Review of A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

apromiseoffireA Promise of Fire
By: Amanda Bouchet
Release Date: August 2nd 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Format: E-book
Source: Purchased

My Rating:
star

Summary:
Catalia “Cat” Fisa is a powerful clairvoyant known as the Kingmaker. This smart-mouthed soothsayer has no interest in her powers and would much rather fly under the radar, far from the clutches of her homicidal mother. But when an ambitious warlord captures her, she may not have a choice…

Griffin is intent on bringing peace to his newly conquered realm in the magic-deprived south. When he discovers Cat is the Kingmaker, he abducts her. But Cat will do everything in her power to avoid her dangerous destiny and battle her captor at every turn. Although up for the battle, Griffin would prefer for Cat to help his people willingly, and he’s ready to do whatever it takes to coax her…even if that means falling in love with her.

My Thoughts:
I heard about this book on Twitter and after seeing that cover and reading the summary I was eager to jump in. I really enjoyed this book! It was a fantasy romance so there were some sex scenes so younger readers take note. This book was a quick read with characters I found easy to like and a nice helping of action and magic.

We are introduced to the lead, Cat, at a circus where she performs as a soothsayer, fortune teller and uses this backdrop as a means to hide out from her past. We follow the story from her point of view and I found her to be rather likeable- though she is STUBBORN. She has a really dark past and I think the reader can figure out pretty early what and who she is. I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be obvious or not but it was to me. The other characters see that there’s more to Cat than she lets on but no one knows her secret. I think this disconnect between the reader knowing and the other characters not can be a tad annoying at places. Cat’s complete refusal to tell Griffin anything relevant about herself grated on me as well.

khal-drogo-3-1424259876

Now, Griffin. What a character he was. He’s the Beta Sinta (second in command)-his family had just overthrown the ruling family in Sinta and he’s fighting to capture the respect and trust of the people his sister (Alpha Sinta) rules. He has need of Cat’s skills and was given an oracle dream that helped lead him to her. I completely pictured Jason Momoa when I was reading which was very nice, haha. His character was for the most part very likeable and, he too, was very strong willed. You don’t have to read for long before his life collides with Cat’s and these two bold personalities created many disagreements, and honestly, humor. I loved how these two pushed one another. I really enjoyed the romance (it does play a large role in the novel) and felt that these characters were well matched. Both struggle with flaws so it created a realness that I appreciated.

Magic had a huge role in this book and Cat seems to be able to do it all. It veered on convenient at times but I could go with it because the rest of the book was so entertaining. There are reasons she can harness all this magic but it, at times, makes her invincible. Regardless, I did worry for the other characters and their fates.

The world Bouchet has created was SO original! I think the mix of a new world, fantasy elements and ancient Gods really pushed this book into something so unique. I love that Hades, Poseidon, etc all have a role to play as they enforce their will on humanity. I loved that this element was woven into this world.

tumblr_nafy68iiik1s6bxzqo4_r1_500

Final Thoughts:
I will be reading the second book because I must know what will happen next. This book didn’t really leave you on a cliff hanger though people and events have moved to lead up to an epic battle that has to be on the horizon. If you are searching for an unique fantasy with a hate to love ship and some steamy scenes this book is for you.

Review of Splinter by Sarah Fine

SplinterSplinter
By: Sarah Fine
Release Date: August 2nd 2016
Publisher: 47North
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

My Rating:
star

This is an adult book so there are scenes with sexual content and violence.

Summary:
Mattie Carver has relinquished the world of magic, with all its dark temptations. In six weeks, she’ll marry Ben Ward and claim the safe, small-town life she craves. But Mattie’s talents as a reliquary—someone able to smuggle magic within her body—make her a valuable commodity, even to those she trusts the most. Forced out of retirement by a painful betrayal, she must seek the help of the man she’s tried desperately to stay away from: Ben’s estranged brother, Asa.

Asa, a sensor and magic dealer, may have saved Ben months ago, but he’s complicated Mattie’s life beyond imagining. Trailed by lethal mobsters through Chicago’s seamy magical underbelly and an eerie traveling carnival, Mattie struggles to endure the priceless magic she’s holding and her feelings for Asa. Once, she thought she’d chosen her path. Now the only option may be to succumb to the destiny that’s choosing her, and hope she’s strong enough to survive.

My Thoughts:
After I read Reliquary I had to know what would happen next with Mattie and Asa so immediately ordered Splinter. This book was just as addicting as the first book. The pacing was so fast and there were so many great action sequences this book was easy to devour in one sitting.

I’ll admit, I mostly love these books because of my obsession with Asa and Mattie. I love their chemistry together. These two work so well together I am sad any time they aren’t sharing a scene. And Ben. My goodness Ben. I’m not sure I’ve ever hated a character so much. I found it nearly impossible to understand why Mattie was even speaking to him let alone giving him the benefit of the doubt. I had to consider how long she’d been with him and all the wedding prep but grrrr. He drove me mad.

Mattie’s character development continues to be addressed. Splinter picks up months after the end of Reliquary (I believe 8-9 months) and Mattie’s life is in shambles. She has tried to rebuild after the events of the last book but she has not succeeded and it’s very obvious to everyone around her. I found Mattie’s situation so sad and I wanted nothing more than for her to escape. The story really picks up once she is thrown back into the magical underground and Asa shows up.

Seriously, I am so in love with his character. We are only shown bits and pieces of his back story and the more we learn the more my heart breaks for him. I find him to be such a strong and sympathetic character-he is the complete foil to Ben’s character and personality. Also, I’ve got to say, his relationship with Gracie, his dog, is a real high point for me too.

The secondary cast was awesome as always with the people Mattie ran into on her adventure being incredibly interesting in their own right. None have all that much page time but the bits we see make them seem human to me.

I really love how Fine has described the magic system in this world. The different types of magic and how they impact those around them and the entire magical system with sensors, reliquaries, etc has really well done. I love that it all takes place in our world.

These books have been such a fun reading experience for me. I’m ramping up for my kiddo to get back into school and these have been the perfect way to get my mind off of all the stress and relax for the hours I’m absorbed. They type-cast some groups of people (mob types mostly) which could be problematic for some and there is a love triangle (between brothers no less) but even with any errors these are just far too fun to read. The adventure, steamy bits and chemistry between the characters have me completely absorbed and eager for the last (I think) book in the series.

SplinterPic

Final Thoughts:
Reliquary and Splinter are perfect for a binge read over the weekend. Both books are extremely fast paced and incredibly fun. I am always a fan of Sarah Fine’s writing and these are no different. Go into these books expecting lots of action, steamy scenes and an overall fun reading experience. Be prepared thought to be fully addicted.