‘To Kill a Kingdom’ is a young adult book that I bought for two reasons: the cover and Little Mermaid! The cover is the genre I love and after reading the synopsis I just thought to myself that this would be a dark-twisted story of the Little Mermaid.
The book tells the story of Princess Lira, a siren that not only is royal but is also the most lethal of all sirens. She collects hearts of princes as a symbol of power and she’s ready to collect her eighteenth!
On the month of her birthday, Lira has her mother’s authorization to collect a prince heart and that makes her revered across the sea. After an unfortunate episode, Lira’s mother, the Sea Queen, makes her do something that she didn’t want to a family member and that makes Lira lose her emotions and turns her into what her mother wanted. Kind of. All Lira wanted was to please her mother but she’s also fierce and doesn’t think about her actions.
When she decides to help and teach her cousin to hunt, Lira does not restrain herself and kills a prince, which triggers her mother’s wrath, all because it wasn’t yet the month of Lira’s birthday. So her mother’s punishment is to make Lira hunt a fisherman instead of a prince on her birthday. Lira sees that as a way of her mother to take her powers.
Lira is angry but when she sees Prince Elian (the siren killer), she makes her goal to steal (figuratively and literally) his heart and give it to his mother as a reward but one of her own comes to the prince first and Lira is forced to kill her.
To punish Lira, the Sea Queen transforms her into the one thing they loathe the most…a human. With a new pair of legs but without her song and power, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver prince Elian’s heart to her mother, or she will remain a human forever.
Prince Elian is known as the siren killer. He is the heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world but he prefers to be on the ocean (being a pirate) instead of ruling. He believes in what he does – killing sirens. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, he immediately knows that she’s more than what she appears. All he wanted was to kill the sea queen and the red haired siren known to kill princes.
What he doesn’t know is that Lira is that siren, known as the prince’s bane.
Lira promises to help him find the key to destroy all of the sirens but he doesn’t trust her. All she wants is to grab the stone that will give her more power. Then she can rule the sirenking. She believes that she can be a better queen than her mother, which only rules by fear and with zero emotion.
While Prince Elian and Lira start to connect, Lira starts to gain humanity and she tells him some tales that sirens believe, like the fact that if a siren gives a human her heart, the human stays immune to the sirens song.
Between all that, there are deals that must be made and fulfilled, all involved in royal interests.
I loved the dynamic of the boat crew, it was so refreshing. They are pirates but they are loyal and although they would die to save the prince life, he would die to save them too!
I also liked how the author explained the differences between a siren, a mermaid and a merman. Sirens are creatures that kill humans because they loathe them, mermaids sometimes help humans because they want to be like them while mermen are normally the guards of royalty, with a lot of strength and sometimes with characteristics of sharks. Mermen are usually chosen to mate with sirens and Lira is even promised to one of the most dangerous.
The book has a happy ending and had a worthy end. At first I didn’t understand how a creature that took so many hearts (sometimes to very young princes) could have a happy ending, after all she was a monster. However, the prince also killed a great deal of sirens. And the author made a point of explaining during the book, how Lira was influenced by her mother’s decisions and wills.
I liked the book, it was a pleasant reading and I advice it to you, if you like adventure and romance! In my opinion it deserves 4 stars!