Saturday, December 30, 2017

A Promise of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles, #1) by Amanda Bouchet

Title: A Promise of Fire (The Kingmaker Chronicles)
Classification:  Adult Fiction
Genre:  Fantasy
Series: The Kingmaker Chronicles (Book 1)
Format: Paperback; 448 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (August 2, 2016)
ISBN-10: 1492626015
ISBN-13: 978-1492626015
Author's Website:
Notes: I received a copy of the book at RWA from the publisher.

The kingdom of Thalyria is in the midst change. It is currently divided into three realms spread out from West to East--Sinta, Tarva, and Fisa. Two are ruled by Magoi (Magic Born) while Sinta is presently ruled by the newly minted Hoi Polloi (The Magicless Majority) royalty. The kingdom is in an uproar for it is the first time in its history that the Hoi Polloi have ever been in charge of a realm. Many believe their hold on Sinta will not last long. Others believe that change is overdue. The Magoi have ruled with a mighty fist and cruel hand.

Catalia 'Cat' has been in hiding in plain sight as part of the Thalyria circus for years. There she's known as 'Cat the Magnificent—Soothsayer Extraordinaire'.  While she occasionally can see bits and pieces of the future in dreams, she mostly reads people's body language and gleans who they are, what they want, and occasionally what they're capable of. Cat has some real skills, one of which she makes good use of in her soothsayer role. With a few choice questions of her own, she can find the the truth behind their questions will usually reveal itself, and that is what she uses to answer them. She has the ability to tell when someone is lying. It's all about using the right combination of knowledge and illusion. She gets a copper for her troubles, which she feels is more than fair. She doesn't pretend to forsee the future nor does she attempt to mislead those who seek her help.

When the beta of the new Sinta royalty seeks her out and kidnaps her, it appears fate has finally caught up with her. Cat is more than just another Magoi. She is the Kingmaker. One is born every two hundred years and kingdoms rise and fall because of them. The Cat, so to speak, is out of the bag.
Imagine, if you will, a place where the Greek Gods carry your fate in their hands. A place where magic exists and Alpha Kings/Queens rule. Where one wrong step could get you killed, and the right one can gain you favor. A place where monsters exist and where provoking the wrong God or person could get you cursed for the rest of your life, if not an eternity. This is the world that Cat lives in. It's a cruel, hard, and often times terrifying place to be, and she's about to be at the center of it all.

I'm not sure of what words to use to describe this series. I loved it beyond words. It's fun, sexy, smart and just downright awesome. Well, maybe I did find the words after all. I always loved The Odyssey and The Illiad and while this one isn't quite on the same level of those two pieces of epic poetry, it falls into the same taste of flavor. Two of the main differences are that a woman, not a male, is at the center of everything, and the story is wrapped around a hot, steamy, and sexy little love story.

Now I didn't fall into insta-love with this one. It took some time for me to figure out what all was happening. I rarely read a book's synopsis before reading a story because they are often times misleading which is why I tend to forget them as soon as I start reading the actual book. Now, some may have issues with Griffin, he's the guy that kidnaps Cat. He's all alpha despite his beta title. While his caveman tactics didn't immediately reel me in, he grew on me kind of like he did for Cat. By the end of the novel, he totally redeemed himself in my eyes and I started to think he was pretty awesome.

Cat is very powerful, but in need of a purpose, self confidence, and ego boost. Griffen aids her with all that and helps her become who she was always destined to be--The Kingmaker. She'll learn exactly who she is and who Griffen is. They're definitely a match made in heaven, or should I say a cloud palace above Mount Olympus? *smirk* Either way, I loved finding out exactly who Cat was and a little of her backstory. It's a doozy. Let me just say, her life was no walk in the park. This series delves into some serious issues and her family life was hell.

I couldn't help but give this one 5 out of 5 roses. I absolutely loved it and immediately sought out a copy of the next book from my local library. I will eventually end up buying the series as I adore it so much. I wonder if there's a way to convince the author to expand this series into something longer than a trilogy? Perhaps have a spin-off series? You know a book is good when you don't want the world it exists in to end. This is a series I HIGHLY recommend. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a SHOWER rating--a cold shower is necessary (need I say more?). Some books should come with a warning - make sure your significant other is handy or your shower is in working order. lol

The order of the Kingmaker Chronicles:

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