About To Kill a Kingdom
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?
This was a very different look at The Little Mermaid tale. And by different, I mean on the complete opposite end of the spectrum compared to the Disney version we are familiar with. This tale pays more homage to the Brothers Grimm than it does to Andersen.
Setting: The world-building was neat, and I’d like to learn more about the various countries represented in the story. I especially liked how the royalty of each country had their own unique myth or legend that made them stand out compared to the rest of the citizens.
Characters: The characters were entertaining, on the whole, even if they did fall a little flat. Lira’s character arc stuttered a bit, and I struggled to understand and empathize with what she was going through. I felt like she changed a lot without enough description of what was going through her head to make it believable. Elian, on the other hand, was more enjoyable to read about; however, I felt like he was two different characters, depending on if I was reading from his perspective, or Lira’s perspective. I get the author was doing that on purpose, but it just made it harder to connect with him.
Plot: Nothing special here. It’s a typical band of YA characters going on a mission to save the world from an oppressive ruler. Read it for the retelling, not for the plot.
Overall: I didn’t like this one. It had waaay too much violence (it really should have been a DNF), and the characters weren’t especially endearing. If you like brutal, bloodthirsty fairytales, then this book is for you. On the other hand, if you’re looking for something with a little less content, and a little more a unique plot, then I suggest checking out The Mermaid’s Sister by Carrie Anne Noble.
Some characters are described as having brown skin. Some characters are described as being pure white, with blue lips. One lesbian couple. Sirens seduce both men and women.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Frequent profanity, and some innuendo.
One heavy, detailed kiss. A monster forces a kiss. Sirens kiss seduced sailors. Some innuendo, and veiled mentions of castrating people. One royal family has the power to seduce anyone they touch.
A goddess, Keto, is frequently mentioned and referred to. Magic is attributed to her.
There is a lot of graphic violence in this one. Torture, beatings, attacks, blood, wounds, burns by acid, etc. Very gory.
A brief mention of using poison/sedative to get what a character wants.