A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet
Amazon || Goodreads
Published August 2, 2016 || Sourcebooks Casablanca
eARC via Netgalley + Publisher
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.
Once upon a time, in a land overwhelmed by magic and mystic, there was a man and a woman. The woman went by the name of Cat: she has the power to rule the land, even though all she really wants to do is escape her blood-thirsty also magical mother. The man is named Griffin and he just took a kingdom from those with magic in their blood for the first time since anyone can remember. A PROMISE OF FIRE chronicles Cat’s accepting of her magic and Griffin’s first steps as a new royal. He finds her, kidnaps her, and falls in love with her. Cat doesn’t give away her emotions easily however. Chased by dragons, interfering gods, and a warlord who just won’t give up: Cat’s got her hands full.
I like Cat. She’s spunky, abrasive, a little bit shattered, and tells it like she means it. Even after getting kidnapped from the only family whose really loved her she continues to fight (even if some of the decisions are….less than) for her freedom and her safety. I really liked how I got to know her as the book went on instead of an information dump in the beginning. That all being said, I had a bit of an issue with how Griffin handled. Actually I had a bit of an issue with Griffin (not to be confused with his compatriots, who I love with all my being) overall.
It might be the whole kidnapping thing. That sort of set us off on the wrong foot. Or it could be the whole persistence thing. I usually am all for the never-give-up persona, but it just looked weird on Griffin. I wasn’t a fan of his character interactions. For a warlord he seemed to be all bark and no bite. (okay, yes. I read the fight scenes, but some of the other parts…ugh.) I just didn’t find him to be a believable character, even for a fantasy. I love magic and sorcery and strength and dragons and kingdoms being taken over as much as the next girl, but I wanted mooooore.
And I found myself thinking that quite a bit with this book. I really loved the story and I really liked Cat. I liked Griffin’s troop. I just didn’t like him all that much. I wanted to know more about the darker side of the magic-run kingdoms. This really felt like a First Book; it sets the stage for the continuation of the series and give background information. That’s not a bad thing—just not really what I wanted.
Overall, it was a good book. I enjoyed reading it. However, I wanted a more complete book. When I finished, the first thing I thought was ‘that’s it?’ and I don’t think that’s how a book should end emotion-wise.