C.G. Drews's Reviews > To Kill a Kingdom

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 5-star, read-2018, retelling, young-adult, epic-fantasy, pirates

Everything about this book was a salty swashbuckling GLORY and I loved it. I'm alllll here for pirates and sirens and (dark) Little Mermaid retellings, and this just delivered omg. Plus it was super funny, and if there's something my dark little heart beats faster for: it's people who sass each other to death so lovingly.

(Also, claim to fame 😂, I have been a beta-reader for Allie in the past, so I kneeeew I'd love this and ajfdksald her writing is a masterpiece.)

+ The characters just stole the seawater ahhh I'm so happy!
It's dual narrated by both Elian and Lira. Elian is an anti-prince (like "here is a crown but I don't want it) and Lira is a siren (like "here is a prince what if I ate him"). He's hunting her and she's hunting him, which is obviously the recipe for a perfect romance. And their romance was A++ like this is enemies-to-lovers at its finest! It wasn't rushed or awkward. Seriously such perfect fun to see them go from distrust to distant admiration to snarking at each other to "accidentally" "saving" each other's lives. Like YEAH that's no indication of liking of courseeeee, Lira.

(Lira was in such denial the whole time. So cute.)

I also loved them just as individual characters! Lira is a murderous siren, but also with a soft streak. She takes care of her murder-little-cousin, but she also enjoys the thrill of killing princes. But she totally won my heart too, just by being so complex and compelling. And Elian?! He was the sass pirate of your HEART. I swear. That boy. He was smooth and sassy and absolutely allergic to the idea of being king. Bless him.

+ This makes you truly fall in love with the sea too!
Which is ironic, given that the sea was super deadly but oh well. I love it. I love the descriptions! I could actually see the gorgeous settings, taste the salty sea, and absolutely lose myself in the world. There's plenty of sailing too! And although I KNOW they were all claiming the "pirate" title lol lol Elian you sweetheart. He was a siren killer and really didn't do anything piratey (except for fight with other pirates). But I love pirates. I'll let him have it.

+ Like world building gets a hella yes.
There are SO many different places they went to! Kingdoms and mountains and palaces! It was INCREDIBLY well done too. No getting swamped with mega-long passages of description, yet I could see each setting so clearly. (Plus they were excitingly unique?! With kingdoms of frost and blue-lipped kings, and queendoms of love, with cursed queens on heart thrones.) My opinion is: yes.

+ Also it keeps you entertained with sassy banter the whole time.
This part I truly adored. And smiled a bit like the dork I am. I also loved that Lira/Elian were sassing each other to death, but also the secondary characters were too! Madrid/Kye's banter was amazing!

"If the necklace is that precious," I say, "we should have just killed Tallis to get it."
"You can't just kill everyone you don't like."
"I know that. Otherwise you'd be dead already."

"Remind me not to get on your bad said," Elian says.
"Too late."

+ Was it dark?
It was very bloody (although not gory) and I would definitely say it's a dark one. So pleased. (I'M NORMAL I SWEAR. DON'T BE WORRIED.)

This is definitely the kind of book of sea and ruination that I've been longing for. I'm in loooove. It was perfectly written, with scenery and prose that just leap off the page to DEVOUR YOU (go the siren life) with a fantastic combination of pirates and princes, sirens and curses, and a journey that's always fascinating and fast-paced. With buckets of sass and salt along the way. 😍
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Reading Progress

April 3, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
April 3, 2016 – Shelved
April 30, 2018 – Started Reading
April 30, 2018 –
page 47
13.02% "PIRATES AND KNIVES. Just what I need in my life."
May 1, 2018 –
page 100
27.7% "oooh they hate each other. I SPY MY SHIP.

(also there are like, literal ships in this book??? so we're shipping on a ship)"
May 2, 2018 –
page 245
67.87% "Lira: I hate Elian so so much.
Also Lira: um elian are u ok did you get hurt is this your blood oh no your pathetic human head is hurt
Also Lira: but if you were D E A D i obviously wouldn't care"
May 2, 2018 – Shelved as: 5-star
May 2, 2018 – Shelved as: read-2018
May 2, 2018 – Shelved as: retelling
May 2, 2018 – Shelved as: young-adult
May 2, 2018 – Shelved as: epic-fantasy
May 2, 2018 – Finished Reading
July 8, 2018 – Shelved as: pirates

Comments Showing 1-14 of 14 (14 new)

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ღ Ruqs ღ Another great review from Cait!! :D How much romance is there in terms of kissing and anything beyond that in this book? Are there any trigger scenes/mentions?

Delia Loved the witty back and forths. Love the character development! such a good lil book

C.G. Drews @Ruqs: Romance is quite minimal.

@Delia: Yessss it was all so perfect and well balanced!

Kasey So glad you liked this book, too. One of my favorites of the year so far.

Hafsa | حفصہ After reading "The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock" by Imogen Hermes Gowar and your wonderfully compelling review I'm sure I'll love this one!

Rê YEEEES! This book was amazing!

C.G. Drews @Kasey: YES! It's just so loveable?! I already want to reread.😂

@Hafsa: Ahhh I hope you do!! It's definitely a top pick of the year for me!

@Rê: SO MUCH. *heart eyes to this book*

empirestatebookshelf This makes me happy because I bought this book knowing nothing about it and now I feel slightly better about my life choices. The books I buy based on your reviews have always been good so far😂

C.G. Drews @emiprestatebookshelf: aww that makes me happy to hear haha! (we obviously have similar and EXCELLENT taste here.) I really hope you enjoy this one too!😂

message 10: by Gabi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gabi Wonderful review! This makes me so happy because I absolutely LOVED this one! At the moment it holds the title as my favorite of the year. I just wish there was more, like a spinoff or something! I miss it!

The Brown Girl Book Blogger Your reviews make me giggle so much! 😁 Thanks for that.

message 12: by C.G. (new) - rated it 5 stars

C.G. Drews SnoopyBookworm wrote: "Your reviews make me giggle so much! 😁 Thanks for that."

Thank you!!

message 13: by USOM (new) - rated it 5 stars


Maria i just finished this book and I loved reading your review of it !! i share all of your points, I'm a sea lover as well and I loved this book to bits

oh! and if you can recommend to me some other books that are a bit dark and up in that fantasy world, that'd be so nice ! once I read a real good book I struggle to find good ones that match the vibe/good writing

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