Amanda Bouchet stole my heart with her mythology based, passion fueled fantasy romance series, The Kingmaker Chronicles, early last year. Following my encounter last year with A Promise of Fire and shortly afterward, Breath of Fire, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the final installment of the series. In early October, my dreams came true and I was granted access to an early DRC of Heart on Fire. Much like its predecessors, I devoured the book in a matter of days, desperate to learn of the fate of Cat and Griffin.
I was stunned, to say the least. Heart on Fire was everything I could have asked for – a beautiful, passion filled ending to a series full of surprises, heartbreak and hope. Instead of providing an early review, however, I read the entire series again, where I was absolutely astounded by the sheer amount of detail and foreshadowing hidden within the series’ first installments.
This is an ARC review of Amanda Bouchet’s Heart on Fire, which releases today, January 2, 2018.
*Special thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca for allowing us to read and review ahead of publication.
This review contains minor spoilers and quotes from the book.
Amanda Bouchet has produced another fantasy romance masterpiece with Heart on Fire, the third and final installment in The Kingmaker Chronicles series. Picking up just at the close of Breath of Fire, Bouchet wastes no time introducing readers to the trials and tribulations that await Cat, Griffin and the members of Beta Team, a close group of friends and warriors that guard the new Thalyrian royals.
Having won the deadliest games out there and captured another realm, Cat and Griffin find themselves smothered by the protection of their latest accomplishment, Castle Tarva. After escaping the castle and their many admirers, the two battle hardened lovers run into unexpected family on the road. Instead of a warm welcome, Cat is bombarded with questions and accusations by Piers, a scholar and warrior. Family ties break when Piers refuses to accept Cat, believing her to be a dangerous, bloodthirsty threat to his blood family, which includes Griffin.
In a devastating moment, panic takes over and the unexpected happens when Piers summons a god, leaving the family broken. Although reunited with old friends, betrayal leaves a bitter taste in Cat’s mouth, once again reminding her of her fate as the harbinger, destroyer of realms. While Griffin continues to see the best in her, Cat begins to struggle with doubt and mistrust as her world comes crashing down with one heartbreaking event to the next.
Heart on Fire may be the most fitting title of the series, as catharsis bleeds through the pages of the novel as Cat’s journey of self-discovery continues. From moments of intense passion and emotion in which Cat learns to love herself, to devastating battles, trials and personal tribulations that push Cat to reach her full potential, Bouchet tugs at your heart. From joy filled passages of hope, to witty conversations and tales of laughter, and even heart wrenching tales of love and loss on the battlefield, your heart will be on fire with emotions that range from happiness to despair in the span of a single chapter.
Although Cat is most definitely a warrior, there is only so much a person can take. As she battles with her horrific past, she is met with family, and, for the first time, and incredible sense of hope. Full of the desire to protect her loved ones above all else, Cat is the definition of a hero. Battle-hardened and determined, Cat goes above and beyond to protect the realms, even if it means losing herself in the process.
I don’t just represent Elpis. I am Elpis, the personification of spirit and hope.
Elpis isn’t just an abstract concept or an ideology to follow, it’s me. Flesh and blood me. I’m an idea in human form.
Elpis is the ancient, original spark from which all hope springs, and she only seeks out and attaches herself to the selfless warrior, the one who fights not for herself, but for others.
– Excerpt from Amanda Bouchet’s Heart on Fire
While the main focus is most definitely Cat, Bouchet makes sure that no character is left behind through incredible character building skills. Each and every character is developed, from their appearance, to their personality, and Bouchet provides readers with backstory, painting a picture of who they are now, along with who they were before. Fans of Beta Team will revel in the details as Bouchet paints a picture of Carver’s heart-breaking past, while offering more insight into Kato, Flynn, Jocasta, Egeria, and even Bellanca as the novel progresses.
While the main focus is most definitely Cat, Bouchet makes sure that no character is left behind through incredible character building skills. Each and every character is developed, from their appearance to their personality and Bouchet provides readers with backstory, painting a picture of who they are now, along with who they were before. Fans of Beta Team will revel in the details as Bouchet paints a picture of Carver’s heart-breaking past, while offering more insight into Kato, Flynn, Jocasta, Egeria, and even Bellanca as the novel progresses.
Description is everything in fantasy and Bouchet most definitely does not disappoint. From incredible world building that encompasses an entire world, to fully developed characters, unforgettable circumstances, and scorching hot romance, Heart on Fire captures everything fantasy romance should be and more.
At it’s core, The Kingmaker Chronicles is a heart-stopping tale of mythological might that ranges from the Ice Plains of Fisa, to the desert sands of Sinta, the Underworld and beyond. Magic abounds as the elements come to life in magic users. The gods are watching and their blood flows in the Origin in a mixture of incredible power and might that makes up our heroine, Catalia Thalyria.
If you are looking for a heart-stopping battle for unity featuring a developed cast of characters and moments of intense passion, look no further than Amanda Bouchet’s fantasy romance series.