Thursday, January 4, 2018

Review: Heart on Fire by Amanda Bouchet

Heart on Fire
(Kingmaker Chronicles #3)
Amanda Bouchet
Release: January 2, 2018
Goodreads Amazon
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley
Who is Catalia Fisa?
With the help of pivotal figures from her past, Cat begins to understand the root of her exceptional magic, her fated union with Griffin Sinta, and Griffin's role in shaping her destiny.

Only Cat holds the key to unlocking her own power, and that means finally accepting herself, her past, and her future in order to protect her loved ones, confront her murderous mother, and taking a final, terrifying step--reuniting all three realms and taking her place as the Queen of Thalyria.

What doesn't kill her will only make her stronger...we hope.

I'm so conflicted about this book! I didn't love it, though there are things I loved about it. Primarily the supporting cast and the moments Cat spends with them. And I didn't dislike it, though are certainly things I didn't like. Mostly how involved the gods are in Cat and Griffin's lives. The moment when Cat finds out how involved they've been was pretty great though.

There's so much mythology in Heart on Fire, much more than any other book in the series, that I feel like the author was trying to write her own myth. Like a sequel to what the Greeks have written. I don't necessarily think there's anything wrong with that, but it wasn't what I wanted to read. I wanted Cat to have more agency. And I wanted her to act.

Instead she spends a lot of time thinking about her magic, about what Elpis is - it means "hope" but is also something of a motto for her team, and about what she and Griffin are. I don't mind her being philosophical, but it happened so much that it got repetitive.

The moral of this myth seems to be that we should find balance between compassion and ruthlessness, humanity and monstrosity, fate and free will. And we should find the one who balances us, as Griffin does Cat. And there's nothing wrong with that message, but I didn't need to be beaten over the head with it.

I also felt like the way Cat confronted her mother several times over the course of the story, instead of battling through a series of challenges to get to her, lessened the impact of the final confrontation. She was so built up over the two previous books that she didn't quite seem to live up to the hype.

Still, I'm happy knowing how the story ends. After A Promise of Fire I was thoroughly invested in these characters. It's just that I'm not entirely satisfied with the ending. See what I mean? Conflicted.


My reviews of other books in this series:
A Promise of Fire
Breath of Fire

We also posted a scene from book one rewritten from Griffin's POV.
If you missed it, you can still read it here.

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