I was looking for a fantasy trilogy where I didn’t have to wait too long for the next story in the series to be published (I’m impatient when it comes to a trilogy!) and the Kingmaker Trilogy by Amanda Bouchet ticks that box with both A Promise of Fire and Breath of Fire already published. The final story in the Kingmaker trilogy, Heart on Fire (digital), isn’t out until November though …
Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Piatkus (12 Jan. 2017)
“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 . . . .
I’ve never read a fantasy/magical story where not only the world building, mythology, quest and magic is outstanding but the romance is soul punching too. The start of the Kingmaker Trilogy in A Promise of Fire is all of this … and it has blown me away. Totally.
From the beginning, with the menace from Griffin in the circus, the setting and characters come alive. I didn’t need time to get to know Cat or even Griffin, I already knew them – such a skill when an author draws you in, even before the story has really started. Cat’s circus ‘family’ are brilliant and I’m glad this isn’t the only time we see them (although not the circumstances).
Cat reluctantly becomes part of the team (I loved Kato, Carver and Flynn too!) but she does fight against it by rebelling at every turn. She’s also fighting against her feelings for Griffin but then she is safeguarding so much … I felt what they felt which was very powerful, not just on an emotional/physical level. The magic is frightening (at least for others) and empowering for Cat. The banter between them is highly amusing.
As they journey to the Sintan court there is plenty of action as they fight perils. You’ll find your pulse rate rising! I certainly did. The magical and physical fighting is fabulous (and so is the intimacy). There’s humour too – so funny when Cat steals the Euphoria spell 🙂 I love the way Greek mythology is woven through the story and how real it is.
The pace doesn’t slow down once they reach the Sintan court. Griffin’s family are interesting and I enjoyed the build up to the realm dinner. There’s more conflict that comes from another direction in the court that has huge impact on the story.
There’s so much intrigue surrounding both of them – why does magic bounce of Griffin? What/who exactly is Cat running from? What happens to Cat when they’re together? There’s more secrets too and I can’t wait for them to be revealed.
One thing I would like to say is that the Kingmaker trilogy would make a fabulous game on any of the gaming platforms.
This debut trilogy has got off to such a promising start. I hope Breath of Fire meets my expectations.
Connect with Amanda Bouchet
Reading Challenge : A Promise of Fire ticks the start of ‘a trilogy or series of books’