To Kill a Kingdom

Length: 12 hrs
Categories: Teens, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,500 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of 17 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 and 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?

©2018 Alexandra Christo (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Dual narrators heighten the drama of this fantasy... Stephanie Willis delivers Lira's vicious, impassioned narration with theatrical relish, allowing the character's fierce tones to soften as she begins to understand how deeply she's been warped by her mother, the merciless Sea Queen. Jacob York gives rakish swagger to Elian's drive to protect both his kingdom and his beloved ship's crew." (AudioFile Magazine)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Promises more than it delivers.

The skinny:
You have Lira, a beautiful siren princess who rips royal hearts from their chests with her bare hands, and Elian, a witty pirate prince who makes a successful career out of hunting Lira's kind. How awesome is that??? The story takes off when Lira makes a mistake that pisses off her one-dimensional, evil queen mother, who turns her into a human as punishment. Lira now has to bring back Elian's heart to win her mother's favor and become a siren again. Dun-dun-dun.

Thoughts:
This book starts off with a bang. It's dark and different, and it paves the way for what I thought would be a fantastic story. I was riveted through the first quarter of the book, but my enthrallment slowly faded away as the story sailed on (pun intended). I was expecting a lot more from Lira's complex darkness, a nail-biting romance, and some fun pirate swashbuckling to top it all off. But both Lira's transition to humanity and her slow budding romance with Elian were underwhelming. And, you guessed it, no swashbuckling shenanigans.

My rapt interest briefly returned toward the end of the story, when Elian finds out who Lira really is, but those scenes were followed by the final battle and ending, which can be best described as lackluster. Let's just say it was an undeserving finale and wrap up for this book's potential.

Bottom line: It wasn't what I was hoping it would be, but I still enjoyed the story, even with all its disappointments.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

One Great Narrator, One Not-so-much

The story was interesting. A bit like a dark retelling of the Little Mermaid, if Ariel was a siren and had killed over a dozen men and taken their still-beating hearts.
The biggest kicker for me was the male narrator. the female did her parts really well but the male-- I was cringing through his reading. He read the male voices fine enough, but whenever he read a woman's part he spoke in the most halting manner, like he was learning to read each word as he read it. "I... don't... think... that's... a ... good... idea..." I know it's hard to read for the opposite sex, but this was awful! It wasn't even just a poor accent, it was terribly done and I was rolling my eyes through every chapter he read.
I'm not sure if it was the narrator or also just the character himself, but Elian was so freaking annoying. He whines about everything-- unless he's talking about how GREAT he is and how SKILLED and LUCKY he is. I really was about hoping Lyra would just take his heart, honestly. The unwilling prince is already a tired trope, bit Elian took it to a whole new level. He was constantly whimpering about how awful it was that he had to be a prince and couldn't just be a pirate. Boo hoo.
I'm normally not this negative, but I truly couldn't manage my disdain for his character.
The female main was better and I wish we'd have just gotten the book through he perspective alone.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Fairly original

The story is original and fresh, but there are a few chapters in the middle wi th some teenage love-hate banter that is sooo old, used and stereotypical that it was painful to listen to. Also the male main character could be slight less whiny. If you can tolerate those minor issues the story is innovative in its retelling of the Little Mermaid story

12 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A bit predictable ...

The premise of this book was intriguing. The protagonist is a siren who steals (literally ripping them out) prince's hearts for her birthday. Prince Elian is a siren hunter. And they are thrown together in a bid to defeat the sea queen.

But I have to say it was a bit predictable. Lira hides her identity from Elian. When he finds out who she is their budding romance is threatened. Adventure, danger, star-crossed lovers - yadda, yadda, yadda. This book had potential but for me it was missing the unique quality that makes me devour a book.

15 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A fun fantasy ride

What an enjoyable debut novel! Alexandra Christo's fairy-tale-reimagined story has a strong protagonist gal, my favorite kind of pretty sailor prince, and rich world-building that made me love reading as a tween and pre-tween, while being solid enough to hold up to adult reader scrutiny. This is my favorite kind of YA fantasy novel. I'll be watching for what Christo makes in the future. I wasn't sold for the first two or so chapters, but I think that was mainly the voice actors' interpretation of the story (which quickly balanced out and became manageable by around ch. 5).

11 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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not a great story

The performance was the best it could be for the story. The characters were not very developed. The plot was shallow, juvenile and predictable. There was very little drama, conflict or any reason to feel anything for the characters. I was not able to finish this book. #defiantteen #mermaid #MythologyInspired #Nostalgic #adventure #tagsgiving #sweepstakes

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Eh..

The story seemed to be alright. The female narrator was awesome. But I didn’t quite like the male part. His version of women’s tone was annoying with the pauses between words as if he was struggling to get them to talk. And I could barely differentiate between which female character was talking. So it was a struggle to listen to at times.
I think I might have enjoyed it better if I read it on my own.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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never peaked my interest...

i listened to the whole book and i could not get into it . i would not listen to it a second time

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

If I could give 6 stars I would.

The story was nothing but amazing. And the narrator's made it an amazing experience. The narrator's really brought the story to life and really made me feel all of the emotions. They really made it feel like more than just a book.

I loved the darkness in fierceness of the main character. I also liked her transformation, it seemed very natural and not overdone. I also liked how language was a big part of the story.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Best YA I've read in a while!

This book was surprisingly gritty, deliciously wicked and amazingly heart-warming! What Alexandra Christo did with the little mermaid story is out of this world perfect!

I'm simultaneously happy it's a stand alone (it REALLY didn't need to be more), and sad I won't get to see more of this world. As a matter of fact, I hope Christo does write more stories using different characters within this world. There is so much there to be explored!

I would only not recommend this if you don't like romance. But if you do, or even don't mind it, it's a very very good one, complex and full of nuance.

I will definitely look forward to what this author comes up with next!

2 people found this helpful