Saturday, January 6, 2018

Breath of Fire & Heart on Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles #2-3) by Amanda Bouchet

Warning: potential spoilers if you have not read the other books.

SHE'S DESTINED TO DESTROY THE WORLD...
"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.

BUT NOT IF SHE CAN HELP IT
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. Goodreads
“Kato looks ill. “I… It… Me…” He stares at the massive snake. “Big.”
I squeeze his arm. “Don’t worry. You’ll speak in complete sentences again soon.” 
I really enjoyed the story and world-building for the first book, and I was excited to jump back into this series. Breath of Fire picks up right where the other book ends, so there isn't a lag or jump to adjust to.

Cat and Griffin have an initial argument that seems bizarre and out-of-nowhere, and he's also a little cruel and abusive, which doesn't seem like the Griffin from A Promise of Fire. He would never hurt Cat, even if he was angry, and now he's banging her head against a wall. It just didn't fit. Overall though, I did enjoy the additional information for Carver, Kato and Flynn. I still wish there had been more, but it was better this time. I also like that there was an entire section that only included Kato and Cat. He's quickly becoming my favorite character!

Piers makes me uncomfortable. I don't like how abrasive he seems to be, or how calculating. He's the bookworm of the family, but I feel like he is planning something awful.

The story is compelling and engaging, so I never wanted to put it down, but there were still quite a few things that irked me. For example, Cat is more than willing to sacrifice herself for her male companions, but she still always seems to end up the Damsel in Distress. She's a strong female character, but then she isn't. Blargh, it's confusing. 


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. Goodreads
“I am caught. You caught me. Not the other way around. From the very first day. And from the very first day, I would have done anything for you—except let you go. I couldn’t. Not when deep down, I knew we were meant to be like this. To love like this.” 
I received an e-arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Also, the quote I used may have changed or been altered in some way, but I am quoting from what I received.

So. Many. Questions.

I have enough loose ends to make a sweater. This is how it ended? Really? The entire series has been action-packed and fraught with turmoil, and then it just ends. I groaned when I looked down and saw there was only 1% left in the book. I knew that meant there would be no further explanations, and that it was unfortunately the only conclusion I would be getting. It was incredibly anticlimactic, which was honestly a surprise. 

I wish Cat had fewer and shorter inner monologues. They would last page after page even in the middle of a battle. The girl has the thought process of a snail. I didn't mind her thoughts and explanations, I just wish they had been condensed. That time could have been better spent evolving other characters or the story. I still don't feel like I know them well enough. Kato is definitely my favorite, which is why *highlight to view spoiler» I will never forgive Amanda Bouchet for killing him off. He didn't need to die for Cat to learn something she should have figured out an entire book sooner. Gods, I cried and over that. I liked him more than Cat. It was annoying watching her struggle with the same problem over and over again. 

I know it sounds like I didn't like this book, or the series, but surprisingly that's not true. I really enjoyed these books. I quite literally could not put them down. I think I read the last two books in just three days. I stayed up entirely too late to finish them, too. The story itself is captivating and mind-consuming. The Greek Mythology, always a bonus for me, was phenomenal. I love that Persephone and Ares were a main focus. Persephone isn't always a god that's given a lot of attention, and Bouchet shows a softer side of Ares. Who knew he could be compassionate? He's always portrayed as a brute.

I did love these books, there were just really big things that I found infuriating and wish had been written a little differently. There were a few unexpected twists, and I can't believe I didn't figure some of them out sooner. It was like a slap to the forehead when they were revealed. 

10 comments:

  1. Well, it sounds like you were emotionally invested which is a good thing and sometimes makes the journey worth it.

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    1. Definitely worth it! I'm really happy I read the series despite my frustrations. The author has created an incredible world.

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  2. I've read the exact same thoughts from other readers. They loved it but had some issues. I still want to read it at some point.

    For What It's Worth

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    1. I'm really happy I read the series, but it's probably not one I will read again. Let me know what you think when you have a chance to read them!

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  3. It's frustrating when characters act out of character. It's even more frustrating when series end all the sudden with a bunch of questions still unanswered or loose ends. Sorry about that :-/ But I also get you that sometimes, even when you had a lost of issues, you can still like a series overall. Glad the books were at least gripping!

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    1. I know! I hate that I had so many issues with this series, because I loved it. I just really wanted to LOVE it, you know? It's just so hard when I can't get past the things that annoyed me. I was so engrossed in the story, but then I have these neon lights flashing in the back of my mind (my issues with the book), and it took away from my overall enjoyment. It's such a hard feeling to convey with words.

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  4. I for sure need to grab these books!!

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    1. It's really great! There were just some issues too big for me to ignore.

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  5. Enough loose ends to make a sweater?! Yikes

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    1. Yes, haha. I think the author mentioned a spinoff series that will focus on other characters, but I'm not completely sure. I just like for things to have a solid conclusion. I don't mind using my imagination in most cases, but this series had a lot going on and then it just stopped. I feel like some of those things could have been resolved before it concluded.

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