Sunday, October 1, 2017

A Promise of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles, #1) by Amanda Bouchet

Synopsis (via Goodreads): 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. 

"Never in a billion suns. Not even if Zeus showed up as a swan and tried to peck me in your direction. I wouldn't go with you even if my other option was Hades dragging me to the Underworld for an eternal threesome with Persephone."
Why am I having trouble writing this review? Did I like the book? Definitely. Would I read it again? Yes. Am I anxious to read the next book in the series? Mostly. I can't put my finger on what bothered me about this book. I feel like it ended too abruptly and in a way that didn't fit in with everything else. I was also starting to get a little frustrated with Cat, so I think the last few chapters left a sour taste in my mouth.

I'm all for angst and building romantic tension between characters, but they have to break at some point. I was annoyed with Cat's lack of commitment and self-loathing. She should have grown and gotten more comfortable in her own skin. She has trust issues, which are understandable, but Griffin and the others repeatedly prove their love and genuine concern for her. She would trust them with her life and her love, but not with her secrets? What kind of a relationship is that? Eventually, she should have broken down and confided in her new "family," but she didn't. We as readers know what is going on (for the most part), which only made it more maddening when Cat wouldn't confide in anyone else. I know she thought she was protecting them, but I wanted to pull my hair out.

The ending was abrupt and felt a little forced. I don't know how many times Cat nearly had to die while four men fluttered around her and tried to move mountains. I also don't feel like her male companions got enough attention in the book. I can easily describe what they looked like and how they smelled, but I want to know characters on a deeper and more personal level. Where did they come from? Why are they so loyal to Griffin?

Now, with all that being said, those are just my feelings about the last few chapters. I was thoroughly enjoying the book up until then. There's magic, Greek mythology, a She-Dragon--all things I love reading about. I frequently found myself grinning from ear to ear, and a few times I literally laughed out loud. The Beta Team banter was one of my favorite things, and I loved Cat's short, internal arguments with herself. I just wish the story had progressed a little differently, and that Cat would have confided in someone by now.


  1. I've heard great things about this series. It sounds like you *mostly* enjoyed it lol

    I hate when the reader is in on the secret but you have to sit there and wait for everyone else to catch up.

    I do want to read this at some point though.

    For What It's Worth

    1. I really did enjoy it! I didn't want to put it down. I just kept waiting and waiting for her to finally confide in Griffin, anyone really, so the story could progress in a different direction. She just never made that next step. I know what she knows, the others may have their assumptions, but gah. It was one thing that really irked me. Griffin clearly loves her more than life itself. He's proved it over and over again. We all know her secret has to come out eventually, so why drag it out? Other than that, wonderful story! I'm hoping the second book clears everything up in the beginning so I can go back to being happily engrossed in the story.


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“Stuff and nonsense. Nonsense and stuff and much of a muchness and nonsense all over again. We are all mad here, don't you know?”
― Marissa Meyer, Heartless