eARC Review: To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

You guys might have seen that I plan on sharing reviews more regularly on the blog in the future (as in, weekly) and today’s review is the first one for the month of March! I was really lucky to be accepted for an eARC of To Kill A Kingdom via NetGalley (especially since it seems to be more and more difficult for us international folks to request books…) and today I’ll share my thoughts on the book with you guys – in time for the release tomorrow!

to kill a kingdomPlot

In To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo we follow the perspective of both Lira and Elian. Lira is the daughter of the Sea Queen, heir to her mother’s throne and known to be a ruthless siren who kills and takes the hearts of princes for her birthday each year. Elian is a prince and heir to the Midasian throne who much prefers to spend his time with his crew on his ship the Saad which they take across the different seas to hunt and kill sirens. 

Lira and Elian’s path cross when Elian saves Lira from drowning after her mother turns her into a human as a punishment with the mission to collect a prince’s heart without her siren song. We then follow Lira and Elian on different missions across the seas and as they get to know each other.

Unfortunately, the plot felt very predictable because it was so similar to The Little Mermaid (just exchange mermaids for sirens as the main characters) and even though it’s been years since I watched the movie I could still predict exactly what was going to happen which sucked. A lot.


I really enjoyed getting to know both Lira and Elian and experiencing how they saw the world around them and their roles within their respective kingdoms.

Elian was definitely someone I liked quickly which was probably related to him not wanting to fulfill a role that he was born into and instead wanted to be known and recognized for the things he accomplished himself – which is something I always admire in a character! It was also nice seeing Elian through the eyes of Madrid and Kye – two of his closest friends and crew members.

Lira has earned herself quite the reputation as the Prince’s Bane over the years but we also get to know her beyond that image through her relationship with Kahlia. Throughout the entire book, Lira is definitely a woman on a mission and I liked the way she went about it.

It’s unfortunate that we only got to know the other characters on a very basic level – I would have really liked to learn more about Madrid in particular as the details we got about her past before joining Elian’s crew would have definitely made for an interesting story in my opinion!

The lack of getting to know the immediate side characters definitely influenced my overall enjoyment of this book as we basically just got a few bullet points on any character that wasn’t Lira or Elian. Also, as a sidenote: the number of times I read Elian’s name as Elain was kind of ridiculous but also funny.

Writing & Pacing

The writing in To Kill A Kingdom was easy to follow and quick to read which I always really enjoy. The only thing that would often turn me away from reading more was the rather long chapters as I would worry about getting too tired to remember what I was reading and no one has the time to go back and reread an entire chapter, am I right?

I did really enjoy the pacing of the story though as the author never seemed to spend unnecessary time explaining details the reader could easily do without (like always describing travels and how the characters got from point A to B exactly).

To Kill A Kingdom also featured a story that was a good mixture of action and character development without feeling like either overpowered or hindered the other.


Overall, I did enjoy this book but I don’t see myself going back to it anytime soon since the story was pretty predictable which would make a reread a lot less fun, in my opinion. This is probably the kind of book I would lend from the library rather than get a copy myself for the reasons I just mentioned, but I would still recommend you give this book a chance and read it! And if you’re unsure if you’re going to love it or not, you could always get it from the library or request it from your library if they don’t have it at the moment – you’re still showing your support for the author that way!

Where To Get The Book

Amazon US | UK (the paperback is only £5.43 as of me writing this post!) | DE / Book Depository / Barnes & Noble / Indigo!

lets chat 1

Did any of you guys read this book early too? If so, how did you feel about it? And those of you guys who haven’t read this book yet – do you think you’ll be picking it up after the release tomorrow? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments down below!

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14 thoughts on “eARC Review: To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

  1. Lovely review, Swetlana 🙂 I’m sorry to hear you found that one a bit predictable and expected more from the characters here, I completely understand how that could influence your enjoyment of this book. I’ve been hearing great reviews about that one so far, and I really like the little mermaid story, so I’m still quite interested to pick this up, but thank you for this review! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Marie! 🙂

      I had heard nothing but fantastic reviews too so I was definitely a bit disappointed that I didn’t end up loving this book as much as I had hoped I would! I hope you’ll review the book whenever you get the chance to read it because I can’t wait to hear what you think of it! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love how very concise this review is 😀 I think this is supposed to be a retelling of The Little Mermaid? But I didn’t see anyone labelling it as a retelling even though I get the vibe from the synopsis. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it as much as you hoped though, hopefully your next read would be better!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Tasya! I keep going back and forth as far as the format of my reviews goes but this really helps me put my thoughts in order!

      I can’t remember if it was marketed as one, to be honest, but it definitely is one! And its not like I am opposed to retelling in general, I feel like I’ve read them quite a few times, usually the story is just more appealing and the characters someone I actually grow attached to, etc!

      I hope so too! And I think it will be because the books that I have still to read/review for March seem SO promising!


  3. I’m reading it right now! I love how it’s actually dark and bloody, even if not so much. The world seems really big and that the reader is only touching a little of it. But I’m still at the start so I cannot say more. Thta’s sad to hear that the secondary characters aren’t developed that much. I usually tend to fall in love with secondary characters 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually, I think that might have been part of my problem with this book? The fact that we only get so little of the world – especially for a fantasy novel! I am a huge, huge, HUGE fan of fantasy and big worlds that I get to experience more and more with each book so the fact that we traveled so much but saw so little is unfortunate!

      And YES to that! I feel like quite often we don’t really go DARK with the books in YA or those that I have read, so having characters that are ruthless and not afraid to kill is definitely something I appreciate a lot – it was the same in The Cruel Prince! Those characters were BRUTAL and KILLED and everything!

      I hope you end up enjoying this book more than I did! Happy reading! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I actually didn’t inititally have this on my TBR, but I added it later when everyone kept talking about this. I’m sorry to hear that the book didn’t quite blow you away and was a bit predictable. I personally will wait a bit, as I’m not sure I want to buy this one at full price 😮
    Thanks for the really great Review! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I’d probably wait a little bit longer too especially since you’re not AS desperate to get to it! I do the same with so many books that I am EXCITED about but not like DESPERATE to get. I already know that I’ll buy Queen Of Air And Darkness at full price for the hardcover because I NEED that book. NEED IT.

      And thank you, I’m happy to hear you enjoyed it! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I definitely agree with the side character thing! Up until about 30% and when Lira finally got on the prince’s ship, we literally knew nothing about the side characters except their names and their status. They were so one-dimensional and had no personality and I was starting to get disappointed when finally the action picked up and we saw them interact with others! I agree that there definitely could have been more characterisation on that front. Great review Swetlana ❤

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Gosh I don’t even remember what we did and didn’t talk about haha this is forgetfulness at its finest 😀 and overall I reallllly enjoyed the book! I kinda overlooked that basic characterisations of the side characters since I love stories about pirates and/or sirens so much! I gave it a 4 star rating overall and I even put it on my favourites shelf (although I might remove it again because now that I think of it, it really didn’t have favourite potential hahaha)

        Liked by 1 person

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