A promise of fire by Amanda Bouchet came in my stationary geekette box. From the summary on the back it sounded like an interesting fantasy novel. It started off that way but seemed to change genre half way through.
Cat” Catalia Fisa lives disguised as a soothsayer in a travelling circus. She is actually an exceptionally powerful Magoi – known as the Kingmaker – who can divine lies. But Cat has no interest in using her powers – or in being used for them – and stays under the radar, far from the clutches of her power-hungry homicidal family. An ambitious warlord from the magic-deprived south, Griffin, is intent on bringing peace to his newly conquered realm. When he discovers Cat is the Kingmaker, he abducts her – then does everything he can to coax her to help his people willingly. Cat has worked hard to avoid the dangerous destiny she fears is in her blood but the balance of power in their world is shifting. The old magics are no longer all-powerful and there’s a new, ferocious force at work. To survive, Cat will have to explore the true depth of the powers she’s spent so long running from – and perhaps even learn to work with her enemies . . . .
The book started out great. It has Greek gods, magic, evil queens and a dragon what isn’t there to love. Cat is a strong character and she is smart, a skilled fighter with strong powers and favoured daughter of the gods. She is the kingmaker but she can be too stubborn for her own good at times. However this strong character seems to fall apart when it come to Griffin.
Griffin is the warlord that got rid of the magic royals of Sinta and put his sister on the throne. His ideology about how to rule and the way he treats his family is something to admire but that is about it.
The story starts great. Cat is kidnapped but her kidnappers may not be the real bad guys. We start to get to know them. They want to change the years of oppression the magic royals have been dishing out and she considers helping them. There are so great battles with a giant and a dragon. Wonderful displays of magic and the gods interveneing. However halfway through the book starts to fall apart and at some point shifts to a romance novel. Don’t get me wrong I like a good romance novel but this romance was not one I found myself cheering for.
I found the romance problematic. It was really uncomfortable to read in some places. Griffin is way to forceful with Cat and the strong person she usually is seems to melt away when around Griffin. I read a review on amazon saying this romance was a court of Mist and fury worthy . It is not! I would say Griffin has more in common with Tamlin than Rhysand. Griffin is possessive, forceful and has a temper. When cat says no he is like but you want me really. When she says she isn’t ready he says he will wait then a week later he moans he is has waited long enough and she gives in. Everything in this so called romance is about what Griffin wants and Cat always just gives in which is a complete contradiction to how her character was protrayed in the beginning. And don’t get me started on the sex scenes. They were cringe worthy. I have seen them described as steamy but if I wasn’t rolling my eyes I was laughing and I really didn’t need to hear so much about her nipples.
I felt the ending of the story fell flat. The last few chapters are taken up by pointless sex scenes. There was all this build up to this state dinner with the nobles and nothing happens! It all goes wonderful no news to report. Then with all the magical creatures and big battles Cat has been in she almost dies from a simple knife thrown by a jealous ex of Griffins.
This book had a great premise with a lot of potential. The romance was problematic. It feels like it lost the plot at some point and just didn’t deliver but it has a pretty cover.