Breath of Fire

Amanda Bouchet
Breath of Fire
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Publisher
Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date
January 2017
ISBN
9781492626046
Series
Book 2 of The Kingmaker Chronicles
Genre
Fantasy Romance

SUMMARY
SHE'S DESTINED TO DESTROY THE WORLD...
BUT NOT IF SHE CAN HELP IT

"Cat" Catalia Fisa has been running from her destiny since she could crawl. But now, her newfound loved ones are caught between the shadow of Cat's tortured past and the threat of her world-shattering future. So what's a girl to do when she knows it's her fate to be the harbinger of doom? Everything in her power.

Griffin knows Cat is destined to change the world—for the better. As the realms are descending into all-out war, Cat and Griffin must embrace their fate together. Gods willing, they will emerge side-by-side in the heart of their future kingdom...or not at all.

Book Review by Delta (reviewer)
Dec 08, 2016   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
144 people found the following review helpful
This second book in The Kingmaker Chronicles SLAYED!

Catalia Fisa has been running from her destiny, and being kidnapped by Griffin was the best thing that ever happened to her. But Cat hasn't been entirely honest with her lover about her past, and it could end in the destruction of more than just the two of them. As Cat, Griffin and Beta Team battle both humans and magical beings, it'll take every ounce of strength and goodwill from Mount Olympus if they're to survive to fulfill Cat's prophecy.

I feel so incredibly lucky that I've gotten to read Ms. Bouchet's first few novels! This woman is seriously talented, and I would recommend her high fantasy, mythological-based reads to lovers of just about any genre. Cat and Griffin are simply magical together, their intense connection made me smile and swoon. The mystical elements are fabulously well written as the team battled everything from a hydra to undead animals to mind-controlled spiders in their quest to unite the realms. Cat was uncertain at times, hesitant about her powers and destiny, but Griffin was unwavering in his love and support for her and their goals. The sexy times were über delicious, as were the cast of supporting characters. Every single bit of this novel, this SERIES, is just gorgeous. Pick this up NOW!!

Bottom Line: No OW/OM or sharing; no condom use (I'm fairly certain there were no condoms in ancient times anyway); no BDSM/kink (except for Cat's new penchant for spankings); attempted sexual assault; much murder/violence.
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Book Review by BJ (reviewer)
Jan 14, 2017   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
131 people found the following review helpful
5 "The Queen & Origin" Stars!

I thought book 1, A Promise of Fire, blew me away--well let me tell you, Amanda Bouchet was just warming up! BREATH OF FIRE, book 2 in The Kingmaker Chronicles, a fantasy and mythology based romance, is top-notch in both the action world building and in the romance! By far this is one of the best debut Fantasy/PNR series I have ever read! Intriguing, witty and addicting, this series has me wishing that Book 3, Heart on Fire, the final book in the trilogy, were available now! Fortunately, Ms. Bouchet is not going to make us wait a whole year for the final installment, as the last book is scheduled to be released in the Fall of next year.

Please note that this series, as is often the case in fantasy/PNR reads, must be read in chronological order as both the fantasy world building and the romance arcs require an understanding of the story commenced in book 1, A Promise of Fire. As a consequence the below review contains spoilers for book 1.

The world in Breath of Fire is made up of two basic kinds of people, those who have magic (the "Magoi") and those who do not ("Hoi Polloi"). For many years the three realms (Fisa, Tarva, and Sinta) have been ruled by people with magic, with the lands in North (Fisan lands) having the most power. However, in a revolution the realm of Sinta (which sits in the South) has been taken over by a non-magical family. Griffin, the hero of this story is part of the Sintan ruling family, and Cat, the heroine, is a Hoi Polloi with remarkable magic. Griffin captures Cat in Book 1 to help aid his family rule. However, as we learn in A Promise of Fire, the tables get quite turned around when it turns out that Cat is actually the one who captures Griffin's heart and soon they become bound by much more than just a political alliance.

Being the goddaughter of Poseidon and having an alliance with at least two other gods (Zeus and Hades) helps partly explain why Cat's magic (which includes the ability to be invisible, know if others are lying, and even steal magic) is so powerful; but in BREATH OF FIRE we finally learn the secret that Cat has been hiding and which helps explain the origin of her magic and her fear of being discovered. Moreover, while this revelation is likely to not be too much of a surprise to those who were paying close attention to clues in Book 1--the journey that Cat, Griffin, and Beta Team embark on to try to secure the Sintan borders in order to put their world ending and realm unifying plan into action is a splendid surprise. Blending detailed magical action, including mythology-inspired characters who are sure to keep you at the edge of your seat, with strong interpersonal relationships among Cat and the various Sintan family and team members, BREATH OF FIRE is expertly penned in every aspect.

As if this were not enough, the fun and games continue as Beta team puts their plans further to action when they devise their first power play to capture Tarva. But is Cat strong enough to keep them all safe and conquer a new realm or is the harbinger correct and will her actions just lead to devastation? Moreover, as the threats from Alpha Fisa become more pointed and targeted, will Cat be able to continue evading Alpha Fisa long enough to accomplish her immediate plans or will her loved ones also become the victims of this most brutal and powerful of all of the realms' alphas?

What a fantastic weaving of personable characters, awe-inspiring magic and fantasy, as well as a touching romance! The Kingmaker Chronicles delivers on all fronts and should definitely not be missed by any fantasy/PNR enthusiasts!
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Book Review by Pip (reviewer)
Jan 23, 2017
112 people found the following review helpful
"Breath of Fire" left me underwhelmed, unfortunately; the psychotic episode scene in the beginning with Griffin and Cat made me wonder if both had an instant personality transplant, which pretty much left me wary about what would happen, character-wise, for the rest of the book.

There's no shortage of action sequences here, which is where Amanda Bouchet excels. The Greek mythology is so strongly woven into the narrative that it did make for an engaging read, though albeit a restless and sometimes too pacey one when there was hardly a time to stop and breathe. Yet the characters prevailed always—thanks to several Deus ex machina plot devices—which really made me wonder if they were meant to be indestructible after the number of brutal fight scenes that had copious amounts of blood and viscera flung everywhere. But I liked that Bouchet didn't shy away from delving deep into the classical psyche that pretty much encapsulated vengeful gods, destructive habits and plain cruelty that doesn't elude even the main characters. Blood, gore and strange paranormal happenings—everything is permitted where magic is concerned it seems—this has become status-quo in this series.

The political scene at large still sort of eludes me—maybe I'm really slow that way—and the name-dropping got confusing at times, but by and large, all that's really needed is the knowledge that chess pieces do shift, as does the balance of power the moment Cat and Griffin come together officially. The book ends less unfinished as the first one, with hints of other pairings but clearly the ascendancy of Cat and Griffin is just writing on the wall that remains to be fulfilled in the last installment. Could I get excited about the ending part? Maybe, but the jury is still out on that one.
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June 22, 2018 01:06 PM ( EST )