“It started with a prince, as most stories do. Once I felt the thrum of his heart beneath my fingers, I couldn’t forget it.”
Wow. I’m ready to forsake my entire life, find a pirate crew, and live on the seas hunting for my next read because this book was SO GOOD. It should be named To Kill a Reading Slump, because after The Wicked King I thought I’d just slowly wither away until The Queen of Nothing and never be consumed by another book. But, To Kill a Kingdom was un-put-downable, true candy, a pearl amongst other lackluster YA books.
Known as The Prince’s Bane, Lira is a siren, who, every year on her birthday, steals the heart of a prince. And no, we’re not talking make him fall in love with her steal, more like rip his still beating hearts out of their body as he drowns steal. This a LOOSE Little Mermaid retelling, and Lira is, thankfully, no Ariel—She doesn’t want to be where the people, doesn’t want to see them dancing, walking around on those, what do you call them? Oh, feet! (okay I’ll stop now). When Lira breaks one of the most important siren rules, her mother, the Sea Queen, gives her the worst punishment a siren can receive, turning her into a *gasp* HUMAN!!!
Left for dead in the middle of the ocean, now with two legs instead of her tail and no siren song (but she can still talk), Lira is rescued by none other than Elian, our other POV, the golden prince, the pirate captain with a jawline that can cut glass, and who just so happens to be a siren hunter set on killing the Prince’s Bane. Do I sense enemies to lovers??? Yes, yes I do, and I am so here for it.
“It’s like holding a story rather than a person; she feels wild and infinite in my arms.”
Did I already mention how much I love To Kill a Kingdom and want to shout about it from the rooftops? Well too bad because I LOVE TO KILL A KINGDOM. Lira and Elian are one of my new favorite ships. What begins as murderous intentions on Lira’s end and extreme distrust on Elian’s—he doesn’t yet know they’re enemies and she’s the Prince’s Bane—evolves into a dynamic of playful and sarcastic banter with murderous undertones (THE GOOD STUFF) and Lira and Elian fighting side by side and risking their lives for one another (ALSO THE GOOD STUFF.)
Aside from Lira and Elian’s relationship—which is amazing and wonderful—this book also has a cast of side characters with fully developed personalities and stories that I completely adored and an immersive world. I’d love to see a spin off book set in the same universe so we can explore more of the world!
“They celebrate love as though it’s power, even though it has killed far more humans than I ever have.”
If isn’t apparent already, I love this book. Anti-heroines, enemies to lovers, slow-burns, murderous banter as flirting, pirates, fairytale/folklore vibes, what more could I want in a book? If you haven’t read To Kill a Kingdom, do yourself a favor and pick it up and then proceed to not be able to put it down. In the meantime, I’ll be sailing across the seas in my pirate garb, hunting for my next book, and demanding Alexandra Christo write another book set in the same universe.
“Love and madness are two stars in the same sky. You cannot build a roof to keep out last year’s rain.”