Review: A Promise of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles #1) by Amanda Bouchet

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Catalia "Cat" Fisa lives disguised as a soothsayer in a traveling circus. She is perfectly content avoiding the danger and destiny the Gods-and her homicidal mother-have saddled her with. That is, until Griffin, an ambitious warlord from the magic-deprived south, fixes her with his steely gaze and upsets her illusion of safety forever.

Griffin knows Cat is the Kingmaker, the woman who divines the truth through lies. He wants her as a powerful weapon for his newly conquered realm-until he realizes he wants her for much more than her magic. Cat fights him at every turn, but Griffin's fairness, loyalty, and smoldering advances make him increasingly hard to resist and leave her wondering if life really does have to be short, and lived alone.


Okay. A Promise of Fire. What can I say about this book? Well...I have a lot of issues with it. It was one where I had heard so many great things about it, but then was really disappointed. And some of the things that happen? Not cool. Not cool at all. I so wish it would have been better because I am curious what would happen, how things will end up in this world the author created, but not enough to read two more books of this toxic relationship. *spoilers ahead*

So Cat has been hiding out in a circus. She doesn't want anyone to know who or what she is as then they will use her and she does not want to go back to that horrible life. Her childhood was really not good, but she got out and she won't go back. She would rather die than go back to that. 

Griffin is one of the new royals who overthrew the government from the south where they don't have magic. And he knows there is something special about Cat when he sees her. Then he finds out she is a Kingmaker and he wants her to help him. Only she doesn't want to go anywhere with him so he kidnaps her. Swoon right? Okay honestly I can get over the whole kidnapping thing because I have seen it before and whatever. But what I can't really get over is how instantly Cat is all I hate them! Oh wait no, I like him...but no! I don't! But...he is kind of dreamy...ugh. I think my issue was it was kind of right away that she was liking him even though he took her from her safe family in the circus. Even though he has her literally tied to him so she cannot escape. Even though he is big and gruff and does what he wants and she just has to fall in line. I...I didn't like that. The way it was written was not the best. 

Then there is Cat herself. Now after everything that she has been through, all the torture from a young age and everything, you would think she would be a bit more...a bit stronger. Better able to handle things and not act like a two-year-old throwing a temper tantrum every two seconds. Like yeah it sucks she got kidnapped, but I expected her to handle the situation better. To maybe plot and plan how to escape instead of just stomping her feet and whining about everything. I mean if I were to go through something like what she did I would hope it would make me a stronger person. Or if it broke me then you would have that, but she was like a spoiled brat for most of the story. Which didn't make any sense to me. And was super annoying. That and her whole I like him but I cannot be with him thing. Like I wish the reason why she couldn't be with Griffin once she realized she wanted to was explained sooner. Maybe then her internal dialogue about him wouldn't have been as annoying to read. 

Now the real issue with this story is Griffin. He could have been okay had it not been for the "romance" involving him. He is constantly forcing himself on her, kissing her and physically trying to get her to give in and stuff when she is outwardly saying no and pushing him away. Like I know he says he knows she really wants it, and since the story is from her point of view we see that she does at times, but no means no. He made me super uncomfortable because if she doesn't want you to kiss her, if she is saying no and pushing you away then you should listen. It doesn't matter that you think she wants it, she is saying no. So you should respect that. And he doesn't. Throughout the whole book he doesn't really listen to what she wants at all. He does what he wants and that is that. He wants to kiss her he kisses her. Who cares what she wants. Who needs consent? Not Griffin. It was bad. Really bad. I have read other stories where the ladies have fallen in love with their captors and been okay with that. But not when the captor doesn't care what you want or need. Not when they only think of themselves and constantly try to force the other person to do what you want. Yeah not cool. Not cool at all. 

And since I am not going to read the second book I will just throw this in here about it - I thought maybe book two would be better since they are already "in love" so maybe Griffin wouldn't be such a horrible person and their relationship wouldn't be so toxic. I got two chapters in and said f this shit as it was EVEN WORSE than this book. Which is crazy. So book two starts with Griffin finding out something about Cat that I thought was obvious from book 1, confronting her about it and finding out it is true and being super angry, punching things, etc. Then he is all I CANNOT BE WITH YOU!! and leaves breaking Cat's heart. Because of magic she cannot leave Griffin, not really, unless he releases her from what she said which he won't because he needs a Kingmaker. So she is miserable and packs up her stuff to go back to the room she had been staying in before she really got together with Griffin. Chapter two is Griffin barging into her room all worried because he couldn't find her, Cat is confused and when she says how she is confused as he said he didn't want to be with her anymore he is all wtf is wrong with you??? You are my everything I just meant at that moment I couldn't be around you because I didn't want to do something to hurt you duh! The way he treated her after he told her he didn't want to be with her anymore was so so so bad. Abusive relationship bad. Like not cool AT ALL. I...nope. It made me so angry like he was trying to gaslight Cat, but I was like I can go back 2 pages and read what you said and that is NOT what you said!! It was not at all romantic. Not at all cool. And Cat just forgives him and they go on to have sexy times I think. I stopped reading because hell to the no. So yeah Cat and Griffin = toxic bad relationship. So no more reading this series for me. I can't deal with abusive assholes that are supposed to be somehow someone you would want to be with. Nope. 

Two stars because I liked the world that was set up, even if the romance was not cool. 

Rating: ★ ★


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