Review: Breath of Fire - Amanda Bouchet

Breath of Fire
Breath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet
Series : Kingmaker Chronicles
My Rating : {★★★★★}

Adult Fantasy Romance
Published January 3rd 2017 by Piatkus

Source: Hachette Australia via NetGalley
In a land where magic is might, Catalia Fisa is the mightiest of them all . . .

Catalia Fisa, Lost Princess, has been running from destiny her whole life. Yet deep down, she has always believed that the prophecy shadowing her every step is inescapable: her unimaginable power will bring unfathomable disaster.

But now her newfound loved ones are caught between the shadow of Cat's tortured past and the threat of her world-shattering future. Although it may be that this, even with all her power, is still the one battle she cannot win, Cat's determined not to go down without a fight.

As the realms descend into all-out war, Cat knows she must embrace the power at her command. With Griffin by her side and Gods willing, perhaps she can emerge victorious in this fiery forging of a new Kingdom.

"Harbinger of the end. Destroyer of realms"

For me, this was a very worthy sequel to A Promise of Fire and I thoroughly enjoyed being back in Bouchet's world based on Greek mythology. It was so very nearly as good as the first book and I really appreciate that in a sequel!

There's an immense plot with action packed battles; swoon worthy romance and sizzling scenes; there's snark, humour and witty banter; tender moments and pages full of camaraderie and friendship.

I really enjoyed watching Cat's character development through this one - she's struggling to accept who and what she is and yet with Griffin by her side and her support from Beta team, she is stepping up to her potential. It's not always pretty and it's not always graceful, but she is growing and moving forwards.

The steaminess is also turned up in this one and not to the detriment of the story which I found refreshing. The world and the plot is becoming more and more complex as are the characters and their interactions.

I love getting to know more about Beta team and getting to know and spend time with more of Griffin's family - I could really see how they have instilled such wonderful values into their children and the characters are so richly developed and multi-faceted that I believed and cared about every one of them.

There were a couple of scenes that have been mentioned in other reviews that I wanted to address here, firstly as a bit of a fore-warning but also to explain why I'm still giving this one five stars.

There's a scene in which Griffin completely loses his cool and destroys a lot of stuff - for me, while a bit of a shock, it was still in keeping with this man. He has a fierce temper which he largely keeps under control and in the previous book it didn't seem to matter how far Cat pushed him or goaded him, he never snapped. In this book the stakes are raised and just everything becomes that much more intense. It wasn't the best way he could have handled things, it wasn't a perfect representation of an infallible main character, but who actually likes those guys anyway? I like my characters to be relatable and I guess I quickly forgave him for the error in his ways. He proved time and time again his loyalty and trust was with Cat. Even when Cat has no confidence or faith in herself, Griffin lifts her up. All humans are allowed to make mistakes, even fictional ones. I'm not defending Griffin's epic tantrum here - but I am defending the author's use of it in this book.

“I will never leave you,” I vow, feeling the magic in my words bind me. “Only death can tear us apart, and even then, I will wait for you at the edges of the Underworld until you come to me again.”

As I've mentioned - there's some really great secondary characters in this series and my love for them makes the bad things that happen to them tough to take. In particular my heart is aching for Kato and the treatment that he received at the hands of a capricious Goddess and her handmaiden. I hope that this issue is addressed further in the third book because Kato is one of my favourites and deserves better...

All in all, this is an action packed book and is quite the roller coaster ride from start to finish. I do love Bouchet's affinity for writing well choreographed and action packed battle scenes: I was right there in the arena during the games, I could almost feel the three headed beast's breath on my neck and the hydra's shrieks seemed to echo in my own ears.

I love the world, I love the adventure and I love the wonderful characters. The ending of this book, while not a cliffhanger, leaves a lot still to be resolved in the third book and I'm willing to bet there will be a fairly epic battle in the future. I look forward to Cat stepping into the role that she is born for and I look forward to just reading more from Bouchet. Heart on Fire can't come soon enough for me!

“The minute you cease being afraid of yourself, there’s nothing in this world that can stop you.”

A Promise of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles #1) -- Heart On Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles #3)→

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