Genre: Fantasy Age range: YA Star rating: 4/5 Series: Standalone
Lira is the Princes’ Bane – a siren who kills a Prince for her birthday. Killing a prince too early brings the wrath of her mother – the Sea Queen – down on her. As punishment, her mother makes her a human, with orders to kill the infamous siren killer if she wants to become a siren again.
Elian is a pirate, a siren killer and – worse – a prince more at home at sea than on land. He hatches a dangerous plan to end siren-kind for good, but he’ll need to travel to the end of the earth to do so. When he fishes a drowning woman out of the ocean, far from land, she promises to help but he knows she holding the truth back.
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I was not expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did. I stayed up way later than I should have reading this.
I picked it up because I’d heard everyone talking about it, and it was reasonably cheap so I thought I ought to try it. The moment a book is described as having a romance as the main story thread, I get very wary. However, the romance is subtle, balanced by the swashbuckling and brutal – so very brutal – story.
Lira and Elian are both killers, half-feral. It’s more obvious in Lira, and it’s lovely to have a savage main character who is still relatable. It’s easy to understand why she is so vicious, and to identify with the pressures that make her who she is. I loved that love didn’t soften her – it just made her stronger and wilder. She didn’t have to change to be loved.
Elian was as tricksy and cunning as you’d want from a pirate/prince. He always had another scheme up his sleeve to try if his daring plan failed. I loved the way he interacted with his crew – and their banter.
The writing was utterly captivating, very lyrical and fast paced that I was sucked along. The descriptions were inventive and pulled me into the world.
Overall, this is a lovely book, a whistle stop ride with a satisfying conclusion.
Read my reviews of other books by Alexandra Christo:
Into the Crooked Place:
- INTO THE CROOKED PLACE (#1)
- CITY OF SPELLS (#2)