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Saturday, September 24, 2016

A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

Title: A Promise of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles #1)
Author: Amanda Bouchet
Publisher: 9 August 2016 by Hachette Australia - Piatkus
Pages: 464 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: romance, sci fi, fantasy, magic
My Rating: 4 crowns

Kingmaker. Soothsayer. Warrior. Mage. Kingdoms would rise and fall for her      . . .  if she is ever found

In the icy North, where magic is might, an all-powerful elite ruthlessly guided by a glacial Queen have grown to dominate the world. Now rebellion is stirring in the rough, magic-poor South, where for the first time in memory a warlord has succeeded in uniting the tribal nations.

Stuck in the middle is Cat - circus performer and soothsayer - safely hidden behind heavy make-up, bright colours and the harmless illusion of the circus. Until someone suspects she's more than she seems . . .
Captured by the Southern warlord Griffin, Cat's careful camouflage is wearing thin. For how long can - or should - she conceal the true extent of her power? Faced with dragons, homicidal mages, rival Gods and the traitorous longings of her own heart, she must decide: is it time to claim her destiny and fight?

My Thoughts

"There's magic in spoken language. It's binding. There's a reason people ask for someone else's word. Every sentence a person utters can be a promise - or a betrayal."

I'm at odds to review A Promise of Fire. From one perspective it is YA (young adult) and reads very much so. From another perspective it's fantasy and fun. At times these two seem to conflict, but overall I found it an entertaining read. It's the reader's approach that counts. You will at times cringe but ultimately I found this to be an enjoyable read, fanciful, fun and romantic. 

"You don't get it," I say ... '"she won't  let anyone take me from her." 
"You don't get it ... you're mine. Not Cat the Soothsayer. Not Cat the Kingmaker. Just Cat."

The two leads are romantic, independent and strong. Combine that with loads of adventure and magic and that easily gets it across the line. What I found refreshing is how funny it is, the banter is, at times, hilarious. Cat is spunky yet at times so unsure of herself. Griffin, whilst an 'alpha' male, is most swoon worthy - protective and considerate he will do anything for her. Then there is the 'Beta' team and ... well, the list of characters is long and interesting. So whilst at times I find the petulance perturbing, the strong characters, action, humour and romantic tension definitely wins out for me in the end. 

"You're not who you think you are. You're better, and you're more".

If steamy sex scenes don't make you blush,  then you are in for a treat. Here, is where it moves away from young adult as it is rather explicit. Going into this read with an open mind will see you rewarded with an epic read full of magic and romance. I took a star away for the immaturity that annoyed me at times and also at the beginning you really need to concentrate on not only the scenario, but also the  explanation of the kingdoms. However, throw into the mix some Greek mythology and you have a well-rounded magical fantasy read. 

“Kingdoms rise and fall for you. Because of you.”

I think A Promise of Fire will be one of those books that you don't fully appreciate until viewed as a trilogy and retrospectively. The first book has to set things up and may seem confusing and juvenile at times. But later instalments will hopefully reveal that all of this provided the necessary and natural stepping stones.  A Promise of Fire shows great potential as the author seems to have a strong sense of how this is all going to unfold. Am I excited for the second book - you betchya! 

"Something in the warmth flutters, cautious, like a nascent bird’s wings. Like a fledgling, though, I don’t know whether I’ll crash or fly."

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release

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