Taylor and Jessica Baugh
To Kill a Kingdom Book Review
Updated: Dec 28, 2020
Although the beautiful cover may have been what originally drew us towards To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo, we very quickly realized that this wasn’t just your classic fairy tale.
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For every year a siren is alive, they must take the heart of a human. Princess Lira has taken the hearts of 17 princes. On land, she is known by humans as the Prince’s Bane. After her greed causes her to anger her mother, the Sea Queen, she is turned into a human as punishment. In order to return home as a siren, she must bring her mother the heart of Prince Elian, known as the siren killer.
Despite being the heir to the throne of the strongest kingdom, Prince Elian wants nothing more than to explore. He has always felt more at home upon his ship, than anywhere else. He has spent his life chasing one goal, to rid the earth of sirens forever, saving countless lives. After saving the life of a girl who claims to know the final piece to his goal, how much will he risk for it? When love begins to seep through the cracks of betrayal, but how much destruction are they willing to inflict on their own worlds for each other?
We loved the characters in this book! Lira is so different from the stereotypical female YA protagonist. She is cold and malicious, and it is interesting watching her inner struggle as she begins to accept the humanity within her that her mother has tried to snuff out. Her character development is perfectly executed. Getting to watch Lira turn from the mindless follower, and slowly find her worth and abilities beyond her siren powers was all we could have hoped for. As her confidence grows, she is able to take on the Sea Queen, and bring the peace she has always longed for.
Elian was a very intriguing character. Being the heir to the throne of the most powerful kingdom never stopped him from pursuing his dreams of adventure. It was definitely a relief to see him end up fulfilling his dream, and giving his sister the kingdom at the end of the story. As the story progresses, Elian begins to accept his feelings for Lira, and it was heartbreaking to have to read as he discovers who she truly is, especially considering she killed his friend.
Our Favorite Parts
Lira and Elian’s relationship was excruciatingly frustrating to read, but it was worth it for the few adorable moments that were sprinkled about the pages. One of the best parts of this book was when Lira took a bullet for Elian. After being seemingly abandoned by the prince, Lira is left to die in an enemy ship. Against all odds, Elian returns to save her life, only to be nearly shot. Lira pushes him out of the way, and takes the bullet to save his life. It was heart wrenching, as he carried an injured Lira to his ship, with no concerns about his own wellbeing. This part truly showed the lengths they would both go through for each other.
Later, while climbing up a mountain to complete their journey, Lira and Elian sit outside the camp one night, and watch the stars. This is where they admit their feelings to each other, and have their first kiss! It was everything we could have hoped for, and well worth all of their frustrating bickering we had to endure.
Additionally, in this fictitious world, it is said that if you take a siren's heart, you are immune to their song. To be honest, we were originally concerned that Elian would end up killing Lira for her heart at some point, in which case we would have been completely wretched. Thankfully, we were spared the heartbreak, and what actually happened was much more unexpected. During the final battle, As all the sirens begin to sing, only Elian is not affected. This is because Lira loves him so much, and has given him her heart. This plot twist was AMAZING and absolutely romantic in every way, shape, and form. It was the perfect way to show how much Lira truly cared for Elian.
What Would We Want Improved?
There isn't anything that we would want to improve about this book. Although, we would love a sequel! That being said, the book did end well and we will just have to cope with the fact that a sequel is improbable. However, we would have loved to be able to see more of the aftermath of the battle, and how the characters dealt with the sudden termination of the Sea Queen, and the extreme change in leadership for the sirens. We have a difficult time believing that the world would have just become peaceful, with everyone accepting the new peace. Although, that is the joy of books, anything can happen.
***The Rest is Spoiler Free***
Overall, we would give this book a 4 out of 5 stars. We both genuinely enjoyed this book and thought it had an interesting twist to the classic fairy tale that made it more original. The characters were well written and perfectly flawed. We would recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick, but enchanting read. This book could easily be read in one sitting, with its fast paced adventures. We couldn’t have asked for more in a fantasy stand alone!