TO KILL A KINGDOM
Y’all, To Kill A Kingdom was good. So good. If you haven’t read it, you absolutely should.
Siren Princess Lira has seventeen hearts under her bed. And not just any hearts--she’s hand-ripped the hearts out of princes. She’s known as the Prince’s Bane and when it comes to hearts, she’ll settle for nothing less than royalty. So when one of her mother’s subjects tries to take the heart of the siren-killing prince, Lira does what’s necessary to ensure she’s the only one ripping his heart out. But killing one of the Sea Queen’s creatures brings the worst kind of consequence to Lira: humanity. Now, to return to her siren glory, she has until winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to her mother.
Prince Elian is at his best when he’s at sea, when he’s less of a prince and more of a siren killing pirate. He’d much rather rid the world of the murderous sirens than ever be king. Just thinking about being bound to land causes him suffering. When he rescues a drowning girl in the sea who promises to help him rid the world of sirens, can he really trust her? And what will he have to give up to make the world safer?
If you don’t know by now, I LOVE vicious female characters. Lira is brutal and fierce as she fights for what she wants and loyal in spite of her soulless mother, the Sea Queen. But what I loved the most about her was how her character struggles over what’s right versus what’s expected. Don’t we all feel that way sometimes, particularly when it comes to family? Lira’s character subtly evolves as the book goes on, her struggle between being the person she was created to be over who she wants to be is strong until the very end, but her snark and ferocity remain the same even as their targets change.
Elian was a bit less impressive. Sure, his character changes, but not because he’s more understanding of sirens or because he dives deep into his soul and realizes it’s genocide to kill a race. He struggles to kill the sirens, but in the end he only changes because he unknowingly falls in love with a siren.
Overall, I loved the characters (strong, smart, funny, good banter). I’ll admit that I had to convince myself to read the first few chapters because it does start a bit slow, but the book is well written. I’d absolutely read another book written by Alexandra Christo. Here’s my one qualm: the ending happens way too quickly.
It seems like we’re rushed through the climax. Lira breaks Elian’s trust, she’s turned back into a siren, there’s a fight, Elian realizes he loves Lira and she loves him, and then it’s suddenly happily ever after. What happens to the dude they handed over to the Pagos royals? What happens to Kahlia? Does Elian become the king of the sea? And most importantly: does Lira ever explain herself to Elian? These are just a few of the questions I was left wondering, and felt disappointed that they weren’t answered in the end.