Griffin is intent on bringing peace to his newly conquered realm in the magic-deprived south. When he discovers Cat is the Kingmaker, he abducts her. But Cat will do everything in her power to avoid her dangerous destiny and battle her captor at every turn. Although up for the battle, Griffin would prefer for Cat to help his people willingly, and he’s ready to do whatever it takes to coax her…even if that means falling in love with her.
Thanks so much Sourcebooks Casablanca and Netgalley for the review copy!
I can certainly promise you that A Promise of Fire delivers both a magnificent fantasy that’s filled with fire and other elements, as well as a scorching romance. Bouchet’s writing is equally hilarious and captivating, from the magnetic characters to the intriguing world that she builds in this book. Either way, I’m highly looking forward to the rest of this trilogy, and see what other adventures lay in store for these wonderful characters!
The story is told from the first person POV of Cat and begins with her meeting Griffin at the circus where she performs. The two have a quick-to-form attraction, even though it’s quite subtle and Cat strongly denies it. To describe Cat, I’d use pretty much two words: FREAKING AWESOME. I love her attitude, her spunk, her vivaciousness, her will, and her devious magical abilities. Griffin pretty much “abducts” Cat to join his Beta Team. Griffin’s rank is Beta Sinta, which means he’s the second-highest ranking person in the Sinta region. Despite being labeled the “Beta,” he certainly has the attitude of an alpha male, which you can clearly see in the writing. Both him and Cat are headstrong, which makes for a developing romance that has sparks leaping off the pages.
“I’m from the north of Fisa, where magic is might. He’s from the south of Sinta, where muscle and cunning decide who lives or dies.”
The world-building is no joke in this book! I really love the ideas that the author implements, and the basis of Greek mythology that she uses. Basically you have three different regions, usually ruled by the Magoi. However, in Sinta the Magoi got dominated by the majority with no magic in their veins. The new ruling authority is Griffin’s family, who demonstrates more of a giving attitude than a taking one, like the old rulers. This kind of government brings about a new structure to society that seems to be reaping much more benefits than the old-fashioned ones. The politics in this book are interesting enough to keep you reading, yet light enough so you don’t get bored. It was a very nice touch to the story that blended well with the other elements of the plot.
Cat has a mysterious background that readers start piecing together throughout the book, as she slowly opens up to Griffin. I adored their banter, but at some point I was a little tired of her rejecting her feelings for him. It’s to be expected, given her past, but I got quite wary after it happened multiple times. For such a bright and intelligent young woman, I wanted to her to figure out her feelings more quickly! Griffin is pretty direct on his part, and his unwavering loyalty towards Cat is just heartachingly beautiful. Now, if there were only more guys like him in the world.
“‘Listen to your heart. You think it’s black. I don’t know everything you’ve been through, but I know enough to understand that your past filled you with hostility and hate. But you still laugh. You still love, and you protect the people you care about. You’re not who you think you are. You’re better, and you’re more.”
The secondary characters in this story were hands-down terrific! From the rest of the Beta Team to Griffin’s family to Cat’s crew at the circus, I couldn’t help but fall in love with their eccentric ways. They really gave Cat a glimpse of love that her blood-related family never showed her. The dialogue in this book is really enjoyable and there were definitely times where I stopped to clutch my heart or just grin widely in space while reading.
Readers looking for a fantasy adventure steeped with adventure and romance are sure to enjoy this one! The world-building is solid, the magic is blazing in mystery and power, and the characters are absolutely lovable in every way. Looking back, there wasn’t exactly an antagonist in this book, but it certainly builds up for the rest of the trilogy. I really can’t wait to see what Bouchet has in store for us in the next books!