Sunday, August 28, 2016

ARC Review: A Promise of Fire

A Promise of Fire
Amanda Bouchet
Romantic Fantasy
Sourcebooks Casablanca/August 2, 2016
The Kingmaker Chronicles/Book 1

Catalia "Cat" Fisa is a powerful clairvoyant known as the Kingmaker. This smart-mouthed soothsayer has no interest in her powers and would much rather fly under the radar, far from the clutches of her homicidal mother. But when an ambitious warlord captures her, she may not have a choice… 

Griffin is intent on bringing peace to his newly conquered realm in the magic-deprived south. When he discovers Cat is the Kingmaker, he abducts her. But Cat will do everything in her power to avoid her dangerous destiny and battle her captor at every turn. Although up for the battle, Griffin would prefer for Cat to help his people willingly, and he's ready to do whatever it takes to coax her…even if that means falling in love with her.

The cover grabbed my attention right off. It's beautiful! I love the colors, the shading and the intense look on Cat's face. It gives the reader an idea of how vivid the action will be. It is action packed but it's also political with different royal families of power. And family plays an important role on both the traditional family represented by Griffin's and the rather non-traditional represented by Cat's circus family.

Cat is an anti-heroine and she is wonderful! She made me laugh so many times I lost count. She does not want anything to do with heroics. She's a real smartass in the best possible way. In fact, she almost seems to enjoy threatening people who piss her off. But when she truly needs to, she comes through for those she cares about. Even at the point of risking her life to save others. She is a heroine, whether she likes it or not.

This is a fantasy wrapped in political intrigue with noble families of both Magoi (magical) and Hoi Polloi(non-magical). Cat is from a powerful Magoi family which she keeps to herself for fear she will be found by her more-evil-than-Satan mother. But Cat is incredibly powerful and it is Griffin's luck and perseverance which places Cat in his arms.

Griffin and his merry band of men are soldiers searching for Cat and when they find her, they kidnap her. Not the best start to a romance but eventually Cat comes around once she gets to know Griffin and his men. They are placed in some epic battles, often with little hope of survival. But Cat is willing to use her considerable powers to save her new friends. I loved the battle scenes and how Griffin, his men and Cat all worked together to defeat overwhelming odds. The times between battles is when Cat learns more about Griffin and what his family hopes to accomplish now that they have won the war for Sinta. Although, they still have more wars to fight.

The powers Cat and others have are magical, gifts of the Gods. There are numerous references to various gods and Cat even talks to them and they seem to reply back, just not in the usual form. Think more of god-like reply with thunder and lightning. I liked this aspect of the story but also found it a little confusing between keeping up with who's who of the Magoi, Hoi Polloi, the armies, magical creatures and the gods.

This world Ms. Bouchet has created is complex and entertaining. I look forward to January's release of Breath of Fire and seeing what happens next in the lives of Cat, Griffin, their families and friends. Definitely a strong start to this new series.

Rating: B+

The Kingmaker Chronicles ~

A Promise of Fire
Breath of Fire (January 3, 2017)
Heart on Fire (Fall 2017)

1 comment:

  1. LOL, such different responses :) I'm glad you enjoyed it, Leslie! I knew my complaints about A Promise of Fire had more to do with me than the book itself :)

    I'll agree, the cover sure is pretty :)