Title: A Promise of Fire
Author: Amanda Bouchet
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: August 2, 2016
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance
“I can say, without a doubt, that A Promise of Fire is going on my keeper shelf…I cannot remember the last time I wanted to both savor and devour a book.” ― Smart Bitches, Trashy Books
KINGDOMS WILL RISE AND FALL FOR HER…
BUT NOT IF SHE CAN HELP IT
Catalia “Cat” Fisa lives disguised as a soothsayer in a traveling circus. She is perfectly content avoiding the danger and destiny the Gods-and her homicidal mother-have saddled her with. That is, until Griffin, an ambitious warlord from the magic-deprived south, fixes her with his steely gaze and upsets her illusion of safety forever.
Griffin knows Cat is the Kingmaker, the woman who divines the truth through lies. He wants her as a powerful weapon for his newly conquered realm-until he realizes he wants her for much more than her magic. Cat fights him at every turn, but Griffin’s fairness, loyalty, and smoldering advances make him increasingly hard to resist and leave her wondering if life really does have to be short, and lived alone.
A Promise of Fire did not 100% work for me. I loved the world-building and the lore and the insane amount of magic, but I found the characters and their motivations problematic.
The main character, Cat, has so much power and at times can be so fierce, but this fierceness is at times overshadowed by her inner monologue and naivety. She often comes off childish, and as the female lead I wanted so much more boldness.
Also when I thought the the “alpha” in the story, Griffin, would maybe win me over, his overbearing nature and possessiveness just did not click for me. Even though their banter and chemistry sizzles on some of the pages, the relationship between Cat and Griffin is not balanced on both sides. When he sees her weeks before she even knows he exists, he has to “have her.” His intentions seem like a conquest while she is the innocent virgin with magical powers. Yes, we get playful banter and some witty sarcasm between the two, but there is very little mystery left for the imagination to perceive how their relationship will develop. A Promise of Fire was not a slow burn romance that I was hoping for. The “love” between these two characters is about power and dominance. Consent is often stressed in their relationship, but the alpha is consistent and repeatedly portraying his pouncing cat-like nature to a mouse who often and verbally says “no.”
Overall, I gave the book two stars because I was very fond of the world building and the secrets of Cat’s past. I have my ideas of who and what she is, so I am debating if I want to continue the series to see if I am right.