Review: A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

promise of fireReviewed by Jen

Just when I start to worry that there is nothing new and fresh on the market to wow me, along comes this really awesome fantasy romance to put my fears to rest. This book engaged me from the very beginning. It’s interesting. The world building is a cool blend of Greek mythology, magic, and elements unique to the story. The main characters are solid, and best of all, I cared about them. It’s got that indefinable spark that made me connect and invest in what was happening.  Still not sold? Let me back up.

Urban fantasy readers have met this kind of heroine before. Cat is laying low. The daughter of a highly powerful being, her very life stands as a threat to their power. Kind of Kate Daniels-y in that way. And her childhood was forged in torture and blood. Kind of like Kit Colbana. And she is tough yet vulnerable much like both of those heroines. She has her own power, but she has to hide it in order to hide herself. But for all of her similarities to those other popular heroines, I felt like she was very much her own person and this is very much its own story.

Anyway, she is hiding out in a circus when Garrett crosses her path. Somehow, the powerful warlord has figured out one of the secrets she holds close. She is what’s called a kingmaker. Cat can feel the difference between a truth and a lie, and that is only the beginning of her powers. Garrett kidnaps her and forces her to come with him back to his sister’s kingdom.

I thought I would kind of hate the kidnapping trope, and at first it put me off to Garrett. But as he did with Cat, he wormed his way into my good graces. His family now rules one of the nearby lands. They are good people. But they are humans. They need Cat, her guidance, and her magic to hold on to what they’ve gained. And while at first she fights the idea with everything in her, she grows to love not only the group, but specifically the man who has changed her life.

I really just love the contrasts in Cat’s character. She is so jaded. She believes the worst in people because that is the life she has known. But in other ways, she is naïve. I loved watching the simple goodness and kindness of Garrett’s people begin to affect her on the fundamental level. I loved watching her accept friendship and love, while still being the prickly powerhouse that she always was. I love Garrett’s stalwartness, his steadiness and strength. I believed in their growing feelings for one another and I wanted so much for it to work.

This book is clearly the first in a new series. It gives us a short-term ending, but it leaves me wanting more. Not a cliffhanger or anything, but it’s just good. And I want more of these characters and more of their story. I would definitely recommend this one for fans of fantasy romance. I’m sad it’s over.

Rating: A-

*ARC provided by publisher

Click to purchase: Amazon

A Promise of Fire
by Amanda Bouchet
Release Date: August 2, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

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