A dark, twisted retelling of The little Mermaid? Sign me up, please!
Do you remember when you were little and you’d be reading a story wide-eyed, mouth open, heart beating fast, all caught up in the action? Well, Alexandra Christo made me feel like I was 5 again with this amazingly dark retelling of The little mermaid.
The little mermaid I grew up with
When I was young, we didn’t have Ariel on the TV. I grew up with Saban’s Little Mermaid called Marina, green tailed and blonde hair. It took me a very long while to get used to Disney’s Ariel. However, no matter which version I would watch and later read, I always loved them all. Even now, as an adult, The little mermaid and Peter Pan are my favorite stories.
What did Alexandra Christo do with this tale?
“Technically, I’m a murderer, but I like to think that’s one of my better qualities.”EliaN aka the prince, To Kill a kingdom by alexandra christo
“You are a little heartless today, aren’t you?”Lira aka the siren, to kill a kingdom by alexandra christo
“Never,” I say. “There are seventeen under my bed.”
Well, she took it, she shaped it, she got creative and she made a whole new tale, one that captures your attention by page one. Let’s get to the review for more!
Actually, I don’t want to give it to you because it feels a bit spoilery. If you want to read it, you can find it right here. All you should know is that it is based, as I said in the title, on The little mermaid and it kinda follows the main key points. To introduce the main characters, there are Lira, the siren, and Elian, the prince.
- story and concept. Wow. Just wow. I mean… Alexandra managed to take a very well known childhood tale and she made it hers. This is very hard to do without ruining the whole idea of the original tale: you must stay close enough that it is recognizable but far enough that you don’t copy it. I feel like this book is doing perfectly that.
- style. This is a dark story. A very dark story. If you aren’t convinced, check again the quotes. There is murder, hate, prejudice, war talk, there are fights – a lot of fights- and quite a bit of gore. I loved it!
- plot. This was great! I mean it had twists and turns but they were never overdone, it had action, it had things happening on and off page, it was a page turner.
- characters. I loved the main characters. I simply loved them. They had personalities, they were complex, they had to face fears and even their own lives and their ways of thinking. What shocked me most about this book was how much I felt with the characters. I laughed, I cried – mom called me while I was bawling.. try explaining your mom that no, nothing bad happened, well, at least not in this world, when you can barely talk.
- world building. Complex universe, composed by land and underwater kingdoms. I understood their histories, the way they worked, the reasons between their collaborations or hatred. I got to see and understand the setting of the book which was great!
- dialogue. Smart, natural, never forced and honest. I am abusing the word “love”. I loved it.
- relationships. From the title you could tell that the siren was going to fall for the prince and the other way around. Trust me, you have no idea what they go through before that! All you need to know is that this IS NOT insta-love, insta-attraction or insta anything. Well, insta something but not along those lines :))
- writing. When was the last time when you cried at the scenes you were supposed to cry, laugh at the scenes where you were supposed to laugh, be scared and anxious when you were supposed to be anxious? Well, if you read this book, that will be one of those times.
- character development: this is MINOR and to avoid the spoilers I must be very vague about this but hopefully you will get the idea: there is a character who transitions to a certain way of being to another a bit too easily from my pov. I would have thought it would take a lot more to change them and I would have liked to see a bit more struggle but nonetheless, this is like “with or without cherry on top?”. Sure, the cherry is yumm, but it’s decorum, it can’t save a wreck of a cake. This cake here needs no saving 😛
- it doesn’t have a sequel
Would I recommend this? Yes!! Absolutely yes! I would recommend this to girls, guys, young adults and adults. Its characters and style are just so different than anything I am used to reading when it comes to this genre that I would recommend this to anyone interested in trying a dark version of The little mermaid.