Well this book was a pleasant surprise. I had high hopes, but To Kill a Kingdom surpassed them.
Lira is a siren who kills princes and Elian is a prince who kills sirens. Bam! How good is that?
Lira is a truly dangerous character. Unlike many of the “I’m pretty, but can kill a man” ladies who graced my reading pages this year, Lira is a true predator. At times the prince seemed to be trying too hard to be a bad-ass pirate, but he is charming and cunning and overall very likable.
It is a familiar flavour of fantasy world and put together in a way that gives the impression that we’re only skimming over the surface. And yet the author fits a lot into the novel.
All the kingdoms have their own ‘thing’. Being ice, gold or love. It’s very intriguing to see how it relates magically to each of the rulers. But the Avatar-like* boxes each nation is put in, does give it a childlike air. This is in sharp contrast to the monsters and violence of the sea creatures.
The side characters are quite good, although some of the pirate crew only appear as punchlines.
I was worried three quarters in that it will leave me with a cliff hanger like so many of the genre. But that worry was unnecessary as it is a complete story with a proper ending. A YA novel that does not need a sequel? A rare thing, but as the industry goes, it might get one anyway.
I would be surprised if this book doesn’t make it to my top five at the end of the year. It was brilliant retelling that brings new live to The Little Mermaid.
*Air bender, not Pandora.