Breath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet (Kingmaker Chronicles #2)
Released: January 3, 2017
Reviewed by Mandi
Favorite Quote: “I love you like a man insane.”
A Promise of Fire was one of my favorite reads last year and I’m so happy to say that the follow-up lived up to all of my expectations. I think it’s best to read these in order – as this second book continues the story with the same hero and heroine.
In the first book, Cat was kidnapped and then fell in love with her captor, our hero Griffin. Cat comes from royal blood, but has a mother who is extremely evil, violent and intent on getting Cat back under her control. Cat wants nothing to do with her family, instead finding love with Griffin who wants to once and for all find peace along his borders, bring everyone together and rule the land. Cat doesn’t want the responsibility to be in charge of others. Actually, she is more scared than anything. An oracle has told her she is the harbinger of death and chaos, not something one really wants to hear. She is scared that she will bring destruction all around Griffin, and that because he loves her so much, he will sacrifice himself for her.
This book does not start out so lovey dovey though! Griffin learns that Cat is actually a runaway princess – he learns who her mother is and that she has kept things from him. He freaks out. He has a big, BIG man-tantrum and Cat thinks her happy ever after is over. But this is a romance book so don’t worry! Their fight is resolved in the first chapter and their intense love for one another grows even more, if you can believe it.
Griffin takes my face in his hands. His fingers press into my head. “I may not be holding you with a magic rope anymore, but I will never let you go, and I will never leave you. I would defy creatures, and Gods, and terrible, brutal queens to keep you safe and by my side. I would move Mount Olympus itself to hold you in my arms and feel your heart beat against mine. You are my soul, and yes, I will fight for you and protect you until my dying breath.
Okay, so he loves her a little.
Cat opens up about herself (kinda, sorta – leaving out a few details because she is super stubborn) and they get naked and have lots of sex. Whew. The story is saved.
After all the sexin’, Griffin realizes his enemies are coming for him and his borders are not as secure as he would like. Not having the time to train an army for border patrol, Cat suggests they use magical creatures to secure their lines. Where do you find these magical creatures? The Ice Plains, of course. The extremely dangerous, volatile, desolate ice plains. Cat, Griffin, and the Beta team of Kato, Flynn and Carver (whom I love and adore) ride off to gather dangerous creatures and keep their lands safe. There is much action to be had the rest of the book. Action that tests their love and makes everyone worried at times
“Don’t forget that nothing is ever what it seems this close to the Ice Plains,” I remind everyone. Then I turn to Griffin, a bad feeling kicking around inside of me. “I love you.”
Griffin scowls. He looks like I just punched him in the gut. “Fight. You fight. You can tell me you love me when it’s over.”
This author writes with the best sense of humor, something I’m very much drawn to. But she also writes a steamy romance, well done action, and the camaraderie between the Beta team is so fun. They give each other such a hard time, yet would die for the others in an instant. Their love runs deep, and it makes the book for me. On their journey they encounter horrible magical creatures guided by Cat’s mother – you can imagine this does not go well. They meet The Chaos Wizard who befuddles them:
The Chaos Wizard doesn’t bang his staff again, thank the Gods. “Zeus and his daughter Athena choose to aid in your quest to secure the herd of Ipotane.”
My eyes widen. Fantastic! No explanation necessary and two Gods on our side. I could dance a Fisan jig.
“You must make a worthy offering to the herd Alpha, Lycheron, to keep him from killing you on sight.”
Huh. Cancel the jig.
Kato and Cat must enter an ice labyrinth together which doesn’t go well and they fight in games that aren’t so fun as well. It’s non-stop action, but at the same time the author weaves in the romance as Cat and Griffin’s relationship continues to grow. Carver, Flynn and Kato’s romances are on the sideline but we see glimpses into what’s to come for them as well.
The author has me very invested in all of their lives. Just a super fun book/series to read. I really enjoyed it and I can’t wait for another one.