“I have a heart for every year I’ve been alive.”
Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) Review. The below opinions are my own. The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.
Release Date: 03/06/2018
Hi, my name is Wren and I am a firm believer in mermaids and sirens. How are we to know that mermaids don’t live deep down in the bottom of the Pacific? We haven’t explored 97% of the ocean, so you can’t tell me that I am wrong.
My sister and I have always had an obsession with mermaids. Whether we are talking about selkies, sirens, water kelpies or mermaids themselves, we have always been team them. When they popped up on the live action Peter Pan (Jeremy Sumpter Sumpter Sumpter) and they were evil, I fell in love with them more. When Pirates of the Caribbean came out with their fourth movie and I heard there were mermaids, you can bet your bottom dollar I was in that theatre.
So it is 102% safe to say, that books with mermaids or sirens or anything involving the creatures of the deep are automatically on my TBR. What is not safe to say is if they are actually going to be good or not. And let me tell you my fellow merlovers, there are some pretty questionable books out there involving our friends of the ocean.
But, To Kill A Kingdom was not one of them. I am half tempted to change my front door to the cover of this book I love it so much. Maybe a banner hanging off my balcony to announce to the world that this book is the bomb dot com would be a better option. Or maybe I will create a fin to the colors of the cover and just have it as an ice breaker with non-book people.
Too much? Or not enough?
Lira is the princess of the sea and goes by the name The Prince’s Bane with those with feet. She is a siren, which is drastically different than a mermaid, and a siren’s job is to take hearts. Lira has a heart for every year she’s been alive, and they are all prince hearts. That’s right folks, this princess has hearts of only princes, and I don’t mean that figuratively.
Lira is such a great, strong and independent protagonist. Or… antagonist depending on how you look at it. It is such a refreshing feeling when you find a… er… main character that is strong besides the abuse that she receives. Her mother, the queen of the sea, is the epitome of an abusive parent, so trigger warning for those of you mermaids who have been through some traumatic and horrible things.
This story touches on family a lot. There is family that wants something different for you, there is family who mistreats you, and then there is family that accepts and supports you. Family does not always have to be blood, and that is important here. Family is filled with the people who love and support you and have your best interest at heart. Sometimes those who are blood-related to you, don’t make the cut.
When Lira gets her prince’s heart too soon (not on her birthday, per usual) the queen is furious with her daughter and means to put her in her place. That situation brings in our next contestant: Elian, the Prince of Midas.
Elian doesn’t want to be landlocked, and takes matters into his own hands. He knows about the terrible creatures called sirens and he knows what they do to people. So, he makes a crew that sole purpose is to sail the ocean and kill sirens. He’s basically Nikolai: a pirate who happens to be a prince (and if you don’t know this reference, go pick up Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, like, yesterday please). His crew is snarky, crude and right up the alley of wren-obsessed.
When Elain is told there is a way to rid the world of their most hated fiend (sirens), especially that Prince’s Bane, he does not rest until he has done just that. Elain is like a fox: he is smooth, calculating and able to maneuver his way out of any situation without a single scratch (well, almost).
“’Poison?’ I muse. ‘Were you keeping that around for your future wife?’
‘It’s not lethal..and no… unless you were my wife.’”
And yes, the book is full of snarky and sarcastic and witty things.
Then we have our trusted side characters, Kahlia, Madrid, Kye, Torik, and many others, that just helped bring this story to life. I felt as if I was a part of this collective family. Each of these characters brought something new to the story and I will forever hold them close to me.
This book is so magically put together, I don’t believe it even has seams. There is no world-vomit. The world is built beautifully throughout the book as you need to know it. And believe me, the picture that these words created in my head is an image I am keeping for a rainy day. Christo was made to write and create.
The last battle scene was so vivid and beautifully done that I couldn’t have stopped reading if I tried. There is so much to the last scene that it left my actually sitting up in my bed, reading as fast as I could to make sure that my loves were going to be okay.
“Me, My Ship, an da girl with oceans in her eyes.”
To not make this any longer than it already it, this beautiful standalone novel warmed my siren-heart to tears. I absolutely loved the strong female characters, the swoon-worthy male characters, the diversity and the wit of this book. This is something that I will be raving about for the rest of my short-life.
Stay beautiful, sirens.