Review: A Promise of Fire - Amanda Bouchet

Cover - A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet
A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet
Series : Kingmaker Chronicles #1
My Rating : {★★★★★}

Adult Fantasy Romance

Published August 2016 by Piatkus

Source - Hatchette Australia via NetGalley
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.

First of all let me just say that even though this book is categorised as Adult Fiction I believe this could easily fall into New Adult or Young Adult (sans the erotic scenes).

That was a particularly good book. I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it so engaging I was reading it everywhere and I was reading it all of the time.

You know when you find a good book and you just carry it around with you in case you get to read? Like when you’re waiting for the kettle to boil or when the toddler is eating her breakfast watching a few snatches of TV here and there – those stolen moments that you just have to pick that book up again because you have to know what happens? And then you finally turn that last page and you are in disbelief that it’s actually the end and so you turn back a couple of pages just to be sure you haven’t skipped something? It was that good.

Normally (and I’ve come across this problem a lot recently) I just don’t gel with books written in the present tense. But this book – this book is exactly how a book in present tense should be written. Bouchet managed to convey a depth to her characters that is not easily conceived through writing in the present tense and there is a plot with a rich history that was unveiled slowly and carefully and was so perfectly woven with a beautiful new world and familiar Greek mythology.

The main character ‘Cat’ was so refreshing to me – not only is she confident, competent and kick-ass but she’s also annoying, whiny and arrogant. But that’s all part of the package that I love. This book is written in first person and everything we see is from Cat’s point of view. We hear her inner commentary of events past and present and it’s a point of view that I love. Her snark and wit had me giggling a few times and I really connected with her as a character and felt her inner turmoil and fear.

Even though this is a first person narrative, the remaining characters were still so complex and comprehensive and so much information was garnered from small observations on the part of Cat – not on her telling you what was happening or what she thought the other person was feeling. It was very cleverly written.

Along with a pretty awe-inspiring female protagonist we also get a whole cast of strong female characters, both good and evil, princesses and soldiers, healers and performers. I hope we see a lot of them return in the following books! I always enjoy authors who make new worlds and within them give females as much importance as males – equality that their world is born with.

There’s a slow burning romance here that I loved – I was fully on board this ship! – and there’s also a fair amount of action and bloodshed. This is primarily a love story but Bouchet pulled no punches and because I felt as though the character’s decisions and actions rang so true with I already knew about them I certainly didn’t feel as if this was out of place at all. If you’re a bit squeamish and can’t do ruthlessness, power plays and vile activities then this probably isn’t for you.

If you like imaginative writing, creative and well woven plots, fantastic new worlds filled with magic and fantasy, Greek mythology and fiery, saucy romance all interlaced with a witty and highly entertaining point of view – you will want to read this. Go ahead and add this to your TBR – you won’t regret it!

Breath of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles #2)→

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