Friday, January 12, 2018

Book Review: A Promise of Fire

Title: A Promise of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles #1)
Author: Amanda Bouchet
Genre: Adult | Fantasy | Mythology | Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: August 2, 2016
Source: Purchased
Format: eBook

Catalia "Cat" Fisa lives disguised as a soothsayer in a traveling circus. She is perfectly content avoiding the danger and destiny the Gods-and her homicidal mother-have saddled her with. That is, until Griffin, an ambitious warlord from the magic-deprived south, fixes her with his steely gaze and upsets her illusion of safety forever.
Griffin knows Cat is the Kingmaker, the woman who divines the truth through lies. He wants her as a powerful weapon for his newly conquered realm-until he realizes he wants her for much more than her magic. Cat fights him at every turn, but Griffin's fairness, loyalty, and smoldering advances make him increasingly hard to resist and leave her wondering if life really does have to be short, and lived alone (goodreads)

A Promise of Fire never drew me in. 
Plot: Cat was a runaway hiding out at a circus until a traveling warlord saw her as a potential weapon and kidnapped her to help his family stay in power. Typically, I'm a fan of these sort of tropes, but as much as I wanted to love this book, it took me a very long time (like years) to continue this book. A Promise of Fire was a unique mixture of fantasy and Greek mythology and I really enjoyed how Bouchet played with the Greek Gods and created conflict around the gods and their offsprings. 

Despite all of these themes that I typically like, I never saw a  clear path for this book. It seemed like Cat and company were going in circles and I often would read full pages without knowing what I had read. Given all of that, the last 50 pages pulled everything together and I felt like I finally had a handle on what direction this series was headed. 

Characters: I think I wasn't able to connect with this story because of Cat and Griffin. Like I said, I love enemies-to-lovers but their relationship went from extreme hate to uncontrollable lust which wasn't the smoothest transition. As much as I loved Cat's snark and confidence, she reminded me too much of the urban fantasy MC archetype with barely anything extra to make her stand out. The side characters were comedic and had great interactions with both Cat and Griffin, but that still felt like a page taken from any other urban fantasy on the market. 

Worldbuilding: This Greek-influenced land drew me to the novel initially and it could have used a bit more fleshing out. I'm still on the fence deciding if I want to continue the series, but I hope that Bouchet pays a bit more attention to the landscape in the next two books. 

Short N Sweet: A Promise of Fire was a unique fantasy novel that unfortunately didn't live up to my expectations.  


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