To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
Publication: March 6th, 2018
Genre: Ya Fantasy
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 siren kind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?
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Lira is the fearsome Prince’s Bane. She is feared and the most ruthless siren besides her mother. But, in her fight to prove herself to her mother Lira kills a mermaid and saves a prince she is supposed to kill (unbeknownst to her because she was trying to kill him also.) Because of her disobedience, the Sea Queen banishes her from the kingdom and turns her human. If she wants to get into her good graces then she must return with the heart of the siren killer. Elian is a prince and pirate who destroys and kills sirens. After the Prince’s bane killed one of his friends he vows to kill her next. But, when she comes to him he thinks he has his chance. But then she disappears. Finally, out at sea, he finds a girl floating in the ocean and bring her onto his ship. Lira knows who he is but he does not realize the human girl in his midst is actually the Prince’s Bane. They are going to find the eye of Keto but they both want it for two different reasons. The plot is really good and I was engaged from the beginning.
Our two main characters are both terrible murderers. They are both products of circumstance and their duties to their kingdoms. Both want to be free. Both want a different world. But both still kill because it is all they know. Lira aka the Prince’s Bane is a vicious siren who kills a prince every year on her birthday. She is known across all the kingdoms and feared. She is abused by her mother, the Sea Queen, who finds her weak and worthless no matter what she does. She longs to reign over the ocean and take her place as queen. She has a character change because of what she learns about humanity and when she realizes she needs to take her rightful place in her kingdom. Elian is a prince by law but a pirate by heart. He is a cruel siren killer and known throughout all the kingdoms and the underwater kingdom as the siren killer. Elian’s heart lies with the open waters of the ocean and being a king is something he fears. He doesn’t want to be tied down into one place. He wants to explore and have adventure. He kills sirens because he has to keep the world safe but he has never been able to kill the Prince’s Bane. He also has a character change when he learns about sirens and sees there might be another way to get the peace he wants. The side characters are also amazing. I loved the pirates Madrid and Kye and Lira’s cousin Khalia. The Sea Queen is evil and horrible. She was a damn good antagonist.
The writing is easy to understand and enjoyable. There are times I felt it was too wordy and had a little too much description. But, I did love how vivid the world was and how the author built this world. The description of the mermaids, sirens, merman, and different human races were really good. I also loved how different every kingdom was. I would read more from this author because she hooked me into the story really quickly. Like page one. I also loved how she wrote all the characters and the diversity in them as well.
This was a slow burn. Lira and Elian started with a lot of banter and jabs at each other and I am happy to report even when they got together that didn’t stop. If you like your fantasy heavy on the romance then this won’t be your speed. I don’t mind that. But, for me, the reason this was 4 stars is that I was hoping it would pack more of an angry punch in the romance. At first, Elian is not aware of her identity but he doesn’t trust her and she knows he is her enemy. I was wanting more of what Daughter of the Pirate King gave me which is this sexy unwanted growing romance. This was more jokes than they kind start liking each other. It wasn’t as exciting. I loved it more for how ruthless they were with each other than how cute. But I still liked it.
“So many hearts.” Her voice is angelic. “You’ll soon run out of room to bury them all.” I lick my lips. “Maybe,” I say. “But a princess must have her prince.”
I become the Princes’ Bane, a title that defines me throughout the world. For the kingdom—for my mother—I am ruthless. And that ruthlessness makes each and every sea creature certain I can reign.
“If you’re not careful, the only thing you’ll find is danger.” “Maybe that’s exactly what I’m looking for.”
“Lies aren’t answers.” “But they sound so much better than the truth.”
And I don’t make a habit of turning my back on fearsome women.
“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.”
We are not naïve little heirs to be molded as they wish. We are warriors. We are rulers.
Any human who takes a siren’s heart will be immune to the power of their song. Only Elian didn’t need to take my heart; I gave it to him.
Only now she is something more than just a siren, or a girl masquerading as a pirate. She is a goddess.