Tuesday, November 21, 2017

2018 Most Anticipated - To Kill A Kingdom

I love retellings. I especially love when those retellings have a twist of some kind. The next book to be featured definitely fits this description. It features a mermaid who has her voice stolen and is turned into a human. A familiar sounding story, right?

This retelling, however, has more in common with the original than the Disney version. Alexandra Christo's To Kill A Kingdom offers up a delightfully dark twist to the classic tale which immediately caught my attention. It is pretty much everything I have ever wanted in a retelling of The Little Mermaid and I cannot wait to get my hands on it.

The Goodreads synopsis teases a VERY different version of the little mermaid we all know and love, and a relationship with a Prince that is more antagonistic than romantic. 
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?
THAT TAGLINE THOUGH! 'A Princess must have her Prince'. I am ALL about this. I love the twist that Lira hates humans. She doesn't make the deal to become human willingly. She isn't in love with the Prince. This isn't about her changing for a guy which immediately has me on board with this retelling. The synopsis also has just the right amount of creepiness with the mention of hearts being taken.

Alexandra has graciously taken the time to do a Q and A with me that I hope will have you wanting to check out this book in 2018.

1 What gif do you think best describes To Kill A Kingdom

I think this GIF sums up Lira and Elian's relationship pretty perfectly:

2 If someone were to make a signature cocktail in honour of your book, what might be included?

Well, it is a book about pirates, so we'd have to have some rum in there! Lira would probably love to have something similar to a Bloody Mary in her honour - very spicy, with that bitter edge, and just the right shade of red.

3 There is a definite Little Mermaid vibe to the synopsis of this novel. How much did this classic tale inspire you while writing? 

The ending of the original story really resonated with me. It started as tragic, but then turned strangely uplifting. It didn't matter that the prince didn't love the mermaid, because in the end she found her own happiness outside of that. She was able to earn herself a soul. This led me to think about the idea of earning redemption and so the villainess Lira was born! I wanted to explore the idea of humanity, and if things like goodness are ingrained in you, or if you're shaped by the people around you. Lira's arc is all about figuring that out.

I also really loved the idea that mermaids could dissolve into foam - literally fade into nothingness - and so even if they were immortal, their lives could be fleeting, and it's even more important that they leave their mark on the world. After all, when they're gone there's nothing left to remember them by. This became a big driving force for Lira: to be remembered and revered and to feel like she had earned her place in her kingdom.

4 Name a song you listed to for inspiration while writing this novel

When I write, I'm one of those boring people who can't have music playing or the TV on in the background. BUT there were so many songs I'd be listening to while relaxing at home or heading to work, and the lyrics would suddenly set off a light bulb and I'd have to rush to get all my ideas down. To name a couple:

- Victory (The Silent Comedy)
- Hero (Family of the Year)

5 If you could travel to anywhere, in any time period, when and where would you want travel?

Oh, definitely to the future. I'd like to know where we're going, not where we've been. (And who doesn't want a flying car?)

6 What 2018 release are you most anticipating?

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert - a creepy fairytale book? Right up my street!

7 If not too spoilery, can you share the first line of To Kill A Kingdom?

Sure! Actually, here's the opening paragraphs:

I have a heart for every year I've been alive.

There are seventeen hidden in the sand of my bedroom. Every so often, I claw through the shingle, just to check they’re still there. Buried deep and bloody. I count each of them, so I can be sure none were stolen in the night. It’s not such an odd fear to have. Hearts are power, and if there’s one thing my kind craves more than the ocean, it’s power.

The opening paragraph has given me chills. I love how Lira has seventeen hearts in her collection from the seventeen Princes she's killed. I am predicting Lira is a bad ass and that I will love her.

To Kill A Kingdom releases March 6, 2018 but you can pre-order it right now from any retailer.

You can also follow Alexandra on Twitter, and find out more about her books on the publisher website.

What are some of your favourite books, television shows, or movies that feature mermaids? Do books that feature mermaids automatically become a must read for you like they do me? Let me know in the comments.

Be sure to stop by tomorrow to find out the next book on my 2018 Most Anticipated List!

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