“They celebrate love as though it’s power, even though it has killed far more humans than I ever have.”
This book wasn’t incredible, but it was a pretty good read overall. Going into this, I had no idea that it was a The Little Mermaid retelling, but I can definitely see the rough outline of it in To Kill a Kingdom. I’m usually not the biggest fan of retellings, so if you do, you’ll probably like this book more than I did. Basically, it’s a story about a siren who is known for being killing a prince every year that gets turned into a human by her mother. While she appears to be drowning in the sea, a prince comes to rescue her that just happens to be a siren killer (and pirate). A slow romance develops despite everything about them throughout the book.
With the characters, I feel like they were just okay. There was nothing special about them. I can also say that the side characters were below average. All I got from Madrid was her being friendly and supporting Lira more than the others. She can be considered as a good friend, but I can’t think of anything else besides that. Yukiko was the person that didn’t trust anyone but herself. She did things to benefit only herself, and we see like two chapters of her (going by the name of Sakura) until she suddenly appears out of nowhere, now with the new name of Yukiko. She joins them on their journey and does nothing. I guess she’s a good fighter, but I didn’t get what purpose she had in the story. I liked Kye’s slow transition from not trusting Lira to trusting Lira, but besides that, he wasn’t the best character. He was just Elian’s good friend that goes by everything he says. The Sea Queen was your typical antagonist, wanting everything to go her way, and especially with Lira’s personality, you know it just won’t work out well.
Lira and Elian were better than the rest, and while looking through the reviews, I do agree that Elian reminded me of Nikolai (from the Grisha trilogy). Lira is the type of character that always talks back and speaks her mind using humor. Elian also wants things to go his way, and is hesitant on allowing Lira to come with him, but eventually lets her due to the information she holds. They both clash about certain things because of their personalities. I guess you could call Lira and Elian strong protagonists, but they’re just average.
Even with all the good portions, the world building in this book is kind of dull. It doesn’t give us much about the Diavolos Sea and other locations spread throughout the book. I’m usually care less about world building compared to the overall plot, etc. of the book, but it could probably use some mentioning. Also, I felt like it was kind of boring and dull at times. During some parts of the book, I was flipping through the pages waiting for one redeeming moment that wouldn’t come. Personally, I am a big fan of fast-paced books full of action, so it was a bit of a disappointment, considering all the other reviews about this book. Even with the bad portions, I actually did really enjoy other parts of To Kill a Kingdom, but it would be great if the quality was more spread out.
Overall, this book was a bit dull at times, and I would have liked to see more worldbuilding and better characters. It was a really enjoyable book overall and I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys retellings, The Little Mermaid, and I guess sirens.