ARC review, book review, young adult

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo (ARC Review)

Title: To Kill a Kingdom
Author: Alexandra Christo
Type: Fiction
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Retelling, Mythology, Mermaids
Publisher: Feiwel Friends (Macmillan)
Date published: March 6, 2018

A physical copy of this book was kindly provided by Raincoast Books, in exchange for an honest review.

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?

– My Review –

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What a fantastic book! To be honest, I’ve been wanting to read a mermaid-themed YA book or series for some time now, but have just been hesitant. Why, you ask? Well, because I was worried that the books that I had added to my TBR, matching this theme, would end up being disappointing. I mean, it’s happened to me with fae-themed book, and other types of books before. But I’m glad that I chose to read To Kill a Kingdom despite this little fear in the back of my head, because it was awesome!

I was hesitant when I flipped to the very first page, hoping that I wouldn’t have to really push myself to read it, because I had such high hopes for it. But, I shouldn’t have worried, because I became hooked from the very first page! To Kill a Kingdom was beautiful and bloody. There were some great action scenes, a great depiction of mythology, great world-building, characters that I became very attached to and invested in, and a plot that held my attention throughout! If I had had the time (a.k.a. no adult responsibilities), I would have read this book in one sitting!

I’m the type of person who normally enjoys violence in books and movies (as long as it’s well-done, of course), and the more blood the better! To Kill a Kingdom was very satisfying in that sense, since there was quite a bit of action (a lot of which involved fighting). I also liked that a lot of the plot was set at sea (something which I will never get enough of), and that the story involved a journey. I also really liked the interaction between characters, and more specifically, the interaction between Lira and Elian. The chapters alternate between the perspectives of these two, and are written in the first person. Some of these chapters I ended up audiobooking, and I was very impressed with the two narrators that had been selected for Lira and Elian.

The world in which the story of To Kill a Kingdom was set also felt very unique, to me. At first it felt like any other collection of fantasy kingdoms, but as the story progressed, the whole setting started feeling more unique to me. I would really like to learn more about each individual kingdom, and also want to spend more time with the characters that I have grown to love! This book was close to perfection for me, and the reason why I say “close to,” is because there was just one little thing that bothered me. The author chose to use Japanese names for a kingdom that did not feel at all Japanese to me. Those names felt out of place for me, and would occasionally pull me out of the story. Otherwise, though, I had no issue staying immersed in the world and characters that Christo has created! I really recommend this book to those who enjoy adventure, ocean-y / pirate ship settings, mermaids, princes, princesses, fantasy kingdoms, and fun-to-read quests!

– About the Author –


Alexandra Christo decided to write books when she was four and her teacher told her she couldn’t be a fairy. She has a BA in Creative Writing and works as a copywriter in London, both of which make her sound more grown up than she feels. When she’s not busy making up stories, she can be found buying far too many cushions and organizing food crawls all over the city. Alexandra currently lives in Hertfordshire with an abundance of cacti (because they’re the only plants she can keep alive).

– Purchase Links –

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14 thoughts on “To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo (ARC Review)

  1. “beautiful and bloody” Oh man lol! Thanks for the warning….I can be a baby sometimes when it comes to violence. Depending upon how descriptive the scenes are. And while I’ve been disappointed by a few mermaid books this one sounds SO amazing! I’m really hoping I love it as much as you and that I finally find a mermaid book that I love. Fingers crossed!

    1. Hehe you’re welcome! I figured that most people don’t enjoy violence like I do hahahaha. I hope you enjoy this one though! I obviously loved it a lot 😉

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