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Book Reviews

Book Review: A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Romance, Fantasy
Series: The Kingmaker Chronicles, book 1
Rating: 5/5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

My Summary:
Cat Fisa is the Kingmaker – “the woman who divines the truth through lies” (back cover) – who has been living in secret. When the warlord Griffin finds and uproots her from traveling circus she’s been hiding amongst for the past several years, she will have to withstand him and her instant attraction to him in order to keep hidden within the immense power lurking inside her and the destructive fate she is destined to have. But what Griffin wants from Cat will cause her to re-fortify barriers not just around her magic but her heart and a chance at pure happiness in a world where fear rules and power is a murderous craving.

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My Review:
A Promise of Fire was really good. I couldn’t put it down and finished reading it within a couple of days. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a 400+ book so fast and laughed so much.

I loved Cat and Griffin, their relationship as it progresses, and the other characters you come across as you read. Cat’s wit,  quick-thinking, and inner strength – all from years of trying to survive – made her such a dynamic and wonderful character. I love that there’s more depth to the magic she posses and the complicated past she tries to keep hidden. Griffin is a handsome, awesome warlord who is just as stubborn and quick-witted/thinking as Cat. He’s very dominant, possessive and sometimes overbearing – qualities I’ve only seen in books featuring wolves, vampires, and other supernatural creatures so this was an interesting change – but you learn that’s all a part of his alpha-like character and charm and attraction to Cat.

The cool thing about this book is that Amanda Bouchet creates a fantasy world that incorporates Greek culture and mythology – it all blends so well. For instance, Cat has a connection to Poseidon, which you discover more about as you read. The world is also separated into three realms – the majority taking place in Sinta (the realm with the least amount of magic). Those with magic are called Magoi and those without, like Griffin, are called Hoi Polloi. Each royal family of each realm have the normal titles – king, queen, prince, princess, etc – but they also more referred to as Alpha, Beta, Delta, Gamma, and other titles. It’s all very fascinating.

I was caught off guard by the level of romantic tension in this book. It does get explicit so I recommend this book for only mature readers. Cat’s physical attraction to Griffin was kind of off-putting at first because for several pages it was so constant and in your face. Which I get, this is a romance novel and her feelings stem from an inner struggle to not let people get too close so they don’t discover who she really is.

The other thing that was slightly jarring were the transitions/time skips between some of the chapters. They seemed abrupt at times but I guessed whatever would’ve taken place in between certain chapters would’ve been dull and unimportant to the story.

I have mixed feelings on the ending. There were about 30 pages or so left but it seemed like there was still a lot more to go so I half braced myself for a rushed conclusion. But it wasn’t. Now after reading the last scene I get the purpose it was supposed to serve but that cliffhanger! So much was left unresolved. So many questions still needing to be answered.

This was a very enjoyable read and I really can’t wait to read the next book, Breath of Fire – I have to know what happens next!

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About Books Spotlight

Bookshelf Spotlight: MacLeod & De Piaget (book series)

Author: Lynn Kurland
Publishers (depending on the book): Jove Books; Berkley Books

I’ve talked about Lynn Kurland before as being one of my literary heroes, but I didn’t delve too deep into her books as a whole.

The MacLeod & De Piaget books follow the lives of the past and present members of these two families, and people outside them. Both are set in the same world and there are times when these families interact with each other (who doesn’t love a good crossover in stories?). It’s the same set up each time: two people – one of them from one of the two families, the other not – living their own lives until something by chance brings them together. You then proceed to watch a romance bud between the two people and the obstacles they overcome. That may seem monotonous and boring, but Kurland really does well to craft a new story each time that is entertaining and enjoyable.

These books are perfect for a hopeless romantic such as myself. The romance between the couples is so cute without being cheesy or improbable – no love triangles or unrequited love (am 99% sure). There is a modicum of suspense as you wonder how they’ll prevail against both internal and external conflicts. The action is exciting and fun to watch. But overall, they’re very relaxing books to read. In terms of the romance, it’s very pg-13. I think the audience for is meant to be adults but I think (older) young adults would like these as well.

I’ve read most of her books, excluding her anthologies, and have liked each one. But my favorites are [from De Piaget series] Another Chance To DreamDreams of StardustWhen I Fall In LoveThe More I See YouFrom This Moment On, [from MacLeod series] A Dance Through TimeThe Very Thought of YouA Garden In The Rain, and With Every Breath. You can read these series out of order as stand-alones but there is a reading order to follow if you don’t want certain relationships spoiled.

These romantic tales are in the historical romance and paranormal romance categories and often involve time-traveling, allowing past and present day characters to interact with one another – and sequentially fall in love. And all the books include a family tree at the back, which is nice to have the more of these books you read.

I just love these books and the writing is so beautiful. You can learn more about Lynn Kurland and her books on her official website.

Happy Reading, everyone!

Previous Posts On Lynn Kurland:
My Literary Hero: Lynn Kurland
Book Review: Dreams of Lilacs by Lynn Kurland (Jove Books) (historical romance)
Book Review: Stars In Your Eyes by Lynn Kurland (Jove Books) (paranormal romance)