To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
To Kill a Kingdom
by Alexandra Christo
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?
Lira was a pleasure to read. She was bad. She enjoyed being bad. She was fun and vindictive and went after what she wanted. She was cruel without being wishy-washy or apologetic.
But her love for her cousin was also the driving force behind many of her decisions. Even though her mother tried to beat her love, and any semblance of humanity, out of her, she still clung to her instinct to protect her younger cousin, and continued to examine this instinct and question her innate cruelty.
The prince was a little too full of himself - he just loved adventure and couldn't settle down in his native kingdom. Despite his renown for hunting sirens, he seemed a bit young and inexperienced to have such loyalty from his crew.
And the crew were also snarky, fun-loving characters. Everyone was sassy, and even the side characters had strong independent personalities and ambitions.
Every time I read a character description I basically pictured Ariel and Eric from Disney's The Little Mermaid. Christo's clothing descriptions were spot-on without being cheesy.
World-building was great. Christo left in just enough to recognize the source material, but also made it distinctly her own. The history mentioned in the word in unique and well-referred to, so even though you know the story of the little mermaid, the plot kept you guessing. I particularly enjoyed the references to a siren goddess, whose death paved the way for a peace treaty that the sirens were left out of.