To Kill a Kingdom Flooded my Senses

*Received this book off Netgalley in exchange for an honest review- but the  gushing you’re about to see is all me*

to kill a kingdomLike a lot of my ARC reviews at the moment, this is a little overdue- but there’s a good reason for it! Namely, I’m floundering about, struggling to find the words for how good this was. Because how on earth do you fully express your love for books that truly capture your heart?

I knew from the first line that I was falling under its spell. From the opening, I was sucked in to the evocative world under the sea Christo had created. Vividly depicted and with a striking tone, I realised straightaway that this was my kind of book. The writing was a showstopper from the start, making me chuckle darkly all the way through and catch my breath at every gorgeous turn of phrase.

Above all, the characterisation was struck through the powerful voices of the two leads. They gripped me, like sirens, dragging me down into the depths. I adored both of the main characters and soon recognised the brilliance of the dual perspectives. Lira was clever and deadly; Prince Elian, for all his sharp edges, was a sweetheart. Their back and forth banter blew me away and I nearly keeled over from how adorable their budding relationship was.

As a retelling of the Little Mermaid (incidentally one of my faves by my favourite fairy tale writer) I had both high expectations for this and also hoped for little more than a fun romp… this completely blasted those presuppositions out of the water. The plot was so much more twisted and surprising than I ever would have thought. It had a wicked premise, was all the more romantic and the evil sea witch was, well, PURE EVIL. Plus it had more pirates (yay pirates!)

pirate orangutan

One last way this slayed me was with its mesmerising world building. Both above and below the surface, it was detailed and intricately drawn. I don’t normally find asides interesting, but here they were fascinating. All the snippets of information had me hungering for more. I also appreciated the storytelling theme, like the hidden nuggets pointing to the Midas myth and the textured references to the original story. I especially liked the underlying musical theme, which reminded me of the Disney version. Obviously, this was thanks to the very tight, magnificent writing.

Rating: 5/5 bananas

small bananasmall bananasmall bananasmall bananasmall banana

So have you read this? Did you like it? Do you plan to read it? Let me know in the comments!


86 thoughts on “To Kill a Kingdom Flooded my Senses

  1. I haven’t but the cover art is so richly dark and your review is pretty fantastic that I can’t resist. Plus the Disney in me wants to see what you saw especially if its a darker fairytale retelling. Always love the darker ones! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I’m so glad you loved it! It’s always nice to find a book we can be super excited about! 😊👌
    I read it as well and have mixed feelings about it but I was in a crappy mood then so it could have been entirely me!!😊

    Liked by 3 people

  3. You really going to have a title like that and not make a Hamilton reference? *listens to Burn the rest of the night* Hahahahah! I’m just kidding! I love you, this review, and this book! 💕xx

    Liked by 2 people

  4. You do fangirling so well (fanmonkeying? Fanorangutaning?) – its always fun to read your five star reviews. This book sounds really awesome and I like the sound of a dark fairytale retelling – even though in my head I’d be singing “under the SEA….UNDER THE under SEEEEEEEAAAA” lol 😂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. You live to find me more books I cannot live without, don’t you? Admit it! This is exactly the kind of thing I love reading – retelling old folk tales, pirates, witches, magic, romance – and you went and told me about it so that I am now powerless not to get it and give copies to friends as well!

    Thank you, I’d just finished ‘The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle’ and was wondering what to read next…

    Liked by 2 people

      1. IT’S SO GOOD! It’s like a mashup of all kinds of ddifferent genre’s standard ideas, but they get put together really well and it just *works*, you know?
        Like, it’s a time travel murder mystery, but our protagonist can’t escape if he doesn’t solve the murder, so he *has* to let Evelyn Hardcastle die if he wants to get out. Most time travel mysteries are all about “we must save the person and we will keep trying until we do” but this one just goes “yes, I know she’s nice and she’s going to die, deal with it”!
        I gave it to a friend for Easter and had a hilarious time watching her read it and try to figure out what the answer was. Then she reached the end, threw the book down and screamed “Damnit, Agatha Christie! You dies forty years ago, how are you doing this to me still?!”
        I genuinely can’t think of a more fitting recommendation!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. AHH this is such an amazing review and I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed that one so much! I already read it as well and it was so much better than I thought it’d be, the characters were incredible and I really liked how they interacted with each other, they were just so much fun 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Great review for this book, and I’m really glad you enjoyed it as well. To Kill a Kingdom wasn’t an all-time favourite of mine but still an enjoyable read. I liked the characters, especially the individual development and voices of Elian and Lira, but actually I wasn’t a massive fan of the world building. Still it was a great standalone and again great review! 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. *sobs* this was such a beautiful review for a beautiful book! I think you found all the right words to describe all the ways it is amazing and you even had your own almost lyrical way of expressing it! Really, if people don’t pick this book up then I don’t even know what’s up with them!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Read this at work but didn’t comment on account of my phone . . which sucks. And yes, I am a dad of a certain age who waits for it to explode before getting a new one!

    But this one, it really gotcha. And I love that about your book loving. How you just let it take you where it takes you. That there, is the magic of it all.

    Well done, as per usual.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Whaaa? I’d totally been starting to forget about reading this, so I’m very glad that you brought this back to my attention! Your description of the world-building and prose sounds right up my alley, and I’m glad to hear it’s darker and more twisted than one might expect; I mean, I’m kind of a dark person myself, so… 😉 Awesome review! 😀


  11. hahaha, love the disclaimer! 😀 it’s great that this book swept you off your feet so completely. I had come across the title on Netgalley but I wasn’t sure if it was going to be my thing. Your review makes me want to read this one now, for sure 🙂 I love the sound of it and I trust your judgement!

    Liked by 1 person

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