A Promise of Fire is the first book in the Kingmaker Chronicles series by Amanda Bouchet. 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.
A Promise of Fire is a wonderful start to a fantasy series. Cat is traveling with a circus across the lands offering fortune reading. When she meets Griffin the connection and trouble are both instant, and almost tangible. Her abilities promise to be helpful, despite her reluctance, and the journey of captive and group of captures begins. Relationships form and change and grow, and intrigue is certainly part of the world- in every corner. Cat has more secrets than her abilities, her childhood was horrific and the full extent of those issues and the reasons behind them are fairly obvious to readers about halfway through the book, but every character but Cat remains in the dark. The survival trials in the journey as well as the acclimation of Cat in the court are on point and both interesting and engaging. I am looking forward to discovering what comes next for Cat, Griffin, and the rest
A Promise of Fire is a fantastic series starter, and I look forward to following the growth of the characters and their stories in future installments. The world and character building style reminded me a bit of Maria V. Snyder, who I am a huge fan of. I think Bouchet has just landed on my must read list, instead of my want to read list.