Review | To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

Published by: Feiwel & Friends

Publication Date: March 6, 2018

Genre: Fantasy, Retelling

Page Count: 342

Rating: 5/5

Source: Purchase

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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?


“He belongs to the ocean. He is made from it, as much as I am.”

Alexandra Christo’s To Kill a Kingdom makes my little black heart sing. When I picked this book, I wasn’t sure I was waiting for it. And I cannot imagine my life without it. Alexandra gives you a reason to love villains.

Only a few books have achieved this feat, but To Kill a Kingdom slays every expectation. And it instantly finds its rightful place on my favourites list. This loose reimagining is wicked, brutal, and tempting. If you’re looking for villainous main characters, this book is your next read.

I bought this book a whim. It snuck into my life when I needed just a taste of badassery. And let me tell you: I love it. Alexandra captures the true essence of sirens. You don’t get the PG version we 90s kids were force fed. You see their merciless side, and you’ll be wanting more once you’re done. These sirens will watch as you drown, then tear out your heart. So do not expect any singalongs. Even when life called me back, I didn’t want to put down the book.

The characters beautifully complement the storytelling. Lira, the Prince’s Bane, is a ruthless and royal siren who will get what she wants: the heart of Prince Elian. But the Prince-turned-pirate desires nothing more than to rid his world of sirens. Yet when he finds her adrift in the ocean and doesn’t know who she is, they must work together to find a way to kill the Sea Queen. I adore hate-to-love relationships. I don’t care what anyone says. This trope has value, and it creates a dynamic story. Now, I don’t always enjoy the secondary characters. But with Elian’s crew, I can’t help but do so.

Both Elian and Lira are savage in their own way. But you see glimpses of who they truly are. I enjoyed seeing a prince who doesn’t want a crown. Instead, he craves the sea, and no matter the cost, he’ll protect it and his crew. Lira’s past will give you a better understanding as to the reason why she’s cruel. Yet even with a vicious mother, she holds onto her humanity, and Elian knows how to tease it out of her.

I don’t also buy standalone books. I enjoy visiting a series and reliving my favourite scenes. So I’m a little disappointed we don’t get a sequel. However, if you’re looking for stunning world building and stellar characters with a wicked side, look no further. But if you’ve come for the Disney version of My Little Mermaid, turn back now. The savagery is what intrigued me, but I love the masterful storytelling.

Review: Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Published by: Feiwel & Friends

Publication Date: November 7, 2017

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy

Page Count: 556

Rating: 3.75/5

Source: Purchase

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Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone…except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.


“There are many dangerous people in this world. but there are also many good people. Brave people. No matter how bad things get, we have to remember that. So long as there are heroes in this world, there’s hope that tomorrow night might be better.”

Imagine that the X-Men have won, supernaturals reign, and humans no longer control the world governments. Now, throw in political intrigue and mystery, compelling characters, and a solid world-building, then you have Renegades.

Renegades, human prodigies with supernatural abilities, rise from the ashes of a ruined society after they dethrone the Anarchists, who previously ruled. When these villains find a chance to destroy the Renegades, they send in Nova Artino, who wants nothing more than to avenge her family. But loyalties are tested when she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy.

Renegades is my first book written by Marissa. I’ve heard a lot about her Lunar Chronicles series and even bought most of it on a whim. I enjoyed reading this book, and it contains some interesting themes, which I loved, and character conflicts that will surely hook you in. But I can’t quite bump up my rating. I took a long time reading it, and I usually finish a book within a week. However, more than a month has passed since I’ve cracked open Renegades. At this point, I’m a bit disappointed with some scenes, but not the book though.

Clearly, the X-Men series inspired Marissa. You have a prodigy who steals another person’s powers (sound familiar?). Yes, undoubtedly, it’s hard not to see the similarities. However, she introduces new supernatural abilities, like ones Adrian possesses (and no, I won’t spoil you there). The nerd in me groaned at some Renegades and their powers. However, I loved the characters. Nova lost her family when she was young, and she builds quite an impressive hatred for the Renegades, who didn’t save them. Her anger and growth make the story complex. Adrian is the exact opposite. While he lost his mother and wants to find the murderer, he shines with justice.

Even though I found character dialogue and fighting scenes lacking, Renegades is a solid and refreshing play on the fantasy and sci-fi front. The characters, their inner battles, and their development and history stand out the most. Additionally, how Marisa represents diversity also adds to the story. All these qualities are what kept me reading.

Marissa’s world-building will delight new readers and her dedicated following. I was curious to see how she might craft this unique universe. And since the Renegades series is a duology, I was hesitant, not quite sure what she can pull off. But she does so naturally. I wanted to delve into this dark, gritty, and healing world, where the minorities are the rulers, not the humans. And the politics will also intrigue any sci-fi and fantasy lover looking for intricate storytelling.

If you’re a Marissa fan or are looking for something new, Renegades is your next read. I’m eager to see how she wraps up this new series.

 

“One cannot be brave who has no fear.”