*** ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ***
I really, really wanted to like this book.
I was intrigued by its concept. I love both Sarah J Maas’ and Leigh Bardugo’s books, to whom this book was compared to, and I could not wait to read it.
Unfortunately I was not the target audience – going through many reviews, I can see many readers are loving this book and I am so happy for them. It was either not meant for me or I was not in the ‘right’ state to read it. 😊
To Kill a Kingdom questions if evil is born or rather made. One of the two main characters, a siren called Lira, shows signs of goodness despite being created to be evil.
I turn back to the sky, and quietly, I ask, “Do you really believe killers can stop being killers?” “I want to.”
That is something I liked about this book. I also enjoyed how the story developed and despite my comments below, I finished reading this book and I think it was a great debut novel that many will enjoy.
Following Lira’s childhood, we get a glimpse of how she was shaped into a creature she was meant to become to rule the underwater kingdom. I would have liked Lira’s inner torment to be further developed. Lira was torn but not quite as much as I would have liked her to be. There was also a hint of a story of her finding what a true belonging was when somebody (don’t want to give away spoilers) came back for her. Again, that had a potential for a powerful story but was not taken any further.
The copy I read was written from two first person narratives – Lira’s and Elian’s and there was no labelling of who was speaking when. Characters switched narrative after a chapter or two or three but I was never told who was talking when – I would personally found chapters being marked with characters’ names quite helpful as I sometimes did not know for a while who was talking. Note: I read the advanced reader’s copy, so this may not be relevant to the book’s final version!!!
There was a lot of descriptions I did not get, “I have eyelashes born from iceberg shavings and lips painted with the blood of sailor” as well as a lot of unnecessary dialog amongst the pirate crew. I’m up for jokes and humour but sometimes it was a bit repetitive and did not go anywhere.
Overall, I enjoyed the book’s message but not quite its entire story.