Book reviews

A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet [Book Review]

Hi everyone!

I’m finally glad that I get to review a real, physical book after quite some time. I haven’t been updating lately cause I was waiting for my orders from Book Depository and also, I don’t really have any new books to read. I was recommended to read ‘A Promise of Fire’ by a member in a book club I joined after asking for recommendations for Fantasy/Romance books. Was this book good enough for me?

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Kingmaker. Soothsayer. Warrior. Mage. Kingdoms would rise and fall for her…if she is ever found

In the icy north, where magic is might, an all-powerful elite – ruthlessly guided by a glacial queen – has grown to dominate the world. Now rebellion is stirring in the magic-poor south where, for the first time in memory, a warlord has succeeded in uniting the tribal nations.

Stuck in the middle is Cat, circus performer and soothsayer, safely hidden behind the harmless illusion of the circus. Until someone suspects she’s more than she seems…

Captured by the southern warlord, Griffin, Cat’s careful camouflage is wearing thin. For how long can she conceal the true extent of her power? Faced with dragons, rival gods and the traitorous longings of her own heart, she must decide: is it time to claim her destiny and fight?”

The excerpt really summarizes the whole plot. But sadly.. the plot concentrated more on the love story between the warlord and Cat. It is a typical love story where eventually, one falls in love with the other, but I’ll explain more on that later. Aside from that, there were elements from Greek mythology in this book! It was interesting because they do play a significant role. Also, it’s a world where magical people and non magical people aren’t really fond of each other, but the rebellion hopes to change that and make it a better world (as usual). The book is filled with action, a bit fast paced and also quite entertaining because of Cat’s narration. So while the plot seemed interesting, it was still disappointing for me because it wasn’t captivating at all. And also, it just focused too much on the love story.

The love story is kind of ridiculous. So we have this barbaric warlord who knows he’s so good in everything. He took one look at Cat and immediately kidnaps her! And this is all because he knows how powerful she is. For the first few chapters, while he was learning more about her powers, he got more possessive of her in the sense of “she’s so powerful, she must be mine!” kind of thing. What was weird was that after a few more chapters, he suddenly kissed her and tried to be more affectionate. This didn’t work for me cause there was no development at all. It just happened. The main character, Cat, was a bit more sensible but not the warlord. The love story was totally awkward. And to me, I can’t shake off the feeling that he only ‘loves’ her because of how powerful she is and how awestruck the warlord is. So really, it didn’t feel real at all for me.

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What I did like was the characters. At first, it was overwhelming cause we meet a lot of characters and their names aren’t really easy to remember. But I got the hang of it and actually like most of the characters. Again, we do meet Greek Mythology characters eg: Hades, which is nice. I also like the circus people, and their powers. But later throughout the book, the story mostly focused on the inner circle of the warlord’s friends and Cat. They were entertaining, and I must say, Carver is definitely my favourite! I just didn’t like the warlord in the book, that’s all.

Another let down for me was the world building. There weren’t a lot of details for the world building, so it felt dull. Again, the book focuses too much on the love story, so we don’t really get to know the details of the world which is a shame, because it could’ve been good since we have Greek mythology bits here and there, and we have magic. But yes, world building is poor. In terms of writing, it was just decent. Funny at times, thanks to Cat. But nothing special.

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On Amazon, I rated this book 3/5 stars and yes, I’m still sticking by it. There were misses for me in this book, but I’m not saying it’s entirely a bad book. It’s just decent. And also, I won’t be continuing the trilogy.

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