12 April 2018

To Kill A Kingdom // I Knew I Loved It Before I Even Really Started

To Kill a Kingdom
Published: 6th March 2018

Source: Readers First/Publisher

Genre: Fantasy, Retelling, Romance, Young Adult

My Rating:
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. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

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. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Well wow. I read a sampler for this a few weeks back and then was lucky enough to get a copy from the publisher but the small chapter sampler was enough to get me excited to read this. In fact, it almost threatened to put in a book slump as all I wanted was to read this book. I didn't know I'd won until later and by that point, I was craving all kinds of romance so I didn't get to it for its release. I couldn't stop thinking about it, though, so eventually, I just had to read, especially as everyone said it was good and a standalone! That is a rarity in YA fantasy reads. All I can say is I am glad I got a copy, this book was utterly fantastic.

This book was a total surprise to me in that it was bloody with characters who should have been utterly unsympathetic yet I adored every page.

Elian and Lira appear to be two polar opposites. She is a bloodthirsty siren out to get another prince's heart to appease her mother and prove she is the most vicious, the most savage, and the most unfeeling beast in the sea. Elian is the noble prince, turned pirate, out to rid the seas of the siren menace. Hunting for a way to stop those hunting people and put an end to the war and savagery of them no matter what. Elian at least has a noble purpose to endear you to him, even if he freely admits there is nothing noble in killing the sirens, he still views himself as a murderer. And Lira? You are introduced to her hunting a prince with no real reason to it other than that is what sirens do. And she appears to enjoy the kill, even coaching her cousin through the best approach. And as the story progresses you learn more of those she has killed and it's impossible not to be shocked. Yet, I liked Lira from the first page.

Lira has depths which aren't explored until later on in the book and I enjoyed pealing away her layers and learning more and more of her past and the vicious way in which she was raised which shaped her. No matter how many times she calls herself a killer, and she is an incredibly skilled one, she is never just that. Her intentions are more complex and slowly deciphering who she was was so much fun to read. Especially as she saw her grow closer to the very person who she wished to kill and whose heart she wished to possess.

Elian was different. It's a running joke that he is charming in the book and he really was. It was easy to like him from the very beginning, especially as he had conflicting feelings about his actions. He wasn't a brute and was quick to joke with those around him. He really was charming and he was a good person and that makes it easy to like.

I fell utterly in love with this book and I do have a thing I disliked. I expected more at the end, the book was wrapped up that bit too quickly for my liking, but it's such a minor grumble I don't dare expand upon it too much. I just don't want to bring down what really was a fantastic read.

Have you read any books that just instantly hooked you? And how do you feel about unlikable characters?

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