Breath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

Breath of Fire by Amanda BouchetBreath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet
Series: Kingmaker Chronicles #2
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on January 3rd 2017
Pages: 448
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"Cat" 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 girl 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.

“Breath of Fire” left me underwhelmed, unfortunately; the psychotic episode scene in the beginning with Griffin and Cat made me wonder if both had an instant personality transplant, which pretty much left me wary about what would happen, character-wise, for the rest of the book.

There’s no shortage of action sequences here, which is where Amanda Bouchet excels. The Greek mythology is so strongly woven into the narrative that it did make for an engaging read, though albeit a restless and sometimes too pacey one when there was hardly a time to stop and breathe. Yet the characters prevailed always—thanks to several Deus ex machina plot devices—which really made me wonder if they were meant to be indestructible after the number of brutal fight scenes that had copious amounts of blood and viscera flung everywhere. But I liked that Bouchet didn’t shy away from delving deep into the classical psyche that pretty much encapsulated vengeful gods, destructive habits and plain cruelty that doesn’t elude even the main characters. Blood, gore and strange paranormal happenings—everything is permitted where magic is concerned it seems—this has become status-quo in this series.

The political scene at large still sort of eludes me—maybe I’m really slow that way—and the name-dropping got confusing at times, but by and large, all that’s really needed is the knowledge that chess pieces do shift, as does the balance of power the moment Cat and Griffin come together officially. The book ends less unfinished as the first one, with hints of other pairings but clearly the ascendancy of Cat and Griffin is just writing on the wall that remains to be fulfilled in the last installment. Could I get excited about the ending part? Maybe, but the jury is still out on that one.