Katiebabs is a self-proclaimed present day bluestocking with her head always in a book. She runs her own book blog called Babbling about Books and More!
A Promise of Fire by debut author, Amanda Bouchet should feed the appetite for those looking for an alternative world that has magic and romance, and a nice GRRM’s Game of Thrones feel, combined with Elizabeth Vaughan’s Warland Chronicles. The heroine is a spunky loner with incredible powers, and the hero is a Warlord who isn’t necessarily obsessed with fighting and going to war. The main couple clashes from the beginning, which is great foreplay for both as they have a grudging respect for one another, which transforms into full blown love, and a whole lot of lust (awesome steamy love scenes). A Promise of Fire had me hooked from the first chapter, and didn’t let up until the last page. This will be one of my top recommended reads for 2016.
Cat has been hiding for 8 years. She travels with a circus of sorts that entertains, as well as sells crafts and other wares. Cat lives in fear her cruel mother will find her and torture her again. Cat has incredible power at her fingertips. By touching someone, she knows if they lie, which causes her intense pain, including her blood, which if spilled, may put her in danger from those who hunt her. She’s a wanted woman. One day while at a bazaar of sorts, she catches the eye of a very noticeable warrior, who she can tell is a Warlord. He has the title of Beta Sinta, also know as Griffin. His sister is the queen of distant land, and he protects her and his family. He wants Cat to find out by touch, which of his men is a traitor. She does that no easily for a coin, but Griffin has tricked her. He know knows she’s the Soothsayer, aka truth finder he needs. He basically kidnaps her and will bring her back to his family and castle, thinking she’ll accept her new role because he’ll offer her protection and other wonderful things, such as shelter, clothes and food.
Cat trusts no one, not even the hunky Griffin who his loyal men would die for. As they go on the road, so to speak, she gets to know Griffin better. He’s really not that bad of a guy. He teases and taunts her to he dismay, but she can’t help but be attracted to him. The same goes for him. But danger is all around the, including dragons! Yup, here be dragons, and other creatures intent to do harm.
The first half is about Cat and Griffin, and his motley crew on the road. Once they enter Griffin’s lands, things lighten up a bit. Griffin tries to court Cat. He doesn’t just want to sex her up, but wants her in a committed relationship, meaning marriage and children. Cat wants Griffin, but she lives in fear everyone she cares for or loves will be taken away from her like they did when she was a child by her maniac mother. Griffin must convenience her she’s now safe. He would die for her, and protect her from all harm, which worries her.
A Promise of Fire is a very entertaining story. The world building is excellent, but easy to follow. Cat is like an actual cat. She spits and snarls, but also purrs when it comes to Griffin. Her banter with him and his brothers in arms lifts the scene, and there are many moments of humor. Griffin is your typical swoony lovable hero. He falls for Cat first, which seems a bit too fast. I felt their relationship still needed some more time to grow. It ramps up in the final 50 pages, complete with many love scenes and promises of love and what some readers may feel is a HEA.
Greek mythology is also intertwined here with other mystical folklores. The characters are very engaging, especially Griffin’s sisters. The villains, which are more in flashbacks from Cat’s POV don’t come across as well as they should have. Sometimes I felt Cat’s past was brushed over and not given enough dimension in order to feel the tension and danger Cat must constantly look out for. But overall I enjoyed A Promise of Fire.
Amanda Bouchet is an author to keep your eye on. I look forward to more in this world she created, and of Cat and Griffin who I don’t think we have seen the last of.