Badass Protags · Fairy Tale Retellings · Three Stars

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

To Kill a Kingdom

Summary: 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 unsavoury 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?

Edit: With more concentration, I decided to bump it down from 3 stars to 2.5 stars.

Review and Spoilers!

You can read it on my GR as well!

3 Stars

I’m trying to figure out something.

How this got so many five-star reviews when it’s crawling with tropes?

Seriously ?

I don’t regret dropping every book I was reading to read it but I could have waited a couple of months after I read the arc of Sea Witch to read it..

This book start out with such promise and just fell flat to me. I don’t know because I’m not really a fan of Little Mermaid but more of a Beauty of a Beast girl so reading a retelling of is not really in my radar. ( Even tho I do have the arc of the Sea Witch which I just mentioned that supposed to be retelling of it that supposed to be almost like Heartless by Marissa Meyer.) But since everyone and their baby mama was gushing about this book and I was denied a request to the arc of it, I decided to read it. It did started strong with it being witty and fresh but started to get boring and sterile towards the end.

So let me gave you the rundown of the plot.

It’s a about young Siren Princess, Lira who collect hearts of princes every year for her birthday which the hearts strengthens her siren powers. She lures young princes with her song which she takes their hearts which give her the nickname” The Prince’s Bane”. She hopes to become the Sea Queen and constant tries to prove have self worthy in the eyes of the current Sea Queen,her wicked tentacled mother. The young prince, Elian,is more of a pirate than a prince who would rather be on his ship hunting down siren than ruling the Golden Kingdom of Midas. He’s constantly at war with the duty of being a prince and day ruling and the duty to be on the sea with his crew on his ship. So when Lira’s mother turn her into a human which stripped her of her song and powers and tells her to bring back the princes heart as prove her worth to be queen she gets save by Elian. Elian and his crew is on a quest to find a powerful crystal which could end the war being the humans and the sirens and maybe killing all the siren.

Sounds good right?

That’s what I thought too in the beginning before it got sloshed down with over used tropes and writing that love using the phase ” like a” to describe everything..

Let me get to the two main characters.

Lira

“You are a little heartless today, aren’t you?”
“Never,” I say. “There are seventeen under my bed.”

Lira was honestly the saving grace of this book with her bloody thristy and witty self. She was such an interesting character cause she struggling with being as ruthless as her mother in order to be queen or show some humanity through the whole book. She witty, sarcastic and can go toe to toe with Elian. I loved being in her head and seeing how her opinions changed about human and the concept of humanity while being a human.She goes from wanting the humans dead to wanting to help them along with her people. She always had a sense of it but had to hide it from her mother when she was a little girl. I love how protective she was of her little cousin which do anything to keep her safe. Her character development during the course of this book was simply amazing. I’m actually kind of upset that we really didn’t see her transition from being the princess to the sea queen, was she able to change how sirens are being seen in the kingdoms and offering peace between them. Also I wonder if the sirens stop hurting for hearts,what they used to show they got a year old? Maybe threw a birthday party? ( Yep A plot hole people!) Honestly She should have the last chapter instead of Elian but the book as a whole felt like the author was writing more for from than her even tho he really didn’t develop.. She’s also the reason why this book will get the ” Badass Protag tag” on it.

Elian

“TECHNICALLY, I’M A MURDERER, but I like to think that’s one of my better qualities.”

Oh boy Elian

Elian started off so freaking strong( I mean look at his opening sentence! That’s how you introduce a character!) but frazzled towards the middle of the book and become a very stagnant character at the end. To me he didn’t grow at all and just stayed the same. In his chapters he was pretty cool but in Lira’s chapters, he’s a completely different character and was getting frustrating. I know it’s perceptive of a character who wants to kill him and have zero trust in him but come on. You can’t make me feel sympathy towards him in his chapters and make me root for Lira to rip his heart out and present it to bitch mom so she can get the kingdom from her in her chapters. It’s like the author is trying to hard to use the witty asshole with a heart of gold trope. He didn’t have any character development to me because I feel like he didn’t learn anything or grow as a character. I mean sure he did fall in “love” with Lira which was a Siren but did his opinion actually fully change about them? I know he’s not going to hunt them again since he’s dating the head siren but it never really stated how he truly feel about them. Also I feel like him somehow convincing his parents to give the kingdom to his sister was a copout and a way for him to just be 100% pirate instead of finding a way to find balance in being future king and pirate and being ok with being both. I mean his girlfriend is 100% being the sea queen which she wanted but still could have adventures while still ruling. I wanted more from him cause he started which such potential but was victim of an overused trope. Also for him to be a siren killer, he only killed like two sirens on-screen in this book with one of them almost killing him in a process. That’s some siren killer he is…

Side Characters

A lot people love this Kye but I couldn’t stand him at all and was eye rolling every time he appeared. Between him being such a guard dog for Elian that he needed a bone and being such a flirts asshole toward Madrid give me sea sickness and I was land the whole time. He was a tired trope as well cause he almost remind of a more asshole version of Carswell Throne from TLC and Finick Odair from THG. He was such an annoying character to the point I wish Lira would have taken his heart and fed it to the Lira’s cousin which was an awesome character! Madrid was ok but she remind me of Mor from ACOTAR and Alice from Twilight. She became the female friend that hero relied on but then heroine became good friends with and show her the ropes of the new world she’s in.( which is also a used trope)

The Romance

HAHAHA !!

Romance?

What Romance?

That was the most sorry attempt of the enemies to lovers trope that I love so much I have even seen and I have seen sorry attempts before. I mean they had the witty banter down pat but that’s the only they had together cause to me it never fully transition to them being truly friends before they started kissing on each other. I was able to tell in her pov that she may was catching feelings but still was in the mind of taking the crystal and maybe killing him. I faintly saw it in his pov when she got shot but still wasn’t enough for me to convinced that they should be together. Them being friends is more plausible than being lovers by the end of the book. So by all means the romance was rushed to me. I love slow burns but slow burns that go somewhere and not stay in the witty banter stage for the major of the book and not go anything deeper.

The Writing

I’m just going to give some word stats for this one cause it was couple phases and words that were used a lot.

“Like A”- 100 times used

“Feels Like”- 29 times used

“Like An”-11 times used

Perhaps- 32 times

Besides- 62 times

The author loves using the phase ” like a” to describe something does she?

The tropes

Let’s see we have the

Enemies to Lovers

The witty asshole hero with a heart of gold.

The witty asshole best friend which the fandom loves.

Having a female character who was once a slave but now befriends with the hero and then become friends with the heroine.

The parents having high exceptions for the child and not listening to the child.

An evil parent who abuses the child and thinks of the child weak and don’t live up to their expectations.

Two people who don’t like each other acting like a couple in order to steal something.

The only thing we were missing was the ” one room and bed available in a hotel” trope.. I mean that’s totally a fan fave! lol

All and All I really don’t understand the all these five-star reviews cause it’s things we have seen before and being executed in a very mediocre way.

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