To Kill a Kingdom

Book review by
Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
To Kill a Kingdom Book Poster Image
Bold, imaginative sea-faring fantasy has unusual characters.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Explores issues of genocide, family loyalty, and friendship.

Positive Messages

Sworn enemies can sometimes find the good in each other. Family is not destiny.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Raised by an unloving mother, Lira at the start of the novel is hard-hearted and cruel, ready to kill a human prince. As To Kill a Kingdom unfolds, she gains compassion for her enemies.

Violence

The level of violence is occasionally intense, usually involving swords but sometimes claws and teeth. Main character is sworn to rip the living heart from her royal enemy.

Sex

A couple of passionate embraces.

Language

Swearing is limited to infrequent uses of "damn," "hell," and "bastard."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that To Kill a Kingdom is a sea-faring fantasy novel about a princely pirate captain and a siren in human form. The level of violence is occasionally intense, usually involving swords but sometimes claws and teeth. Sexual content is limited to a couple of passionate embraces. Swearing is limited, but "whore," "bastard," "hell," and "damn" are used a few times each.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byStudiousStudent April 10, 2018

Mixed Feelings

I don't want to sound too critical of this book, but I didn't find it to be all that great. The beginning was extremely promising. But then the middle... Continue reading
Adult Written byLousie M. May 23, 2018
Teen, 16 years old Written byLabourowl July 21, 2018

Teen book

While it’s not particularly sexual it does contain words like bitch and whore and complicated concepts. It also has a lot of descriptive violence

What's the story?

At the start of TO KILL A KINGDOM, Princess Lira causes the death of one of her fellow sirens and earns the wrath of her mother, the Sea Queen. As punishment, she's enchanted into human form and will stay that way unless she rips out the living heart of a prince before the solstice. Bereft of her fins and gills, Lira is soon at the mercy of explorer and adventurer Prince Elian, who has sworn to destroy the sirens once and for all. Can either of them survive the revelation of their secrets?

Is it any good?

Choosing a siren for a protagonist is a bold choice for a fantasy, but this oceanic romance makes the most of its imaginative conceit. In To Kill a Kingdom, author Alexandra Christo takes an original tack for this tale of star-crossed lovers. Elian and especially Lira are multidimensional characters who undergo interesting transitions over the course of the book, and the monstrous Sea Queen proves to be a formidable antagonist at the climax. The story is neatly self-contained, with no need for a long wait for resolution.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how To Kill a Kingdom uses aspects of ancient mythology. Why are sirens, mermaids, and mermen interesting to modern readers?

  • Sirens and humans are in constant conflict in To Kill a Kingdom. What human conflicts have lasted decades or more?

  • What role does violence play in To Kill a Kingdom? Is warfare depicted as an effective strategy for change? 

Book details

Themes & Topics

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