. Buried deep and bloody.

Princess Lira is siren royalty and revered across the sea until she is cursed into humanity by the ruthless Sea Queen. Now Lira must deliver the heart of the infamous siren killer or remain a human forever.

Prince Elian is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world and captain to a deadly crew of siren hunters. When he rescues a drowning woman from the ocean, she promises to help him destroy sirenkind for good. But he has no way of knowing whether he can trust her …

Goodreads

TW // Graphic Scenes of Violence, Blood, Slavery, Assault

Gist of the Story

This book is about a siren named Lira, who is the only daughter of the Sea Queen/ Sea Witch. Sirens have a sinister aura about them. They don’t feel empathy when they kill humans. They hunt human hearts because their magic is tied to those they procure. Lira was the only one to have the privilege to kill the princes and to keep their hearts. These scenes were too graphically described in the novel, which made this novel a dark one compared to the other books that I’ve read.

Prince Elian would be scowling at me if he were a real person because he hates nothing more than being referred to as Prince. Elian is a prince by birth but a pirate at heart. He likes to sail across the ocean to hunt sirens and adventures. The only siren he wants to kill is the Princes’ Bane, who has killed many princes’ across kingdoms. He wants to put a stop to this and retain the peace and safety of the people.

Lira is turned into a human because she disobeys her mother’s orders and is banished from her home. She somehow ends up in on Saad (Elian’s ship), hides under their noses, and helps them hunt the Princes’ Bane and kill the Sea Queen.

Sea and The Kingdoms

The most part of the book is set on the sea. Elian and crew keep sailing to different kingdoms to get hold of an object that will help them kill the Sea Queen and the Princes’ Bane.

The first few chapters took off fast, and it was that way until the middle. I felt the story kind of slowed down in the middle when these characters were looking out for a magical object that can save all their kingdoms.

Elian and Lira stop by many Kingdoms in the book. Each Kingdom worked differently and had its own theme of sorts. Eidýllion had a romantic air to it. We are told that people find their soulmate’s in this place

Midas seemed very opulent because everything was made of gold or was in golden color.
I could only picture Págese as snow-covered hills with snow on the ground and furs everywhere. They were the trickiest royals of the lot in the book.

The Crew and Kahila

This book reminded me of Six of Crows. The group dynamic was very similar to SoC. There were 3 characters always with Elain. 

Kye belongs to Elian’s court. He is diplomatic and keeps everything under control in the crew. In the beginning, he was very suspicious of Lira, but then he grew up to tolerate her in the end. He and Elain are best buddies. He sees into the matters that Elian forgets to consider or is too distracted to focus on. Kolton Torik is the first mate. He seems like a giant but is anything but that. Madrid is the second mate. I liked reading about how she joined Elian’s crew. She has a tragic past, but that made her strong and made her fight against slavery. She is one of the best characters portrayed in the book.

Kahila is Lira’s cousin. Lira is very protective of her. I liked their bond and how they helped out each other. It was awful to see her being punished for Lira’s so-called mistakes.

The One Who Holds the Heart

I found the pacing of the romance and novel quite alike with These Violent Delights. I didn’t mind the slow pacing of the book because the execution of the story was phenomenal. I like reading slow-burn romances, which was a bonus for me in this book. Elian and Lira hated each other from their first encounter in Saad. They started sharing their burdens and plotted together to find a way to get hold of the necklace. The chapters in Tallis Rycroft’s ship were dramatic, but it made the crew like her more after that. They couldn’t stand seeing Elain and Lira banter, which was the most amusing part of the novel. 

I liked Lira the most of all characters. She was unnerving, bold, and protective. There were only a few sirens who felt any emotions when they killed someone. The Sea Queen would either kill or punish those who showed any signs of regret or guilt. Lira would wear a mask of a cold, icy princess in front of her mother, but deep down, she questioned every action she had taken. I loved reading these character developments in Lira. Though she seems mellow in the end, she somehow retained the greyness in her character.

There was one part in the book that took me off guard. It was something to do with how humans can resist a siren’s song. I thought someone had to die or be killed, but the solution was far more clever and convenient for the plot, which I felt was very apt to the story.

So it goes without saying that the heart is very symbolic and wields a powerful sway in the story. I was pondering if the heart was what made one a human or not? Elian forgave Lira. Lira was ready to sacrifice herself to protect her kingdom. Unlike her mother, who was a dictator and served only her selfish desires, Lira cared about everyone in her kingdom.  

Overall

To Kill a Kingdom is dark, wicked, and adventurous. The book spoke about how sirens were different from mermaids. Mermaids were not as beautiful or charming as the Disney movie but were very aggressive and gruesome. 

It was good to read yet another novel set in waters filled with a quest that was equally terrifying and exciting at the same time. This is a slow-paced novel with morally grey characters, which also had some greek myth touch to it. It doesn’t have more magic aspects in it. So if you are someone looking for a pirate/romance fantasy novel, then this might be your book.

Hearts are forever scarred by our true nature.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
About the Author

Alexandra Christo is a British author whose characters are always funnier and far more deadly than she is. She studied Creative Writing at university and graduated with the desire to never stop letting her imagination run wild. She currently lives in Hertfordshire with a rapidly growing garden and a never-ending stack of books. Her debut novel To Kill a Kingdom is an international bestseller and her Young Adult fantasy books have been translated into over a dozen languages worldwide.

Website: http://alexandrachristo.com
Twitter: alliechristo

Have you read this book? What do you think about it? Please recommend me more books with morally grey characters in them.

Nothing can dim the light that shines from within.

— Maya Angelou

Paperbacktomes Gratitude Pic 2021

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