Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publish Date: 2nd Aug 16
Reviewed by: E & Has
How we got this book: ARC from the publisher 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.
This blurb came from Goodreads
E: Everything about this book just called to me. I liked the title, the cover, and when I read the blurb I think I sprained my fingers trying to request it for review. When I started reading I was hoping that I wouldn’t be let down. When I finished reading I KNEW I wasn’t let down and if anything I had to let my reading high diminish before I picked up anything else new. It really wouldn’t have been fair because I absolutely LOVED this story and I can’t wait to see what Bouchet comes up with next.
Has: I also had the same spidey senses tingling when an online friend sent me an email of the blurb because she knew it was a book that I would love! And I have to say those first impressions certainly lived up to my expectations because, it ticked all the boxes that I love in a fantasy romance. I loved that it had a warlord hero, and a smart heroine and an intriguing world filled with gods and mythical creatures as well as humour and great chemistry between the characters who were very memorable.
E: Cat had a whole lot of power but compared to her family she felt like she was the most insignificant and did everything she could to disguise her power and remain hidden. Using the idea of hiding in plain sight she traveled and worked with a troupe of entertainers who had become much more of a family to her then her blood family. Then one day, Griffin, a powerful warlord from a neighboring land noticed her ability and decided she would work nicely to help his people. Cat didn’t agree with Griffin’s perspective and did everything she could to get away from him and his men while not revealing the extent of her power. However, during the long journey back to his home, Cat ended up caring about Griffin’s men and revealing more of her powers as she helped them survive different attacks. The repercussions of using different aspects of her power helped keep Cat approachable and on the same level as Griffin and his family.
Has: I really liked how Amanda Bouchet made Griffin’s character really likeable even though he’s a conquering warlord and initially forced Cat to leave her safe haven at the circus and to work for him. Griffin was patient with Cat, although I did love that sparks ignited between them when she got under his skin and vice versa which was fun. Although I did find Cat acting immature at times, but with her past and age it was understandable. I also loved how Griffin sensed her vulnerability and it made me love him even more because he was such a great hero for her. The chemistry between them was palpable and I really enjoyed how the tension between them grew throughout the book. I think their romance was a real highlight of the book, and I loved how they finally started to acknowledge their deeper feelings for each other despite their initial mistrust and fears. Their scenes together was also sizzling, and I think the title of the book really sums up the feel and tone of story and of these characters.
E: I had so much fun with Cat and Griffin’s fiery relationship. They were so foreign to each other and yet had a lot in common. Their forced close proximity was a delight as Griffin tried to get Cat to willingly cooperate and Cat tried to get Griffin to regret his decision. They both cared for the people around them and felt an almost obligation to protect them whenever possible. This tended to get them into messy situations and make them characters I liked. The more I saw them interact with each other and the supporting cast the more I wanted to get to know them better.
Has: Yes! I loved the supporting characters, who made up Griffin’s Beta team and that of his family, the humour and camaraderie along with their chemistry was fantastic. I also loved how tropes were turned on their heads with an alpha warlord giving up power to his sister who is the total opposite and wanted to help people with providing education and healthcare. While Cat’s experiences with the magical ruling nobles who ruled over the non magical users was puzzled and bemused by his tactics yet despite her doubts she wanted to help Griffin and his family.
E: In addition to the characters I really enjoyed the world-building and its variety. Everything fit nicely including the different varieties of magic and the influence of the Gods. The huge differences between Griffin’s family and other high class families fit perfectly with the initial problem which brought Cat and Griffin together. The snobbery and social strata trickled down throughout society particularly in the areas who had more direct contact with or were dependent on their standing with the ruling families. I thought the struggles both Cat and Griffin faced made total sense given how things were structured.
Has: I thought it was an interesting setting and premise, and I LOVED Bouchet’s take on dragons, which was one of the highlights in the book. I hope we get to see more of them in the future. Although I would have liked more information and set up with Cat’s past because I felt that was too vague at times about her powers, even though I guessed the secret she was guarding pretty early on. But I really like that the book didn’t end on a cliffhanger, even though this was the first book of a trilogy but it sets up for bigger things in the sequel because Griffin and Cat has caught the attention of the other ruling magical kingdoms.
E: I have been looking for a new epic fantasy romance author/series and based on how I felt when I finished reading A Promise of Fire Bouchet is meeting my desire. I thought this was the absolute perfect read that I am looking forward to rereading as I wait for the next book in this series. I am eager to get back to Cat, Griffin, and their adventures.
I give A Promise of Fire an A+
Has: I adored the romance between Griffin and Cat and the world-building was memorable, vivid and well thought out. This was an awesome debut, it’s like Amanda Bouchet had a casserole dish which had elements of Warprize, Kate Daniels, and a bit of Throne of Glass and mixed more magic, Greek mythology and romance and got a delicious dish called<em>A Promise of Fire</em>! This book is certainly in my top ten reads for this year, while Amanda Bouchet has become one of my breakout authors I really enjoyed!
I give A Promise of Fire an A!
BP Note: One of our other reviewers, Marlene, provided her thoughts on A Promise of Fire over at Reading Reality yesterday. Please check out what she had to say and enter the giveaway.