To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

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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?

Do you hear that? That chugga chugga choo choo as the ground rumbles and a distant whistle sounds in the distance? Yeah, that would be the hype train passing Mandy on by just like usual. I’ve yet again failed disastrously with a super hyped book, and honestly, I shouldn’t even be surprised by myself anymore yet I am.

I have to say that I really enjoyed the first few chapters. Lira’s chapters were brilliant. She was this fiery, cuththroat siren that was all like GIMME THOSE HEARTS. I’MMA CARVE THEM FROM THEIR CHESTS MUAHAHA. And I was allllllllllllllllllllll in. I loved it. Total antihero at her finest. I was really enjoying her chapters in the beginning.

I also really loved the retelling aspects. I thought they were clever and unique. Ariel was Ursula’s daughter and this crazy evil siren? And there were more similarities that overreached the entire novel, and I was SUPER impressed. I thought it was very cool.

I thought the writing was very professionally done. Trust me, you can’t tell this is Christo’s debut book at all, since the writing was quite good. It was a little boring for me, but it still felt like just well done writing. She described things beautifully and her world building was complex and detailed. I never felt confused and it was quite easy to figure things out.

So, that being said, I pretty much had an issue with everything else in the book. SO MUCH OOPS.

The characters? I felt nothing for them after the first few chapters. Actually, I felt nothing for Elian since the moment I met him. He felt like a shadow of a character when compared to Lira. He was just so boring. I flipped through his pages so speedily because I didn’t want to deal with him and just wanted to get back to Lira. And then Lira fell apart for me. Her focus got a little confusing and the moment she forgot what made her Princes’ Bane and just…just kind of dwindles for me. I grew to be bored and disheartened with both of them.

The other supporting crew? I find that I usually love a crew on a ship, but the supporting characters fell flatttttttttttttt. I know their names – well, sort of, but I still have nothing about what makes them them.

The romance…I felt like there shouldn’t have been any at all. It didn’t feel organic for me at all. They literally went from hating to each other to being all, “You have my heart!!” when I’m pretty sure Lira was still debating about snatching up Elian’s heart from his chest until like 3 chapters from the end?? There was nooooooooo chemistry between them at all for me, and I just wore a confused face every time they would be lovey dovey because WHERE. WHERE. WHERE WAS THE CHEMISTRY AND LEAD UP???

Merida kind of looks like Lira, but Merida is totally not a crazy siren so yay her?

It was also just really boring. At first, I was super captivated by the storyline and concept, but then it just….died out. I wasn’t super interested in the whole crystal thing and I wasn’t interested in…Idk what else there was. I skimmed so hard in this book.

Overall, I wasn’t a fan of this at all. I was just so bored and I didn’t find a connection to anything except the cool concept. I didn’t enjoy the characters, the plot, or the romance. I’m not sure how I missed the hype with this so much, but I just found myself flailing about when I should have been swimming elegantly like a siren or something. So I’m just going to be a hype mess princess. 1 crown and a Merida rating!


What do you think? Do you usually follow the hype train or miss it like me? Do you love or hate this book? Let’s discuss in the comments below!

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22 thoughts on “To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

  1. I liked this book, but it did have its flaws. Elian and the other supporting characters drove me nuts, especially since all they did was take jabs at each other. It got old. The story redeemed itself with Lira and her backstory. At least, for me, anyway. She was such a cool character.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I completely agree about the supporting characters! It’s such a shame because I feel like that had potential, if only the author would have dug into them a bit more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree! I feel like with many pirate novels out there or books with ships, it’s all about that crew or gang to really drive the book along. But it lost a lot without them. Totally agreed!


  3. Yeah I felt like the side characters had inside jokes that I never understood. I also never got why they follow someone like Elian, when he doesn’t even follow his own rules and all that. Glad I’m not alone lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES. I honestly thought it was just me skimming that made me miss the jokes. It felt like you were kind of just thrown into this crew that was all friends and you’re just waiting for them to let you in on the joke. But so very true, LOL.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh I don’t even know how to feel about this review! I need to read the book for myself I think…eventually. You did a wonderful job illustrating your points though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Kyera!! But yes, I feel like it’s one of those books that you are going to love and hate and you honestly have no clue until you pick it up and read it. Will be interesting to see what you end up thinking about it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh dear, oh dear. This sucks Mandy. I haven’t even picked up the book yet, but boring and flat characters are a big no-no for me. I’m sorry this didn’t live up to its potential epicness, I mean it sounds sooooo interesting. Alas, perhaps this pretty cover tells us lies. Wonderful review!

    Liked by 1 person

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