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Monday, January 9, 2017

Breath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

Title: Breath of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles #2)
Author: Amanda Bouchet
Publisher: 3 January 2017 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Pages: 448 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: fantasy, magic, romance, paranormal, mythology
My Rating: 3.5 crowns


"Cat" Catalia Fisa has been running from her destiny since she could crawl. But now, her newfound loved ones are caught between the shadow of Cat's tortured past and the threat of her world-shattering future. So what's a girl to do when she knows it's her fate to be the harbinger of doom? Everything in her power.
Griffin knows Cat is destined to change the world-for the better. As the realms are descending into all-out war, Cat and Griffin must embrace their fate together. Gods willing, they will emerge side-by-side in the heart of their future kingdom...or not at all.

My Thoughts

Back in September I reviewed book one of this trilogy, ‘A Promise of Fire’ and enjoyed it (click on the title to read that review). So it was with great anticipation that I received a copy of book two. Now admittedly I was a little at odds in reviewing book one, due to the seemingly awkward clash of fantasy and fun. However, I overlooked some things, believing in what I thought would be it’s long term promise. Now I’m not so sure. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy book two, just not quite as much as I loved, ‘A Promise of Fire’. Book one demonstrated real potential, with snappy comebacks and good action scenes. Sadly, it would appear the dreaded second book syndrome reared its ugly head.

“What’s it like being the Lost Princess? The woman everyone is looking for?

To pinpoint where it exactly went off is difficult, as much of the same winning formula is there, but perhaps to excess. Was book two on steroids and became overkill? Maybe. This was narrated at a crazy pace with the formulaic adventure/crusade, leads to near death, leads to magic healing, leads to manic sex, then repeat it all again until the end of the instalment. From start to finish this was just full on action as they brave the Ice Plains, battle innumerable scary creatures and come out with their lives from each encounter time and again. I just wanted more character development and less near death experiences.

Does he think I’m not afraid? I’m terrified. Constantly. I just do things anyway and hope for the best. Admittedly, that’s not always the best strategy, but sometimes there really isn’t much choice.

It’s hard to admit how much I struggled to get through this book. As I said, it’s not bad, it just seemed a rehashed, overpowering imitation of the first book. The sexual tension between the two main leads,  has been replaced with, at times, questionable physical interactions, to put it nicely. The first few passages are confronting and rather topical as many may see it as domestic violence. To even have that question hanging is detrimental to the good of the story. Of course there are the same fights and make-ups throughout, but it all became a bit tedious. However, here is more to the story than their relationship and that sets things up for a dramatic book three.

You are my soul, and yes, I will fight for you and protect you until my dying breath.”

There is still much to appreciate about this fast paced action book. Bouchet’s writing style is highly engaging and her research and twist on Greek mythology amazing. Also the secondary characters really come to the fore in this book and add great depth to the tale. Would I read book three? Most definitely as Bouchet has me invested in the dramatic plot and whether the kingdoms will ever be united and what of Cat’s mother.

We’ll change the world, Cat, and we’ll do it without the war you fear.

So whilst the second book did not live up to my expectations, it still maintains that strong storyline which is sure to please fans - and one must remember, these books MUST be read as one entity, they are not standalones. Here is hoping that this is just a small hiccup and ultimately this series will prove to be a memorable debut.

“You end the scourge. You rebuild the kingdom. You’ve had more than eight years to think about it. Now stop hiding and do something!”

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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