January 9, 2018

Heart on Fire. Amanda Bouchet

book cover
Published:Sourcebooks Casablanca
Date: 2nd January 2018
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 448
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
4.5 stars                  Add to Goodreads
Who is Catalia Fisa?
With the help of pivotal figures from her past, Cat begins to understand the root of her exceptional magic, her fated union with Griffin Sinta, and Griffin's role in shaping her destiny.

Only Cat holds the key to unlocking her own power, and that means finally accepting herself, her past, and her future in order to protect her loved ones, confront her murderous mother, and taking a final, terrifying step—reuniting all three realms and taking her place as the Queen of Thalyria.

What doesn't kill her will only make her stronger...we hope.

My thoughts banner
And so we come to the third book in the KingMaker Chronicles - Heart on Fire. Right from the word go I really enjoyed this book, maybe even a little more than Books 1 and 2 if that's possible!  There is action, love, loss, betrayal, surprise, anguish, and above all family and hope.

There is the usual cast - Cat of course and Griffin, Griffin's family and team, the gods and some of Cat's family.   Cat and Griffin have fought for and won both Sinta and Tarva and now their mission is to take Fisa under their wing and unite all of Thalyria into one. The one fly in the ointment of course is Fisa is Cat's home country and the ruler is Cat's ghastly mother.

I wondered if I should reread the first two books, but the first couple of chapters soon had my mind refreshed as to previous happenings and I was soon caught up in the swing of things, with the skilful  recapping of salient points.  The book opens at the end of the brutal Agon Games. There they lost on of their fighters - Cassandra and Piers, Griffin's brother is very displeased about that. So much so it triggers the first major event of the book.

This book is really about Kat truly finding herself, she has to learn to trust herself and to find balance with all the magical powers that she has and combine them with compassionate humanity. So she doesn't always get it right which at times leads her into the depths, where she has the choice of giving up or finding a way through. Just because she has magical powers doesn't mean they are there at her finger tips with no effort on her part whatsoever.   It was this journey that she undertakes and I think its why I liked this book so much.  I liked the inner journey as much as the outer one.

I am not going to discuss anything that happens because to do so would give away the surprises and the plot. Suffice it to say there is a little unsolved mystery by the end, Little Bean is alive and well in Kat's womb and ready no doubt to challenge her mother when she arrives. I did love that Kat really wants to be a good mother, and with Griffin as a father I think she'll do well.

Like many other readers I do not want to leave these characters here. I know their mission is complete but there are unfinished stories I want told!  May it happen!!

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  1. The genre is not one I am very familiar with but I did enjoy the review.

  2. I'm reading the first in the series and I'm having a lot of problems with the romance. (I like the fantasy stuff.) It seems creepy! He's imprisoned her and refuses to admit it, and also refuses to let her go. Yet she's still hot for him. I feel like she needs some counseling! It's a terrible feeling when you are reading a romance and the worst thing would be for the couple to get together!

    Does this ever get addressed? Clearly the author thinks they would be perfect together, but all the time Griffon and his buddies are gaslighting Cat and pretending that they aren't constraining her, or that it doesn't matter that they are doing this, and why is she so cranky and ungrateful? I mean, I do not expect kidnap victims to feel grateful if their captors give them nice food. I really wish the romance part had waited until Griffon wasn't coercing her, because the magic stuff and the fantasy politics would be a lot of fun if it weren't for that.

    Does it get better? Should I just accept that this trope isn't for me?

    1. I agree that beginning bit was a bit freaky, and the romance does begin early. However as the series advances that evens out. Possibly the trope isn't for you but I'd at least read to the end to ensure that.

  3. Wow! That looks like a fiery book and a fiery series!

  4. I haven't read fantasy in ages, and it is not my preferred genre...but this one does sound tempting. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Sounds like a terrific series. It is skill when an author can catch readers up and re-engage them so quickly.

  6. I'm commenting but didn't read your review because I need to finish this series. I hope you don't mind. I have this series on my series-to-continue list for 2018. I loved the first book; it was so interesting and different.
    And yes, thinking of another name for the blog; I have one in mind already; just waiting out the rest of the contract. I'd like take a few things up a notch but I need to sit down and contemplate everything.

  7. Glad you really enjoyed this one Kathryn and that you didn't have to go back and re-read the others. Thanks for sharing she is an author I've been wanting to try


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