Books · Reviews

To Kill a Kingdom – Book Review (Spoiler-Free)

Hi boys and gals! How are you all doing?

I hope good and ready to read my fangirl testament of today 😀 Believe me, it required a lot of restraint on my part not to write a twenty page essay on how awesome this book is. A lot. Instead, I made it “short” (I tried, okay?) and sweet just for you ^^

I want to thank Hot Key Books for kindly providing me with a review copy of To Kill a Kingdom. It has honestly become my favourite book of 2018 ❤


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  • Title: To Kill a Kingdom
  • Author: Alexandra Christo
  • Publisher: Hot Key Books
  • Publication Date: March 6th, 2018
  • Page Count: 358

synopsis17

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. 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…

the-sweet

 

I am speechless.

I didn’t want to believe the hype and truly, I tried to stay as impartial as humanly possible. But there was no way I could have dived into this book (no pun intended) and not been marvelled. It was enchanting, a work of art, a brilliant reminder of why I adore books.

As I look back and realise it took me almost a month to read it, I really don’t understand how. In a way, it was simply because I was busy and didn’t have the time to open this gorgeous book. But also because I didn’t want to rush through it. I wanted to savour every page, every sentence, every feeling it evoked within me.

The characters were so endearing, so human, so relatable. I smiled throughout. I wanted to be their friend, their confidant. I wanted to meet them all. It’s not that they are good people, far from it. It’s that they do what they have to do to survive. One is able to sympathise with their motives, no matter how horrendous, and hope they succeed. Because both sides are right and wrong at the same time. It’s just a matter of perspective and values.

You really get everything with this book: the elusive anti-heroine, the rebellious self-sacrificing prince, the loyal crew made up of diverse pirates and thieves with stories of their own, the despicable villain, and so much more. I also have a brand new book boyfriend to pine after. Sigh.

Some of these elements might feel cliché, if for nothing else, because they are directly inspired by the Little Mermaid’s timeless tale (a mix between the original by Hans Christian Andersen and the Disney version, which worked so amazingly well). But they never do cross that line. At least not for me. The story is effortlessly fluid, taking full advantage of the powerful and refreshing twist, mixing up myth and novelty with such dexterity one would assume Christo to be a decades-old veteran.

She’s not. This is her first book. I’m mind-blown.

Her writing. HER WRITING. It was so melodic, so vivid, so true. I could picture everything happening in front of my eyes, feel every emotion the characters were describing, visualise everything happening exactly as Christo had intended it – the sounds, the heartbeats, the speed, the tone. Colourful and deadly and absolutely glorious.

This is one of those rare gems that force you to slow down. Take a deep breath. Enjoy the ride but not once take your eyes off the road. It’s mesmerising and ever-changing, like a sunset. It doesn’t matter that you’ve seen one before – it’s always going to make you stop and stare.

As pages kept piling up on top of my bookmark, I geninely started to panic. The story had barely reached its peak, how could it already be ending? How was the author going to manage wrapping it all up in those last few pages? Everything would be rushed and awful and ruin EVERYTHING.

But I needn’t worry. It was perfect. It was magnificent. I really don’t know what else to say about such a lovely ending. Such a lovely everything!

You might notice there is no Bitter section in this review. That’s because there wasn’t one single bad thing I could point out about this book. Not one. Not even the classic “this book should have been longer because it was so awesome.” NO. This book was the exact perfect length. Any more or any less and it would have been spoiled.

It’s true that it might feel very slow at first. But I actually didn’t mind it at all. Like I said, I enjoyed taking my time with it, gently easing myself into the story and learning bits and pieces at a relaxing pace.

The action was great – vicious, unapologetic and ruthless – with just the right amount to keep one interested and not overwhelmed by the lack of development in other departments. Everything was balanced.

And the romance? Man. The romance. It wasn’t cheesy or nauseating. It didn’t interfere with the plot; instead, complimented it incredibly well. It was subtle and made you crave for more. And it certainly got the butterflies into a frenzy.

final-thoughts

Dear author: please reconsider making this a trilogy. PLEASE. I’m all for the epic short stories, but I seriously need a full series of this! Thank you ❤

 

Thank you so much for reading and until next time!

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Hope you guys enjoyed this review! Have you read To Kill a Kingdom yet? What are you waiting for???

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68 thoughts on “To Kill a Kingdom – Book Review (Spoiler-Free)

    1. Yeah, that upset me soooo much! So many awful books get loads of sequels and this one, this absolute gem, was a standalone. UGH.
      The author did promise a few short stories so I’m hoping those will quench some of my TKaK thirst.
      Thank you, Raven! ❤

      Like

  1. This is such a great review! I really want to read this. I was hoping the library by my house would have it but it was checked out at that location. I really can’t wait to get to this. I’ve been hearing such great things about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! ❤ I honestly wasn't expecting to love it as much as I did, what with all the hype and everything (which I generally try to stay away from or ignore) but I can safely say this was one of the rare occasions where I was wrong to doubt it.
      PLEASE GET THIS BOOK AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, YOU'LL LOVE IT FOR SURE!! ^^

      Like

  2. Welp. I’m sold! I love mermaids, sirens, and the ocean and the last siren story I read was very lackluster, so I’m happy to see another one that sounds amazing. I’ll probably use this to get back into reading again, sounds like it’s right up my alley!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I’m positive you’ll love this one, then, Crystal. It’s such an interesting tale, with great writing and characters and plot. There’s really nothing much I can say other than GO READ IT ASAP ❤
      (And yes, it will fix any reading slump – guaranteed!!)

      Like

    1. Yes, you must read it!! It’s honestly the best book I’ve read this year and I do not say this lightly. It has everything and will definitely keep your attention throughout – I could not put it down.
      Thank you so much, I’m glad to hear you thought so! ❤ ^^ I was afraid my fangirling would make the review completely intelligible hahaha

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great review for this book Sophie, and I’m glad To Kill a Kingdom was one you enjoyed as well. 🙂 I have to say I feel like I’m missing out on something because while I enjoyed this one I didn’t find it as amazing as everyone else seemed to.
    I really liked the characters individually, and the story was great (as this is a fairytale retelling that’s a point in its favour already!) I just wasn’t convinced by the relationship and the world building in places.
    Still I feel like this is just me because everyone else seems to have loved this book (the fact that you couldn’t come up with any cons for your review just goes to show that!)
    Again great review. 🙂 ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Beth ❤ And double thank you for making me super hyped to read it after your amazing review as well! I know you didn't love it, but everything you said about it made me want to check it out as soon as possible. And even though I had your concerns in mind, they didn't actually affect my reading experience, which I was very relieved about!
      Yeah that's interesting… Because I really loved their relationship. I don't know, there's something about the way it was shown rather than told that me all gooey inside. I love that it was super slowburn and was built very gradually.
      As for the world building, I also felt it was pretty cool. I loved reading about the various places they went to and the people they met and the world under the ocean. I could picture everything very clearly. But maybe because I had The Little Mermaid and all its retellings in mind? I'm not sure.
      Yeah, I'm glad I had the same opinion as the masses for once hahaha I wish you'd love it as much as me, though! I basically wish everyone would love this book at this point xD But oh well…
      Thank you very much, darling ❤ ❤ Always a pleasure to hear your thoughts 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s all right, and oh in that case I’m glad my review helped you decide to check out this book, and especially glad you loved it so much as well. I guess in this case it just goes to show how reading is an individual thing right? We both read the same book but the things I was so-so about you ended up loving.
        There are other books I’m sure we’ll both love, but I know the feeling about wanting everyone to love the books you did. 🙂
        That’s all right! 😀 ❤

        Like

        1. Yeah, definitely did! I was still skeptical of course, but I knew I’d probably enjoy it. Just wasn’t aware how much hahaha
          Absolutely, and that’s great! Otherwise it would be super boring – everyone having the same opinion about each book? Nah. Much rather have awesome discussions with everyone about what each person liked and disliked and figuring out the reasons behind it 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow! This book sounds amazing!! Impressive it didn’t get any ‘bitter’ points at all. I’ve heard good things and have been planning to read it, but now I definitely need to bump it up higher on my list. It sounds right up my alley too (I especially like the sound of the non-cheesy romance, the refreshing twist and not-too-cliché mixing up of myth and novelty). Thanks for the review, I’m really looking forward to reading this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is super amazing!! At least in my opinion hahaha
      I really couldn’t find any faults with it. There wasn’t a single second where I didn’t enjoy the story or wanted to put it down. I only did so because I had to xD
      There isn’t much else I can add other than GO READ IT PLEASE!! I’m sure you’ll love it (or at least I hope you do) ^^
      Thank you so much, Nicola! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, well, well. Lookie here. It’s Sophie with her sneaky reviews before her vanishing act!!!! 😉 Hope you’ve been doing good, girl. Love the sound of this and love your review even more. So much love for it, and it sounds like it merits every bit of it! The characters sound amazing too! Great review, Sophie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha oh you know me, always vanishing, always reappearing, always… Trying to be a good blogger but failing miserably? xD
      I’m really sorry to have been missing, though. I have so much to catch up to! Including your glorious posts on your glorious blog… Ugh >.<
      Anyway, yes, this book is amazing in my opinion. I loved every moment of it and only wish it wasn't a standalone so I could continue with my fangirling T_T But oh well. Maybe it's better this way, in case the sequel ruined it or something xD
      I'm not sure it would be your thing, to be perfectly honest, but hey. No harm in trying, right? Or maybe Trang would like to pick it up, who knows?
      Thank you so much, Lashaan ❤ It's always awesome to hear from you, especially when I've been M.I.A. ^_^

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh my god. CLEARLY I need to read this. Thank you for your review. I kept nearly stopping reading to go to Book Depository to order the book, but then I didn’t want to interrupt the flow of your lovely review. Your enthusiasm is infectious! Can’t wait to read this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my! I’m really excited to hear that!! I’d love to have someone to fangirl with about this one (other than pretty much everyone else, but you’re one of my faves okay?)
      On the other hand, I’m super nervous in case you don’t like it and I’ve basically misled you into buying it… Oh the agony xD
      Honestly, though, I don’t think it’s possible not to love it so I’m taking my chances here 😉
      Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Lydia ❤ I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it ^^

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha thank you! It actually hasn’t arrived yet. I’m trying to use sites other than Amazon as much as possible (though I do love that Prime) and postage that takes more than a day feels like FOREVER.

        Don’t be nervous. This sounds like exactly my kind of story. I’m very excited for it 🙂

        Like

          1. Oh I totally understand that. I always feel like that. Especially since a lot of what I read I’m always saying ‘its a bit depressing, but, like, in a good way! You should still read it!’ and then worry it’ll upset them or something

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much! And I’m so incredibly happy to hear that! I feel you have such an eclectic and polished taste when it comes to books that if you loved it, then it has to be a great book 😄 Which means I love a great book, yay! Hahaha
      Oh the romance was so on point ❤️❤️ I just wish there was more!!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I LOVED your review! I read this book recently as well and it was amazing! I definitely think it’s one of my favourites! The hype can be a bit intimidating because you want to like the book…but maybe you don’t like the book? I don’t know 😂

    I really hope there are more books after this! It was just so GREAT!! I don’t want to leave Lira and Elian’s world just yet!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Kerys! Aw I’m so glad you share the same love for it ^^
      I know right?? I think the author really wants to leave it at that but I’m still hoping she changes her mind! I mean, it does wrap up nicely but I’m with you – I want to keep exploring their world and relationship sooo bad T_T

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No problem! It is a really good book! Definitely! I mean most of the problems are all solved but couldn’t there be like a brand new problem? And aww Lira and Elian are so cute together!❤️😀

        Liked by 1 person

  8. YAY! Sophie is baaaaackkkkk! And with a kick ass book! ❤️ I’ve heard the love of this book but you make it sound heads and shoulders above… and I truly sympathize about this not being a series! I feel like the books that should be standalone never are and vice versa. I need to get to this sooner rather than later.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha yes!! This book definitely made me want to go back to reading and blogging immediately – even if I had to forsaken sleep to do it!
      Ah yeah, it seems to be a common problem… I’m tired of authors stretching out series that are completely worthless while the really amazing ones are cut short. Ugh.
      I hope you enjoy it half as much as me, Dani! ❤

      Like

    1. I know, I was surprised myself about not really having anything bad to say about this book? I’m usually a very harsh critic hahaha
      I hope you love it just as much, Diana 🙂 It’s really an awesome tale with amazing characters. You won’t regret your purchase! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I borrowed this from my library over a month ago, and have renewed it twice, because I can’t bring myself to read it. It kills me to read standalones, especially Fantasy ones, because there’s so many details that need to go into making a completely new fantasy world, and I feel like most times one book isn’t enough to do it well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I know the feeling, trust me! I had no idea this was a standalone when I started reading it… Which was a great thing because I would have been super hesitant if I had.
      It was a bit of a shock and soooo disappointing to learn there was no sequel to such an incredible book when there are such mediocre series out there that you just wish would end and never do.
      I’m still hopeful Christo will change her mind, though *fingers crossed*
      Anyway, I very much recommend you to read this one! I’m sure you’ll absolutely love it 🙂 I think the world building was done quite well and although there was definitely space for more development, it wrapped things up quite neatly. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it ❤
      Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Like

  10. Oh this sounds fantastic. I MUST get my hands on it. The sooner the better. I’ve heard the hype but it’s even more encouraging to read such a glowing review. I’m so happy that you fell in love with this book. There’s no better feeling 😀 Lovely review Sophie!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh you definitely do, Azia! This is such a cute, adorable, badass tale ❤ And I know, I was equal parts relieved and excited when I got to read it and realise it was such a gem ❤ ❤
      Thank you so much, hon! ^^ Can't wait to see what you think of it!

      Liked by 1 person

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