[FRIDAY FIRST] a Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet (the Kingmaker Chronicles #1)

On Friday I always have this bookish meme in which I feature my current read and dive into it a bit more. I came across this article over at Tenacious Reader’s blog and fell in love at the spot, and I’ve loved writing this article so far.

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| What kind of article is Friday First? |

It will feature the first few sentences/paragraph of my current book and my first impressions as well. It’s meant to be a quick and easy way to share a bit about what I am reading, and I would love to hear others join in sharing their current reads as well.

The format is really simple. Include a quote. Include first impressions, it will not be a long drawn out analysis of the text or grand speculation of what is to come. Just a brief overview of how I’m feeling about the beginning of the book.

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| Today’s Book |

a Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet
#2 in the Kingmaker Chronicles
Genre: Fantasy romance / Greek mythology
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Pages: 439, paperback

About a Promise of Fire:

Kingmaker. Soothsayer. Warrior. Mage. Kingdoms would rise and fall for her . . . if she is ever found.

In the icy North, where magic is might, an all-powerful elite ruthlessly guided by a glacial Queen have grown to dominate the world. Now rebellion is stirring in the rough, magic-poor South, where for the first time in memory a warlord has succeeded in uniting the tribal nations.

Stuck in the middle is Cat – circus performer and soothsayer – safely hidden behind heavy make-up, bright colours and the harmless illusion of the circus. Until someone suspects she’s more than she seems . . .

Captured by the Southern warlord Griffin, Cat’s careful camouflage is wearing thin. For how long can – or should – she conceal the true extent of her power? Faced with dragons, homicidal mages, rival Gods and the traitorous longings of her own heart, she must decide: is it time to claim her destiny and fight?

| First Paragraph|

I pluck at my crimson tunic, tenting the lightweight linen away from my sticky skin. The southern Sintan climate isn’t my worst nightmare, but it sometimes ranks pretty high, right along with the stifling layers of cosmetics masking my face, my leather pants, and my knee-high boots.

Heat and leather and heels don’t mix, but at least looking like a brigand means blending into the circus. Here, discreet only gets you noticed.
Craning my neck for a breath of fresh air, I navigate my way through the beehive of tables already set up for the circus fair. The performers on the center stage are the main attraction. The rest of us surround them, carving out places for ourselves amid the crowd. Tonight, hemmed in on all sides in an amphitheater lit by hundreds of torches and filled to capacity, I feel like a Cyclops is sitting on my chest- suffocated.

Damp curls cling to my neck. I peel them off and tuck them back into my braid, scanning the crowd as I walk. I recognize some of the regulars. Others I don’t know.

My eyes trip over a man and get stuck. He’s looking at me, and it’s hard not to look back. He’s striking in a dark, magnetic way, his size, weapons, and bearing all telling me he’s a tribal warlord. His build is strong and masculine, his gait perfectly balanced and fluid. He walks with predatory confidence, unhurried and yet there’s no mistaking his potential for swift, explosive violence. It’s not latent or hidden, just leashed.

Watchful, alert, he’s aware of everything in his vicinity. Especially me.
Our gazes collide, and something in me freezes. His eyes remind me of Poseidon’s wrath- stormy, gray intense- the kind of eyes that draw you in, hold you there, and might not let you go.

Adrenaline surges through me, ratcheting up my pulse. My heart thumping, I blink and take in the rest of him. Intelligent brow. Strong jaw. Wide mouth. Hawkish nose. Black hair brushes a corded neck atop broad shoulders that have no doubt been swinging a sword since before he could walk. Body toned to perfection, skin darkened by a lifetime in the sun, he’s battle-chiseled and hard, the type of man who can cleave an enemy in two with little effort and even less consequence to his conscience. He keeps staring at me, and a shiver prickles my spine.

Is this man my enemy?

| First – Second or Third, lol – Impressions |

To me, this is the third time reading this book. I’ve fell in love with Amanda’s writing some years ago when I accidentally stumbled upon a Promise of Fire. At the time, book 2 wasn’t out yet for example. I was looking for a new fantasy/paranormal romance read and this one sounded so interesting. And Amanda delivered and exceeded my expectations with a Promise of Fire. Everything I was hoping for in a fantasy romance read was what I got, and more. Since then, I’ve been devouring all of the books that followed.

From time to time I love re-reading favorite books and I felt like this was a good time to do a re-read of a Promise of Fire and get myself immersed again in this magnificent world, with these magnificent characters.

It’s such a joy to return to this world. Our main character, Cat, is a feisty female. She has power, she can kick ass and she snarky and funny. I love her! Re-reading this book again feels like coming home.

I’ve come to love all of these characters so much over the years. Griffin and his group of friends are just as enjoyable, maybe even more so, to read about and I can’t get enough of them. The friendships in this book, the banter between these comrades, is to die for.

The romance that develops between Cat and Griffin is sexy, intense and beautifully developed. And even though I know what’ll happen, this story-line remains being a thrilling adventure yet again. It’s fast-paced, it has Greek mythology woven into it and I absolutely loved this so so much.

I recommend this to anyone who loves fantasy, awesome world-building with some Greek mythology elements, a kickass heroine, an intense and swoon worthy alpha male hero, beautiful friendships and a beautiful developing romance, great supportive characters and amazing writing! This is the book you were looking for if you like all of this! 

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What are you reading right now and did it start out good or not? What are your first thoughts about your current read? Love to hear from you.

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