Review Blog

Jul 06 2018

To kill a kingdom by Alexandra Christo

cover image

Hot Key Books, 2018. ISBN 9781471407390
(Age: 12+) Recommended. Told in the first person present tense, "To Kill a Kingdom" follows Lira, a siren princess who is only a few hearts off ruling the entire ocean, as she rebels against her mother's reign of cruelty. Having been encouraged most of her life that human traits were a sign of cowardice, Lira's mistake of protecting her cousin almost costs Lira her life. Instead she is forever changed and forced to embrace her 'disgusting' humanity - her only opportunity for redemption being to return with the heart of Prince Elian, the notorious siren hunter and heir to the golden kingdom of Midas. But is embracing her humanity such a bad thing for Lira? Particularly when the prince is devastatingly handsome and enchanted with her human looks. And what is Prince Elian planning now that he's sailing with only half his crew? Is there another way for Lira to return to her siren self?
Christo weaves a story which runs in parallel to "The Little Mermaid", using many familiar plot points interspersed with the murderous nature of sirens. "To Kill a Kingdom" is, as the cover betrays, in the same vein as works by Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo. It deals with coming of age issues, political games, and the importance of compassion, loyalty, and kindness. While Lira's mother is painted as an evil sea witch, the novel could also be taken as a lesson in dealing with bullying and the pressures of someone determined to inform the way you think. I would recommend to girls aged twelve and up who like fantasy and fairy-tale retellings.
Kayla Gaskell

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