To Kill a Kingdom

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
Alexandra Christo
Star Rating
Reviewer's Rating
Sep 6, 2022

"I have a heart for every year I’ve been alive.” Lira, a Siren princess, has collected the hearts of
17 princes, one for each birthday. She lives her life under the sea, as the daughter of the Sea
Queen and future inheritor of the crown. Long ago, the sirens were wronged by humans, and are
now hell-bent on getting revenge by killing them. However, she makes a mistake just before her
eighteenth birthday, and her mom banishes her to the surface, turning her into a human (think
“Little Mermaid”). The Sea Queen tells her she can only return after she kills the prince of
Midas. When, by a stroke of luck, she’s saved by Elian, she forms a plan to end his life.

Elian, prince of Midas, prefers to live life on the edge instead of cooped up in the palace. He and
his crew are constantly out on the sea, hunting sirens and doing other things that pirates do, I
guess. (He’s a bit of a wannabe pirate.) He wants nothing more than to be free of his duties as a
royal, in favor of staying on the Saad (his ship) for the rest of his life, and adventuring around
the world. After returning back home from another sea voyage, he overhears a legend that
describes the key to defeating the Sea Queen, and decides that he needs to accomplish that to
bring peace. Setting sail, he later discovers something, or someone (yes, it’s human Lira), in the

Honestly, the more YA I read, the more mediocre it seems to get. Don’t get me wrong, this
wasn’t a terrible book, but it wasn’t too great, either. One thing I didn’t like about this book was
how confusing the worldbuilding was. There were dozens of different islands and kingdoms
mentioned all throughout, but, unlike other fantasy books, the author didn’t bother to provide a
map at the beginning. It just made everything a bit harder to understand. Also, Lira’s entire plan
changes so quickly. (Spoiler: At one moment she seems determined to kill Elian, and the next,
she decides to get revenge against her mom and suddenly doesn’t want to carry out her revenge
anymore). In addition, these characters just weren’t very likable. They seemed pretty
one-dimensional to me, and the author’s attempt at making Elian “funny and charismatic” just
wasn’t working. The first two-thirds of the book don’t do anything to further the plot, it’s just
them sailing around in the ocean. And the romance was so completely unnecessary. I don’t like
how when there’s a male main character and a female main character in a YA book, there always
has to be a romance. Especially since it came out of nowhere. However, this book did have some
fun parts, and the writing is pretty good. The first chapter does a great job of drawing you in, and
I was invested in the story for a bit. Alexandra Christo seems to be a talented author, this just
doesn’t look like her best work. I will look out for more of her books in the future. Overall, I
would recommend this book to people who enjoy dark fantasy. ⅖ stars.


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