Monday, March 12, 2018

"To Kill a Kingdom" by Alexandra Christo


SERIES: Stand-alone
PUBLISHER: Hot Key Books
GENRE: YA Dark Fantasy
SOURCE: NetGalley

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?


I've shocked myself. It's kind of unsettling to admit this, but I kid you not when I say it's been years since I rated a book five stars. Who has been a reviewer for as long as me perhaps can get the personal struggle to find that little more, the unexpected, or just a particular something that makes you say a book is perfect. Well, I'm pleased to say I found my treasure.

This debut novel is absolutely brilliant! From the moment I read the very first line, I was captivated and honestly wasn't able to put the book down. Made no mistake though, it's not "The Little Mermaid" re-telling you would expect, it's far more than that. In fact, it's a completely different and darker twisted tale. I.Love.That. The plot is original, the world building is done skilfully—major kudos especially since it's a stand-alone novel—the characters are witty and interesting, and the romance is... not a typical romance. But then, Lira is not a classic siren and Elian is more of a pirate than a prince, so they are always on guard, and with a slow building trust going on the reader gets to connect with both. Also, one of the most fascinating things to me? I had 'My Jolly Sailor Bold' song from "Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides" playing in my head during the whole read. THAT made the whole story creepier and, if possible, even more magical.

With mesmerizing legends and lethal creatures invading your mind, and a strong desire To Kill a Kingdom pumping your heart hard and fast, this is a read you don't wanna miss. Alexandra Christo managed remarkably well to turn a fairy-tale into a nightmare, and then a nightmare into a dream.

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