When a dark retelling of The Little Mermaid blows your mind – TO KILL A KINGDOM by Alexandra Christo


To Kill a KingdomTITLE: To Kill A Kingdom
AUTHOR: Alexandra Christo

RELEASED: March 6, 2018
PUBLISHER: Feiwel & Friends
FORMAT: Hardcover

GENRE: YA Fantasy / Retelling


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?


I saw this book everywhere when it was just released and.. well.. I couldn’t not get myself a copy and then neglect it for a while? I am proud to say I read it way sooner than some other releases I pre-ordered though. [I’m definitely not staring at Legendary, Lifel1k3 and Ace of Shades right now..] Oh well – I’ll get to them eventually! But first.. It’s time for my review on To Kill a Kingdom

The good

Let’s start with the most obvious – this is a retelling. A retelling of The Little Mermaid to be precise. But by adding sirens and pirates this simply is so much better than just another retelling! It added so much to the story. Not to mention how To Kill a Kingdom was way darker than I expected it to be. I didn’t even realize it needed that until I started reading.

Technically, I’m a murderer, but I like to think that’s one of my better qualities.

Elian, one of our main characters, is obviously struggling with himself from the start. Wanting to live a free pirate life, but being the heir to the throne is not the greatest combination. I do wish we had some more idea of how it all went down at the end of the book. No spoilers but I really could’ve used some more of my questions answered?!

As for Lira – she was wonderfully faulted and dark and evil and yet so human. She struggles with who she wants to be versus who she has to be. Her evolution is definitely one of the aspects in this book I loved most. I really feel like it was done properly, so yay to Christo for that!

To them, the sea is never the true danger. Even crawling with sirens and sharks and beasts that can devour them whole in seconds. The true danger is people. They are the unpredictable. The betrayers and the liars.

Putting those two characters together was everything I needed it to be – no doubt about it. You could feel the hate, the curiosity, the interest, the intrigue. All right from the start. It definitely held my attention throughout the entire story because I couldn’t wait to find out who’d succumb first. Even more so since they both aren’t characters to simply give up a fight!

I read this in a day. Started in the morning, ended half an hour before bedtime. If that doesn’t tell you how much I liked it – apart from everything else I mentioned so far – I really don’t know what will. It read like a train, I’m a sucker for retellings, I love how dark this story is. I love pretty much everything about it!

The bad

There’s this part of the ending I really didn’t like though. Something simply changed, went too quickly [okay, two somethings] but.. it isn’t so bad I can’t cope. I just wish it was done differently.

On a side note – nothing good nor bad – I kept reading Elian as Elain because my brain is weird like that and it made me realize how this story would’ve kicked even more ass with two female MC’s?! Like?! YES PLEASE?!

Almost a new favorite, but not entirely! I loved the darkness, the originality of this story but the ending still bothers me a bit for some specific reasons. All in all, definitely worth a read if you love retellings – especially dark ones!


Licorice Allsorts - BulkMunches! Yes, of course! Well.. The only thing that was mentioned an awful lot was licorice. Unfortunately both me and my boyfriend don’t necessarily like the sweet so.. Googled image-time? Sorry?!

Do you like licorice? What’s your favorite candy / sweet?
Any other dark retellings I should know about?




10 thoughts on “When a dark retelling of The Little Mermaid blows your mind – TO KILL A KINGDOM by Alexandra Christo

  1. I haven’t read this and retelling aren’t my go to genre, but your review has my interest piqued. Thanks Kathy.


  2. I’m so, so happy you loved this book, Kathy! ❤ I loved it SO much more than I thought I would when I read it a couple months ago, it was so brilliant and, even if it was darker than I thought it would be, I still loved it. These characters were too awesome 😀


  3. I just ordered a copy and I can’t wait to read it! Great review as always! 💕


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.