Title: A Promise of Fire
Author: Amanda Bouchet
Series: Kingmaker Chronicles #1
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Available: 2nd August
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.
Source: ARC from Sourcebooks Casablanca via NetGalley
I really enjoyed this. It’s a good mix of fantasy and romance, heavily inspired by Greek mythology. Actually, no, this isn’t inspired by, it makes thorough use of the Greek pantheon, which I will admit threw me quite a bit at first. Just to be clear, this is set in a fantasy world, with three separate nations, bound by magic and the Greek Gods. When I got over my initial reservations, though, I found that this worked really well. Any appearance of Cerberus is more or less bound to win me over.
I liked Cat. She’s feisty and fiery and has excellent reasons for her secrecy – and her anger at Griffin for abducting her. Sometimes she does seem to be arguing for the sake of arguing, but I couldn’t blame her for it because she had been kidnapped and was being held against her will, no matter how cute and nice the guys were being. Her powers do also venture into convenient and perfect territory at times, but she’s certainly useful to have around.
Griffin is useful too, with his strength and tenacity. He’s also possessive and arrogant, but he’s a warlord, so that does kind of come with the territory. I did like how he ultimately respected Cat’s boundaries, though, and never took things further than she was willing – although the whole romancing the captive wasn’t entirely comfortable. Mostly he saves it for after the magical binding rope trick, which meant I could go along with it. If any of these scenes had been told from any other perspective than Cat’s, though, I’d probably be a lot less happy with the romance side of things.
Because this is definitely a Fantasy Romance. In fact it falls into two fairly neat halves. The first being plenty of action and fantastical things, the second being much more focused on the romance. Other things do happen, there is action, and the magic remains throughout, but if romance heavy plots and hot sex scenes in fantasy aren’t your thing, this will cause a problem for you.
Personally, I liked it. Just as liked Griffin’s friends and family. I also really enjoyed the world set up and the magic system. It’s not perfect, though, and the whole warlord’s captive prize trope won’t suit everyone. For me Cat just about carried it off, and on the whole I found this a thoroughly enjoyable beginning to the series. I look forward to seeing where it all heads next.
The Warlord’s Magical Captive Prize
A Promise of Fire is out August 2nd!
Visit Amanda Bouchet for more details.