Breath of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles #2) by Amanda Bouchet
Publication Date: January 3rd 2017 by Piatkus
Rating: 4 Stars
Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Mythology.
Find: Goodreads | Amazon
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 woman to do when she knows it’s her fate to be the harbinger of doom? Everything in her power.
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.
An exhilarating adventure full of magical tension, romance and a whole lot of action. Breath of Fire is the much anticipated sequel to A Promise of Fire and the book did a phenomenal job at building on the ground works set in the first book.
The tone of Breath of Fire was definitely darker than it’s predecessor and the stakes were a lot higher this time round. Whereas A Promise of Fire focused on introducing us to the world and the characters, Breath of Fire focuses on the political landscape and foreboding threat lingering in the background. Along this adventure we are treated to some wonderful character insights as relationships, romantic and platonic, deepen and the sense of danger heightens.
Once again, Cat takes center stage in this book. Stubborn and impulsive, Cat finds herself thrust into the heart of the conflict as we learn more about her lineage and the prophecy she fears starts to take shape. Cat is a joy to read about. She is rash and has no sense of self preservation when it comes to protecting the people she loves. She makes several mistakes along the way but her intentions were always pure. She also allows herself to be a bit more vulnerable in this installment as the relationship between her and Griffin deepens and she forms a sense of kinship to the other members of the Beta team. It’s during these moments where we truly see her shine. Her upbringing makes us understand why she’s so guarded and to see her break down those walls and embrace these people was beautiful.
Accompanying Cat on this journey is Griffin. In the first book it took a while to connect with this man and it was only when he allowed himself to be vulnerable that I began to root for him. We made a lot of progress with Griffin in this book. There was one scene in the very beginning that was uncomfortable to read and his overreaction to certain revelations was a bit too much. However, following that scene he redeemed himself and that is mainly down to the development of his relationship with Cat. As much as these two characters grow as individuals, Cat and Griffin also made some significant strides in their relationship. Trust is at the heart of this development as the strength and security in the bond between these two becomes unbreakable. More importantly we see them work through the issues they face and come out stronger for it.
When discussing this book we cannot forget about our favourite Beta team. The camaraderie between these guys brought a lot of humour to this book. However, they are not just the comic relief in this series as Flynn, Kato and Carver have some great development giving them a depth and complexity that makes them all the more loveable. Kato’s friendship with Cat was a particular highlight as they are forced to separate from the group to complete part of the quest. It’s here Kato goes through his ordeal and it’s obvious that the act had an affect on him but we never really get to explore that, which is a shame because it’s clear that it took its toll on him both mentally and physically and those affects shouldn’t have been brushed aside.
This book also opens up to the magical and political landscape of this world as our characters travel through several different settings. This book allows us to explore how each nation differ from one another in their treatment of magic. However, it also highlights the ways in which they are similar, offering a glimmer of hope in seeing forces unite to face off against their formidable foe. The Greek mythology is brilliantly intertwined into this book and interacting with the gods, mythical creatures and magical entities made Breath of Fire all the more thrilling and addictive.
To conclude, Breath of Fire did an incredible job at building on the foundations of the first book. The world becomes a lot more established and we get a strong sense of the magical and political manoeuvering happening in this book. The character progression also provides a great journey for readers to follow. Finally, Breath of Fire sets us up for the final installment of this trilogy with new complications and an ever growing enemy gearing themselves up for the final showdown.