To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo (Book Review)

Publisher: Hot Key Books
Page Count: 368

Before starting this review, I want to give a huge shout out to Ari @The Romance Corner Blog because To Kill a Kingdom was one of the books I won in her giveaway. I rarely win those, so when she messaged me I was over the moon (and looking at the two books that came my way and that I absolutely love, I still am over the moon now) and she deserves all the thanks for making this happen. And second, I also want to thank Marie @Drizzle and Hurricane Books for being my buddy reader for this adventure. Don’t forget to check out those lovely ladies’ blogs and to keep a lookout for Marie’s own review of the book.

Sooo, that was a lot of unrelated preface for my review. I am trying my best not to simply scream at you that I loved the book. However, from the get go, it had everything I liked in a story. Sirens, pirates and the cold ruthlessness and beauty of the ocean. I know that to Kill a Kingdom is a sort of retelling of the Little Mermaid, but I really didn’t have a hard time separating those two stories. First of all, Lira is a siren and there is a vast difference between sirens and mermaids in the book (SO appreciated that!! You know how fuzzy I get about those two getting mixed up together). And then I feel like the story just had a completely different vibe.

The descriptions were whimsical and dark. There was so much murder and ripping out of hearts in the beginning, I reveled in it and knowing what was about to come. We tried to pace ourselves, but at some point I just couldn’t stop reading anymore. I needed to know how long Lira could keep up her ruse, who’s hearts would be broken and who would survive the wrath of the evil Sea Queen. I wouldn’t claim that the book was entirely unpredictable, but it still kept you on your toes, with some cruel chapter-cliffhangers but an amazing conclusion in the end.

While I loved reading both Lira and Elian’s POVs, I think I can consider Lira being one of my new idols now. Her change was gradual and comprehensible, I loved how she discovered humanity and grappled to come to terms with siren-hood at the same time. Her hate-to-love-story with Elian never really seemed forced or suddenly uncharacteristically mushy, but rather involved daggers, fights and bickering that seemed true to their nature and was a lot of fun to read. The only thing I quarrel with a bit is the fact that Elian calls himself a pirate. He is a prince, a diplomat wherever he goes, and I don’t think he has ever plundered a ship? How can he be a pirate? I guess he may have taken the bounty of other pirate ships, but that’s just like him executing the law? To me he was a sailor and not so much a pirate …

I didn’t just love the main characters, but I also really fell for some of the side characters (mainly people from the crew, but not only). There was something about the style of writing that just made it really easy to picture everyone and every place. I would want nothing more than to travel through those kingdoms during a time of peace, as it sounds absolutely beautiful.

I hope that some of my rambles actually made sense, but most of all that my excitement and love for this story swept over to you. At some point during our buddy read, I was reminded of a picture of an actress I really adore and it just screamed Lira at me. I know that everyone pictures characters differently, but I couldn’t end this post without sharing it with you!

Doesn’t she just look like someone who could rip out your heart? And she definitely has pirate vibes too!

Fazit: 5/5 stars! Whenever anyone will ask me for a Fantasy recommendation in the near future, this will inevitably come up!

Did you read To Kill a Kingdom? Do you want to? Let’s talk about it!


44 thoughts on “To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo (Book Review)

  1. I’ve planning to read this one, and I’m so excited to see yet another good review of it! Especially knowing now that it distinguishes between sirens and mermaids (there’s a difference, thank you very much!!), I’m really hyped now. Hopefully I can get my hands on it soon…

    Liked by 1 person

    • The mermaids in this book definitely aren’t typical mermaids (they are quite pathetic to be honest and the merman are downright terrifying), but I was just glad that there was ANY kind of differentiation between the two.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Of course there is a difference between mermaids and sirens as any GM worth one’s salt will tell you! Or anyone who has read a bit of mythology! On the other hand it seems that sadly it’s not going to make it into my tbr.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great review for this book Kat, and I’m glad to see you enjoyed To Kill a Kingdom as well. πŸ™‚ I managed to get an ARC of this book and while I enjoyed it it didn’t end up becoming a favourite of mine, but reading other reviews around I feel like I’m in the minority there because everyone else seems to have loved it. I really liked both the main characters, and I fell for a lot of the side character too, and the fact that this was a fairytale retelling (of The Little Mermaid no less) is a major plus in my book either way.
    Again great review. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Beth! I think I still remember the time I read your review and it helped me in lowering my expectations, as everyone else was giving it such high ratings. But now I don’t remember what it was that didn’t make it one of your faves. Was it something you could put your finger on or just a general gut feeling?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. YAY fantastic review, Kat, I was so happy to buddy-read that one with you – even if I got a bit slower by the end of it all hahaha, I get why you couldn’t wait to read more, though. I really loved this book and both Lira and Elian were amazing protagonists, but yes, I especially LOVED how Lira changed and grew as the story went on, it was amazing to read. And that picture is SO Lira, agree!! πŸ˜€
    Once again, fantastic review πŸ˜€ x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! πŸ˜€ I was really happy to buddy read this book with you as well, even if I wasn’t the most accommodating buddy reader myself haha next time I will pace myself! (Restore Me is waiting on my shelf!!!!!) But I was just generally glad we did this again, it has been way too long.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s official. I HAVE to read this book. To start, I love that the distinction between mermaids and sirens is made clear. There’s nothing more infuriating that someone saying that they’re on in the same!! It sounds like such a dark tale and I wasn’t expecting that, but it sounds awesome. Brownie points for a hate to love relationship, even if Elian is a bit of a phony pirate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s really awesome! I still think that sirens have a lot of qualities that one would usually think of as being mermaid-like, but they were really two very different creatures in this book.
      There’s a lot of stabbing and ripping out of heart – I loved it! I really hope you’ll enjoy it too πŸ˜€ ❀


  6. I’m getting definite pirate vibes from that last pic! And ooohhh, I’m really glad to see you loved it! Also, congrats on the giveaway πŸ˜€
    Great review πŸ’› added this to my TBR !

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m so glad to see that you loved this book! πŸ˜€ I just recently got my hands on it and I’m beyond exited to have it in my hands. Amazing review!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. YESSSSS, I love the fact that I had a small part in influencing you to read this book. I was so nervous while you were buddy-reading it with Marie about whether you two will enjoy it, I’m so glad you did!!! I agree with all your points, Lira is the best, I adore her with all my heart!!!
    And the slow-burn romance was everything to me, it was so well done and I was screaming for them to get together already. It was just sooo good, favourite book right here!
    Great review ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ah amazing that you got this for the giveaway too!! AHH I SO RELATE TO YOUR REVIEW!! I just wanted to scream *I love this book* when I reviewed it too!! And yes you’re so right about how the description was whimsical and dark (that’s a great way to put it!!) Ahh I really agree about how awesome Lira was!! And the romance was so well done. I hear what you mean about Elias being more of a sailor (still liked that he was a bit on the dark side, killing sirens, though) And agree that it was so vivid with the setting and other characters too! Brilliant review!!! Love how enthusiastic you are for it too!! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Yes yes yes!!! I absolutely loved To Kill a Kingdom! I agree with everything you said and I just loved their relationship and how the story progressed! I also love the pirate crew and it was just so much fun! And the world was built very well! I want more! Also that actress looks a lot like how I pictured her in my head so yes!! Absolutely loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

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