(Twitter, Goodreads)Published by Feiwel & Friends on March 6th 2018
Genres: Fairy Tales & Folklore, General, Mermaids, Royalty, Young Adult Fiction
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?
Murderous Ruthless Sirens… yes please!
Princess Lira has collected a prince’s heart each year on her birthday… she is revered and feared across the sea by both creatures above and below the water, but when Lira makes a mistake, her Sea Queen mother punishes her Lira by transforming her into the one thing she loathes… a human. The Sea Queen takes Lira’s haunting song and gives her until the Winter Solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart (the prince she saved) or she’ll be forced to remain a human forever.
Prince Elian is heir to the most powerful kingdom around, but the water is his true home. Hunting sirens is what he’s meant to do. When he rescues a drowning woman, he knows she’s more than she appears, but when she promises to help him find the one thing that could destroy the murderous sirens for good, how can he decline her help.
Admittedly this book was a slow start for me… it took a bit for me to really get into the characters and the story, but man, once I did, I could not put this book down. Lira is unapologetic about her collection of prince hearts and she simultaneously desires her mother’s approval, and hates how she rules the ocean. While Lira is ruthless, she learned to be that from the Sea Queen. Forced to become the “Prince’s Bane” her reputation is feared and deserved of course, but you can’t help but wonder if things would be different if she had been raised differently.
I loved Elian… he’s cocky and brave and he rightfully doesn’t fully trust Lira. As a prince, he knows his days to roam the ocean are limited. His duties on land are calling more urgently and every time he steps foot on his ship, he takes a chance on his life that something could go horribly wrong, leaving his kingdom without an inheriting son. But the Sea is his mistress and it’s where he feels most alive, and I think that Christo did an incredible job of really conveying that in the story.
As I said, the story itself started a bit slow for me, but Christo does an incredible job of weaving original twists and turns that you’ll barely realize it’s a bit of a retelling of The Little Mermaid. Though, there is just enough of the original here to set the stage… And there is so much action and adventure!
The banter and chemistry between Lira and Elian was wonderful. They clash from the very beginning and it’s so much fun! I absolutely loved the evolution of their relationship… from enemies, to sort of friends and confidants, to even more each step of the way, was wonderfully plotted and paced.
If you’re a fan of YA Fantasy and are looking for something a bit different but sort of familiar, I definitely recommend this one… Plus – it’s hard to believe, but this is a stand-alone. It’s somewhat refreshing to read something in the fantasy genre that isn’t a huge series.
Thank you to the publisher for an early copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.