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To Kill a Kingdom: 07/28/18
To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo is a retelling of The Little Mermaid with a blending of Greco-Roman mythology. It's told in alternating points of view between Princess Lira, the daughter of Sea Queen, and one of the most lethal of sirens, and Prince Elian, a seafaring / pirate prince.
The setting isn't quite the Mediterranean but it's certainly inspired by it. There are Japanese influences too, in the form of a tavern owner with an interesting past. The world building is just familiar enough and just magical enough to give the reader plenty of things to imagine and think about without getting lost. It compares favorably with the world building in The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton and the Sea of Ink and Gold series by Traci Chee.
Lira and Elian are both well imagined characters with compelling reasons to do the things that they do. The foundation for this story is more Disney than Hans Christian Anderson but with darker motives and better thought out characters. Gone is the "because he's cute" and the "humans have cool stuff" reasons. Both characters are working for their kingdoms, sometimes together and sometimes at cross purposes.