• The Bilingual Reader

"To kill a kingdom" a fantasy novel by Alexandra Christo

Updated: Mar 20


 A siren is hunting for princes.

 A prince is hunting for sirens.

 Every year for her birthday Lira steals a prince’s heart. The Prince’s bane is what they call her. She is fearsome, ruthless, cunning – a true heir to the Sea Queen. 


 A mistake earns her a punishment from the queen. She is disowned and made into a human – the most ratchet and despised by the sirens creature. Of all the ships in the sea, she is rescued by the pirate ship of prince Elian. 


 Elian is the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Midas, but hunting sirens in hope of making the sea safe is his true calling. Now he is searching for a mythical weapon – a crystal, who will give him the power to destroy all sirens. 


 Honestly, I expected more from this book, probably because of all the hype around it, but still I enjoyed it very much. 


 At the beginning of the book is set the difference between sirens and mermaids and the reason as to why are sirens killing people. We also get a glimpse of the Sea Queen’s court and the dynamics of it.


 It is stated that contrary to the believe that the siren song can affect only males, females are also not immune to it. I think this change from the traditional view is a suiting one as “To kill the kingdom” is set to be a retelling of “Little Mermaid”. 


 However, I was not a fan of the relationship between Lila and Elian. In a way it reminded me too much of some of the relationships in Sara J. Maas’s “Throne of glass” books. I found some aspects of it to be abusive and toxic, and that’s just not something I can support. 


The character of Lila I found to be very interesting. As a part of her siren self is still with her, even when turned human, she is quick to anger and has a violent way of expressing it. Sirens do have a knowledge of the human world, but as Lila finds herself among humans she is perplexed. Reading about her perception of the customs and emotions of humans was fascinating.


Elian – to be honest – there were only two things I liked about his character: 1. His love and devotion to his family and his crew, and 2. The political manipulator that he is.

 Still he is not a match for Kaz Brekker (Six of Crows, L.Bardugo) who is (and probably will always be) on the top of my “mastermind manipulators in YA” list, but the prince of Midas is indeed a talented one. 


 Overall, I liked “To kill a kingdom”. It was refreshing to read a book told by the perspective of only two characters. For an action book, it does have a lot of exposition, which I’m not necessarily a fan of, but the writing style makes up for it. 


 I would recommend it as a dark fantasy / YA read! 

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Teddie Rafailova

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