Publisher: Little Brown Book Group (Piatkus)
Genre: Adult, Greek Mythology, Fantasy, Romance
Source: review copy in exchange for an honest review
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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.
A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet for me was such a conflicting read, but in a good way. It follows Cat who possesses a bunch of awesome powers but is on the run from her Evil (with a capital E) mother so is laying low in a circus as a soothsayer. She’s content with her life and being part of the circus, until a warlord shows up and ‘claims’ or abducts her. (However, you want to put it, he adult-naps her). She starts to realise that warlord dude isn’t too bad. In fact, he’s got plans to create a… less violent kingdom. Even if this is true, Cat doesn’t want to have any part of it in case it attracts the attention of the family she’s trying to run from.
I love books that take Greek mythology and add an original twist to it. Amanda Bouchet did just that, adding enough action and intrigue that it was a struggle to convince myself to put it down and even when I wasn’t reading, I was thinking about it (and Griffin).
One of my favourite things about this book was the characters. I can’t help but like a book a whole lot more when there’s a group of reluctant people thrown together and they become great friends. Though Cat is reluctant at first, she slowly begins to grow fond of these warriors and what they stand for. As the story develops, we learn more about Cat and that even if she acts indifferent, her instinct is to protect everyone even the guys that abducted her.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Magic-wielding girl falls in love with her captor, bleugh. But I have to admit, I enjoyed watching them fall for each other even though it was kind of obvious from the get go that it would happen. The banter between the two characters was hilarious, and I like that the romance began with a reluctant friendship. Those are my favourite kinds. I have to admit, some parts made me cringe and there are some rather explicit steamy scenes (you hath been warned) which is probably why this is Adult. The scenes themselves were… interesting, but there were some parts where I just face-palmed.
It was interesting, full of lovable characters, and full of enough humour, action, magic and intrigue to make it a story that I flew through but didn’t really want to end. I didn’t think I’d like it as much as I did which was a pleasant surprise, and the book 2 snippet at the end definitely made me want book two. Which is already out in eBook and is waiting patiently for me on my kindle.
Favourite quote: “Don’t overestimate the masses. They love you until they hate you. They hate you until they love you.”