Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on August 2nd 2016
“Is this man my enemy?”
FINAL DECISION: Fabulous first book in a series about Cat Fisa, the Kingmaker, and Griffith, the man who captures her and then captures her heart. This book is successful at concentrating on the romance while building a fascinating and complex world along with a plot intricate and filled with adventure.
THE STORY: Catalia “Cat” Fisa travels as a soothsayer in a circus, but she is actually the Kingmaker — with the legendary talent of being able to tell truth from lies. Unfortunately, Cat catches the attention of Griffith, a warlord whose family has taken control of Sinta. Griffith wants Cat to use her as a weapon for the newly acquired realm. Cat, however, has no intention of allowing herself to be used again.
OPINION: This is a fantastic beginning for a series. My only reservation on the book is that this story is not complete in and of itself and thus if the subsequent books are bad, this one will too. (I might revisit my rating up or down after the other books in the series are published).
The best part of this book is that the worldbuilding is intricately intertwined with the romance. No pages of descriptions or explanations. Things are explained as needed through the story in a natural fashion. It makes the story go faster and keeps interest throughout.
Cat is a heroine that centered this book and made me want to read more. This is her journey. More than a romance, it is the story of a woman coming into her own destiny. Like many great heroes, Cat is hiding from her fate as the story begins. In danger because of her past and running from her future, Cat has made a place for herself in the circus. When Griffith comes to upset her hideaway, Cat at first hates him and wants to escape, but he also begins to make her part of a team, a family, a place worth defending.
Cat has tremendous power. Her weaknesses become strengths, her powers become more enhanced and she is funny and flawed and a powerhouse. Her cynicism is matched with a innocent heart that she denies but which leads her to care and love those around her.
Griffith is an interesting hero. Great ambition matched with intelligence and a recognition of the necessity of limiting power. He is like water on stone with Cat. Determined, quietly himself. He is determined and incredibly honest and loyal. He comes from a loving family — which is a mystery to Cat — which grounds him. He does what he has to do, but tries to be his best self.
The mixture of magic, dragons, help by the Greek Gods gives this book a rich basis for its mythology. The story feels grounded and recognizable without being entirely derivative. This book leaves readers with many questions which I hope will be teased out in the other books in the series.
This book shows such promise and I want to see that promise flower into something amazing.
WORTH MENTIONING: This is only the beginning of the series. The story is not complete and readers should be aware that wanting to know the end of the story necessitates committing to more books.
CONNECTED BOOKS: A PROMISE OF FIRE is the first book in the Kingmaker Chronicles.
STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.