To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

Book Review // To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

36120821Princess 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?


To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Retelling
Publication Date: March 6th, 2018

I finished reading this very hyped book—and I wasn’t crippled by disappointment? To quote May: “omg, lily liking a popular book?? is the world still spinning??” It may have stopped for a second, or two.

But, in all seriousness, To Kill a Kingdom is brilliant.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not perfect by all means; in fact, I found the initial chapters that introduce us to the world of sirens, mermaids, and the Sea, as well as the world above water with its various kingdoms, a bit dull at times—and I was afraid I’d end up resenting this book.

But much like an avalanche gaining speed, power, and force as it nears the bottom of the slope, I slowly came to be completely enraptured with it, as it turned more and more action-packed, volatile, and grand in every imaginable way.

To Kill a Kingdom is, in its essence, a retelling of the fairytale The Little Mermaid—but the only elements of the story that are adopted from it are that a sea creature is turned into a human girl by an evil witch, and her fate hinges on whether or not she manages to fulfill the witch’s quest. Only, in this book’s case, it’s not a mermaid that is cursed, but a deadly siren, and the evil witch is her mother, the Sea Queen.

Our heroine Lira, a royal siren, and daughter of the Sea Queen, is nothing like the sweet, innocent, gullible Arielle from the fairytale. She’s fierce, ruthless, and bloodthirsty.

“I can’t help but be mesmerized. Such beautiful creatures. Such bewitching, deadly things. Even as they sharpen their fangs on their lips and run taloned hands through their liquid hair, I can’t look away. Everything about them is awful, but nothing about them is hideous.”

Through an unfortunate turn of events, she mistakenly saves Prince Elian instead of killing him by stealing his heart, and so her mother punishes her by turning her into a human girl.

I was honestly so impressed by the development of Elian and Lira’s relationship—the tenuous (mis)trust, the banter, and the initial aversion between them—it was very believable, well-paced, and most significantly, I found myself rooting for them.

“It feels like the worst thing I’ve ever done and the best thing I could ever do and how strange that the two are suddenly the same. How strange that instead of taking his heart, I’m hoping he takes mine.”

To Kill a Kingdom does feel like a debut novel at times, but that somehow only served to reinforce the positive impression it made on me. It was both darker, but also funnier than I expected—it comprised so many clever puns (which I’m a sucker for) and witty quips, and it featured immensely rounded characters who were snarky and endearing, as well as great relationships (bless the bromance in this book!).

All in all, I’m so happy that such a hyped book for once worked out for me.


You’re interested in this book?
Buy it at Book Depository, either as Paperback or Hardback.

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Book Depository delivers free of charge worldwide, and if you purchase books using the aforementioned links, I get a small commission, at no additional cost to you!

You’ll have my eternal gratitude, love, and a life-long supply of virtual chocolate. 💞blue-watercolor-wash-texture-5let's chat!

Have you read this book, and did you enjoy it?
Do you like retellings?
(Send some recommendations of your favorite retellings my way? 💞)

xx, Lily



45 thoughts on “Book Review // To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo”

  1. I never read books in this genre, idek why, but this actually sounds really complex and suspenseful!! The Little mermaid was one of my favourite Disney movies growing up, and even though this is loosely based on it, that makes me want to read it more 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t read too many retellings, either, and I’m really surprised I enjoyed this one. I loved The Little Mermaid as well!! Mulan & The Lion King were my favorites as a child, though. :’)

      And ahh let me know if you read this book, Catherine, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I know! I was so nervous, because I usually end up being disappointed by hyped books. I can’t wait for you to read it, Tasya! Let me know, if you write a review for it. 💗 & ahh do you know any other mermaid retellings?


  2. Such a lovely review, Lily! I’m so happy you enjoyed this book so much – I recently read it and I’m so glad I did, I wasn’t sure whether or not I would enjoy it but I ended up LOVING it. The relationship between Elian and Lira was so great and I loved how it slowly developed as well. I SHIPPED THEM A WHOLE LOT ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Marie! 💕💕

      I was so nervous about reading this book as well & ahh I’m so, so happy you loved it! And I agree, I was afraid of their feelings for each other progressing too quickly, but it evolved very naturally. Definitely a pairing worthy of being shipped. 💖

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hyped books can be SO dangerous, but I am really glad this one worked out for you. I loved it so much when I read it as well, but I didn’t know if I could push it on people because of that pressure that comes with hype haha great review! Also, I really like the quotes your picked to showcase.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, they usually end up disappointing me. I’m so happy you enjoyed it as well! 😊 And I feel the same way, I love when people decide to read books because of me, but then I also get super nervous and anxious, because I want them to love it, too.

      Thank you for your nice comment, Kat. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. im pretty fond of retellings, as u can probably tell lmao, and yet i still havent read this….. i feel like the last person on earth who hasn’t tbh. im so so glad u enjoyed this so much!
    god im a sucker for good friendships icb we’ve been blessed with that as well here!! thanks for pointing it out!! :>>>

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh do you have some recs for me? 🌸 & please read it, Anna! (Though now I feel very nervous, because I’m probably hyping it too much.)

      Thank you 💞💞 And ahh sure, I always have an eye out for great friendships, they can make or break a book for me.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. making very specific shelves & ending up w like 8 books per each is my fav hobby….. glad to be of service!!

            oh yeah, marchetta does friendship so well! truly a Queen.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Really liked your review and glad you enjoyed the book! I’m in the first few chapters atm and loving it.

    I love East by Edith Pattou, a retelling of East of the Sun West of the Moon. The Witch’s Boy by Michael Gruber has several fairy tales woven throughout it, and it’s for younger readers, but I remember loving it. Oh! And it’s not a book, but I lovelovelove Ever After, a retelling of Cinderella with Drew Barrymore and Anjelica Huston.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Aila! Me too, I’m already eagerly awaiting news about her next books, she’s really talented. And yess, when it’s done well, the enemies-to-lovers romance is so great to read about.

      Thank you for your sweet comment! 💗


  6. Lovely review! Lira sounds like my favorite kind of characters, so now I’m even more excited to read this one! And I was already super excited, cause fairy-tale retellings are my favorite thing, especially the darker ones 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Glad you enjoyed this. I loved it, which was a nice surprise. I thought I would hate it like most the other overhyped books I have read. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Note 💌

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s