Having exhausted my weekly batch of library books, I had to make a mad dash to pick up some books an hour before work. I browsed a few shelves and discovered A Promise of Fire book 1 of The Kingmaker Chronicles series by Amanda Bouchet. The awesome cover immediately caught my eye. There was no way I was going to pass up this book. A Promise of Fire is the debut Novel by author Amanda Bouchet, a refreshing fantasy with a bit of mythology mixed in. Amanda Bouchet puts a fantastical twist on the term kingmaker.
The first character we meet is Cat our protagonist. She reminds me of some of my favorite heroines. The first one to come to mind is Kate from the Kate Daniels book series co-written by the husband and wife writing team known as Ilona Andrews. Like Kate, our main character Cat has been trained in magic and fighting. Both characters were raised to be ruthless, emotionless, and to love no one. From birth, Cat has been taught, sometimes brutally, that friends, lovers, or any type of emotional attachment are a weakness you can’t afford. Although both characters are on the run from filicidal parents most of their lives, there are many differences; and even with so many similarities I still found the tale enjoyable.
The story is set in Sinta, and there are two other bordering Kingdoms Tarva and Fisa. Each kingdom has, for lack of a better word three factions: the Magoi, those who possess magic; Hoi Polloi (what an annoying mouthful) who are ordinary humans; and the People of the Tribal lands (Hoi Polloi who live in a tribal society and are led by a warlord). The Kingdoms are run by the Magoi, who are selfish and cruel. The Magoi tax their citizens to the brink of starvation and treat them like dirt; they terrorize the tribes, burning their villages, abusing the women, and taking the men as slaves for their wars.
For eight, Years Catalia Fisa has been hiding at the circus disguised as a soothsayer known as Cat the Magnificent. She’s a Powerful Magoi and a Kingmaker. Cat has been hiding from her past and trying to escape her destiny, but all her plans go up in flames when she meets Griffin.
Griffin Is the Beta Sinta. The second-born and leader of the tribes. He started a war to depose the ruling Sintan Magoi and put his sister Egaria on the throne. Still fresh in his victory against the former ruling Magoi, Griffin knows that he will need powerful Magoi at his side supporting his cause. The Sintan Hoi Polloi is ecstatic over their new Royal family, while the bordering kingdoms see Sinta as ripe for a take-over.
I suppose at this point it wouldn’t surprise you if I said my favorite character was Cat. She’s strong, witty, stubborn, and loyal to a fault. Once she’s on your side, she’ll cross the ends of the earth for you. I love how her character grew from the angry girl with a world full of enemies to the protector of all those she loves.
At first, I was a little annoyed by the love interest aspect of the book. This at first, it seemed a little forced. I got over it rather quickly though, it was inevitable really when the gods give you a gift you don’t refuse. By the end, the author succeeds in showing us just how strong love can make you.
I compared Cat to Kate Daniels earlier in this review and having done that, I must also say that the Kate Daniels Novels are better written than this book. Ilona Andrews has more experience. But I must give praise where praise is due; Bouchet didn’t have a bad voice or flow. The book just lacked the voice of a veteran author something only time and experience can make, but she breathed life into this tale. A Promise of fire isn’t riveting, but it’s entertaining and ripe with action. A quick fun read, for a debut book A Promise of Fire is most definitely a home run. If you love Kate Daniels, Jane Yellowrock, Makenzie Lane and Rachel Morgan, you’ll love Catalia Fisa.
It initially took the introduction of a few chapters for the story to grip me, but by the end of the tale, all I wanted to do was read book 2 (which unfortunately hasn’t been released yet). I mean, let’s face it most tales have been told before; I won’t give a strike for that. A story is all about the telling. I enjoyed this book. I would be both disappointed and surprised if this vibrant new series didn’t significantly improve with each book. The Kingmaker Chronicles series is destined to have a following. Amanda Bouchet is an up and coming author. I look forward to her future works.
I originally wrote this review in Sept of 2016; around that time things became busy at work and I never got around to posting it. I recently found it on my old laptop. Amanda Bouchet has since completed the Kingmaker Chronicles series, which as I predicted got better and better with each book solidifying her spot of an author of note. She has now moved on to writing a new Series. Night Chaser book one of the forthcoming Endeavor series is expected to be published Jan of 2019, and I look forward to reviewing it.
Interested in other Books By Amanda Bouchet?