Wednesday, February 1, 2017

ARC Review: Breath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

Series:     Kingmaker #2
Pub. Date:Jan. 3, 2017
Publisher:Sourcebooks Casa
Length:448 pages

This is an outstanding continuation of the Kingmaker Chronicles by Amanda Bouchet. This author has developed an interesting niche mixing mythology with fantasy romance... at least I haven't seen any other books where Olympians and Titans are integrated into a high fantasy realm. I like it! If you read my prior review, you will know that I was missing some world building. I'm happy to say that , in this installment, we got some backstory that really helped beef up the mythology aspect. It was interesting to see how the Olympians were integrated into the history of the realms.

So Catalia Fisa is Beta Fisa, the lost princess, a Kingmaker and she is now magically bound by her vow to her lover Griffin, Beta Sinta.  In A Promise of Fire, I liked that Cat was a kickass heroine, but I had a problem with her immaturity. We started off Breath of Fire with a rip-roaring fight between Cat and her lover, Griffin, where he was a huge ass but that short-lived in the context of the story. I was afraid this was a plot contrivance to make Cat more likable... but I have to say that it certainly worked! The emotionality (made that word up) of the argument and Cat's response got to me and drew me in. But it was not for nothing... Cat's character has grown leaps and bounds. All that immaturity is gone and she is maturing into a responsible and authoritative future leader, while still keeping some of her saucy personality. I enjoyed seeing her demeanor and decision-making ability grow to match her courage and determination.

Griffin is maturing as well. The relationship between him and Cat is no longer on rocky ground and they grow closer and stronger with each turn of the page. Griffin's determination and sense of responsibility matches (and sometimes outpaces) Cat's. There were definitely many times in this book where he had to loosen his hold on those alpha male instincts and hope for the best as Cat was going into danger.

Action abounds in Breath of Fire. There was tons of fighting and fantastical creatures that kept me enthralled from early on in the story. I still wish there was a little more world building and development of the fantasy aspects. There are a lot of titles being thrown around for Cat without a clear explanation of what those destinies entail. From what I gather, the Kingmaker aspect is just being able to divine truth from lie, but its very rare and one only appears every 200 years or so. We haven't learned why that's the case... or what these other new titles mean. But I am looking forward to finding out as we continue the series.

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca.

Kingmaker Chronicles