Thursday, May 24

When 'The Little Mermaid" Becomes Vicious and Cunning: TO KILL A KINGDOM

"I have a heart for every year I've been alive. There are seventeen hidden in the sand of my bedroom. Every so often, I claw through the shingle, just to check they're still there. Buried deep and bloody.""

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?






The Little Mermaid is far from being my favorite tale... the idea of giving up my voice FOR A GUY of all things (smh), has always seemed "a bit" extreme. With that being said, upon hearing of it, I was immediately taken by To Kill a Kingdom. I mean, that cover is so pretty, and the novel was marketed as vicious and dark, with the protagonists hell bent on killing each other

I was so ecstatic about the possibility of seeing a killer 'Ariel' that, right after I purchased my copy, I dove right into it. (Omfg, water pun, DO YOU SEE IT!?) Now, my friends, I'm satisfied to say that To Kill a Kingdom was all I was promised and more, and I couldn't be happier I decided to give it a chance. 


WHY I LOVED IT: 

+ All the heart eyes to the world building. Well-described, layered and without any info dumps, Alexandra Christo created one of the most intriguing worlds I've ever read about. In a standalone, which also happens to be her debut (!!) novel = I am greatly impressed. 


Elian produces a small vial from his pocket with a flourish.

“Poison?” I muse. “Were you keeping that around for your future wife?” 
“It’s not lethal,” Elian says. For a killer, he seems oddly offended at the idea. “And no.” He pauses, then turns to me with a half-smile. “Unless you were my wife.” 
“If I were your wife, then I’d take it.”

+ Best hate-to-love romance you'll find, no kidding. Lira wants slash needs to kill Prince Elian to survive, while he viciously hates all sirens and would readily murder her if he knew she was one. They had so much hatred towards the other's people (sea folk vs. humans), and it was delightful to watch them slooooowly come to the realization that, yeah, they actually aren't that different, and could help each other. 

+ A+ banter! Lira especially is so darn sassy and sarcastic. Plus, she is quite prickly, and because I can be quite prickly, that is something I adore seeing in characters. 


I reach out my hand to pull her up, and the look Lira gives me is nothing short of poisonous. 
“Do you want me to chop it off?” she asks. I keep my hand hovering in the space between us. 
“Not particularly.” 
“Then get it out of my face.”

+ Lira was so. freaking. badass. On the one hand, she was an inhumanly strong siren, who could kill WITH HER BARE HANDS. But the fact that her human body was physically untrained & yep, she got kicked in the butt because of that, did NOT signify that she was weak in that form. IN FACT, the way she was portrayed as a smart, headstrong, more independent than ever woman clearly showcased that true strength has jackshit to do with physical power

+ The emphasis on family and friendship made me so happy! Elian has a loving family at home, who may not agreed with his adventures, but still support and love him, instead of trying to suffocate him. *cries* And his crew, wow, his crew is kickass and loyal and so darn lovely. And then Lira.... I cannot go into detail about her side of the story, because of fearing I'd spoil the best parts, but rest assured, family will have a huge role in her story. 

I did finish the book a tad bit unsatisfied, though. *sad face* BUT that might very well be because I was ridiculously ecstatic for the concept, and that made me expect a shit ton of coolness. And ya know how hard it is to live up to that high expectations, huh? With that being said, To Kill a Kingdom was a deliciously dark fantasy that I enjoyed from start to finish.


Conclusion:
4 happy cor-maids

I apologize, I couldn't stop myself. *hangs head in shame*


8 comments:

  1. Quote: "the idea of giving up my voice FOR A GUY of all things (smh), has always seemed "a bit" extreme."
    Haha, for sure! Old fables tend to be sexist, of course. I'm not a fan of retellings, but I'll give them that - they finally do the female protagonists justice.

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    1. I love retellings exactly because of how refreshing it is to see my old favorites - or just tales I knew - in a new light, sometimes a totally feminist light. :)

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  2. I so rarely read fantasy but a read a review of this one ast month that stopped me in my tracks and convinced me that I had to read it. I ordered it that same day. Aaaand, I still haven’t read it. I’m so glad I saw your review because it puts the book back on my radar. Lira sounds totally fierce! P.S. The cor-maid is awesome! LOL

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    1. Tanya, read it, please!!! I'm so excited to see what you think. I'm glad my review helped you put the back on your radar. Lira was SO AWESOME. Wow, I'm still stunned, I loved her.

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  3. Lol I love the quotes you shared! I haven't gotten around to reading this but after hearing about the badass female lead and a hate-to-love romance with A+ banter? I must read it now! That's literally everything I look for in a book so I'm really glad to hear you thought it really worked together nicely. Lovely review, Vera!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

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    1. Yay, I'm so glad I convinced you to give this a chance!! Lira was hella strong and the romance was so shippy, full of emotional (but in no way cheesy!) moments and sarcasm. Thank you!

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  4. Glad you enjoyed it! I've been saving this book for the summer and I can't wait to read it! I love hate-to-love relationship and I've heard great things about the banter :D

    Tasya // The Literary Huntress

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    1. I really hope you'll love this, Tasya!! The banter was FANTASTIC, makes you ship these two from super-early on.

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