To Kill A Kingdom

To Kill A Kingdom

Book - 2018
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"Lira, a famous siren, must prove herself by stealing the heart of the man, a prince, threatening their race"-- Provided by publisher.
Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. Hearts are power, and with the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. When a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own, the Sea Queen transforms Lira a human as punishment. 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. Hunting sirens is Prince Elian's calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good-- but can he trust her?
Publisher: New York : Feiwel and Friends, 2018
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781250112682
Branch Call Number: YA FICTION Christo
Characteristics: 342 pages ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

"Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. Hearts are power, and with the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. When a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own, the Sea Queen transforms Lira a human as punishment."

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May 24, 2020

I really liked the story. Very powerful characters. But, I felt the ending was a little rushed. (Spoiler below)

~When they defeated the Queen it was just rush they barely had a moment were he was mad at her for lying and killing his friend. I almost feel like we didn't get a resolution. Also, some of the combacks from the two main characters reminded me of middle school. I wanted to roll my eyes at some of the lines in the book~ (End of spolier)

Other than that, it was a great book. I enjoyed it a lot. Really good plot kept me interested.

Feb 23, 2020

I did enjoy this book in the end, but the beginning was a real slog to get through. I found the premise very interesting, but the first-person view of two irritatingly overconfident characters, info-dumping on you for 10 chapters, almost made me quit. But once they finally meet, it does get interesting. The info-dump doesn't exactly stop (do we need to know the history of all these overly thematic ports of call), but there starts to be more adventure to get invested in. Once they both start being more humble and feel more real, I looked forward to reading about their journey.

Nov 19, 2019

I have a weakness for fairytale inspired books that are oh-so-creative with retellings. The ones that draw parallels and add a heavy dose of originality to the mix. This book was no exception.

Recommended if:
- Sirens, pirates, kingdoms and slow burning romance appeals to you
- You love both YA fantasy books and Disney movies

Oct 12, 2019

I liked the general story line of the book but was not a fan of the writing style, reminded me of my own writing style which I do not like. But overall the book was okay.

Aug 22, 2019

Fabulous book!!! I loved from start to end. All characters were likable (except the Sea Queen obvi), I liked how we can see Lira's change of emotions and her wonderful plan to overthrow the Queen, her mother. Lira was a very likable character especially since she wasn't heartless and cares a lot about her cousin and that she makes lots of sacrifices for her. As for Prince Elian, he was interesting and his devotion to his crew was admirable. I also like how he was not blinded by his hate for the sirens later when he finds out about her. The ending was enjoyable and left me smiling. This book I give 14 stars out of 10 without a doubt.

May 10, 2019

I have been infatuated with mermaids/sirens since I was a child. Add in solid fantasy that doesn’t follow predictable, recycled, plot-lines, and a slow burning romance and consider me sold. I loved everything about this book, and desperately want it to be followed up with a sequel because I want more adventures!

May 07, 2019

I found this to be a little bit predictable, but it was overall enjoyable and I liked the characters.

Christo sets up a detailed world, on land and under the sea. The sea kingdom rule by the Sea Queen is vicious and heartless. Lira is not a sweet little mermaid hung up on a handsome prince. Elian is a bit to cocky and murderous to be a prince charming. I loved the world-building in this book. I think it's definitely one of the better young adult fantasy books in that regard. I've been incredible frustrated with some of the recent YA fantasy books I've read because I've felt that the world-building is lacking. I appreciated the lore that Christo created rich detail and plausibility (as far as fantasy is concerned).

However, I was not too keen on some of the dialogue between characters. At times I thought Lira was ridiculously combative and aggressive when it didn't make sense for the context. Meanwhile, I felt like I kept getting hit over the head with the "Elian has swagger", "look how witty Elian is", or "isn't Elian the dreamiest, he has raven black hair - not just any black hair!" Supposedly, Lira and Elian have witty repartée; but, I did not think it was all that witty. I found myself rolling my eyes at a lot of the dialogue.

Additionally, there is another female character Yukiko. The name and cultural signifiers would suggest that the character is supposed to be Asian. Yuki is a Japanese female given name that can me "snow" while "ko" can child, depending on the kanji that's used. The character is interesting but definitely takes on the stereotype of "the Dragon Lady" that far to many Asian female characters are plagued with. A Dragon Lady is usually a stereotype of East Asian and occasionally South Asian and Southeast Asian women as strong, deceitful, domineering, or mysterious. Inspired by the characters played by actress Anna May Wong and other character depictions throughout much of 19th and 20th century literature and pop culture. I'd argue that Yukiko is 100% a "Dragon Lady" and it really annoyed me.

Despite the "Dragon Lady" stereotype and the, at times, awful dialogue. I truly enjoyed this novel. I thought the it had, "well-crafted fight scenes and vivid descriptions, Christo has created a world of beauty and monstrosity that will draw readers in." (Publisher's Weekly) And without spoiling the ending, I really appreciated how the novel ended and I was not expecting it, so that is always appreciated.


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