Original book title: To Kill a Kingdom
Author: Alexandra Christo
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Original language: English
Year of publication: 2018
I love the story of The Little Mermaid, both the Disney version and the original version by H. C. Andersen. When I heard that Alexandra Christo wrote a dark twist on my favorite story, I knew I had to read it.
In this dark version, Prince Erik or, in this case, Prince Elian is a notorious siren killer (Christo has decided to make Ariel a siren instead of a mermaid). His greatest hobby is to kill these monsters even though he is the heir to the world’s largest kingdom. Our heroine, Lira, is a powerful prince murderer. She gathers their hearts and is a ruthless killer.
Lira does something unforgivable which causes the sea queen to punish Lira to become a human. She ends up on Prince Elian’s ship.
This book begins incredibly well. It’s very exciting to get to know Christo’s world and she describes it in a way that helps the reader see the whole picture. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen much in the beginning. I thought the book was a bit boring. It’s written in the first person and the combination of it along with Christo’s way of describing everything in detail kills the reading experience.
It’s a bit the same with the characters. They are incredibly interesting at first but get tiresome towards the end. Elian’s and Lira’s way of flirting is also charming at the beginning but then it’s just get too much.
Both characters make a journey where they develop and learn from their mistakes but unfortunately Christo doesn’t manage to describe it well. Instead it all happens so fast that as a reader, I find it hard to understand and accept the change the characters are making. This is also the case with the main story itself. It feels pushed and many scenes are rushed.
I actually think this book would be better as a series. It feels like Christo puts together a lot of emotions, intrigues and characters in a little space. I had wanted to explore the world more and get to know the characters at a calmer pace.
I really wanted a fantastic and magical reading experience but unfortunately it fell flat. It’s not a bad book, but it’s not great either.
If you like fantasy, mythologies and adventures, you should read this book even if it does not take me by storm.