Stacey is Sassy received a complimentary copy of this story. The copy provided was not the final version and may be subject to edits and changes
Published by Piatkus on January 2, 2018
Genres: Paranormal/Fantasy Romance
The riveting conclusion to the Kingmaker Chronicles, available January 2018!
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.
Heart on Fire
(Kingmaker Chronicles #3)
By Amanda Bouchet
Before you start…the top of this review was my first attempt trying to explain my thoughts and feelings after reading The Kingmaker Chronicles. The bottom part of the review was my second attempt at trying to explain while also attempting to not sound like I’m offending womankind and insulting heroines. Just thought I’d better explain my ramblings…
The heroine leads and the hero follows…
Is it strange that I started this review contemplating the term hero? In a lot of the books I read, I’m looking for the hero to save the day. Well, in this series it’s not the job of the bloke to do the hard work, it’s the female’s job to save the world and kill evil. So, in some ways, she’s the lead, the conqueror and saver of the world.
In my head, I’m now having a debate on whether I’m insulting womankind by thinking less of a heroine. I see “hero” as being the one in charge, focal point, and lead, while the “heroine” supports, guides and helps the hero in the quest. Is this a societal thing that has me confused? A gender-based confusion? Or, maybe it’s just hierarchy labelling that has me mixed up?
To be honest, I think it has more to do with one person leads and the other follows (supports) and my head automatically puts a label of hero for the lead and heroine for the follow. I think it’s what I’m expecting to see in most M/F romance. There also seems to be a similar dynamic when it comes to M/M but I’m not sure how you separate the heroes. Is it Hero 1 and Hero 2, or maybe it’s Alpha Hero and Beta Hero. I personally don’t read F/F but is it the same in that case too?
Whatever the case, I need to break that mindset, though because Cat is definitely the lead and she’s obviously the heroine and Griffin follows and he’s definitely the hero. What once would have made a hero seem weak as a follower to his heroine’s leader, is not the case in the Kingmaker Chronicles. Griffin’s strength is obvious and his ability to follow and love his role at her back makes him even more desirable as a partner to Cat.
Heart on Fire was all about Cat learning how much power she holds and how to use it. To be honest, the lessons learned were HARSH!! I found myself shocked at how many times Cat had faced torture and heartbreak, to later learn it was a lesson from the gods. The lessons were to harden her heart, trust wisely and look within herself to find the way. On the flipside, she also had to express her love, give trust to those who earned it and look around to find support.
Griffin again steals the show for me. He is loyal, thoughtful, kind and caring which balances out his strong, bossy and possessive nature. Griffin’s devotion to Cat is steadfast and I never doubted that she was his whole world and he would die to protect her. What at times comes across as a dangerous need to save the world, is really just a need to make his family safe. Griffin is a champion to his people and a truly deserving leader.
One of the hardest things to get my head around while reading the Kingmaker Chronicles was that a mother could be so evil. Seriously, this woman made my skin crawl with her self-serving, power-hungry ways. Sure, I know there is evil everywhere and mothers are not exempt, but it’s still hard to get. My mind struggles to compute how a woman who has grown and given birth to a child, can torture and watch them suffer. I struggled, even more, knowing that only death would end her rule and the person tasked by the gods to do it, was her own flesh and blood.
I have really enjoyed the Kingmaker Chronicles and Heart on Fire was an excellent addition to the series. I loved the first in the series, enjoyed but was a little disappointed in the second and the third left me thoroughly satisfied. At times I was a little frustrated that we seemed to be stalled and not moving forward to our goal. Like Cat, I was impatient to unlock the secrets to her magic and angry that the ones she hoped would guide her seemed to disappear in her time of need. There is one particular part towards the end of the story that will have readers sitting up in alarm but have no fear as nothing is as it seems.
Cat is the protector, defender, leader and hope for her people. Griffin is the strong, resilient, loyal and loving partner to light her way. Together, they are everything that is needed to right the wrongs. Their love story is amazing and I hope this is not the end of the journey.
I thought about changing this review as I knew I didn’t describe my thoughts well when I initially wrote it. I think what I was trying to get across is that we see a lot more heroes (male) leading than heroines (females). That we’re almost conditioned to have a hero lead or step in and save the day. I think we’re seeing (movies more than books) where most of the heroines are the side-kick.
Whether it be a book or a movie if you see the terms hero and heroine -or- heroine and hero, who do you think is the leader/person in charge? Sad but true, I automatically think the hero is the lead and the heroine is the support. Maybe, if the gender is removed from the term hero and heroine, it wouldn’t matter if the person who leads is a male or a female or the person following is male or female.
I admit some of my favourite paranormal series have kick-ass heroines that I’ve loved but even in some of those cases, there’s a hero lurking to help or save the heroine.
So read the rest of the review with the understanding that I’m not trying to offend womankind or kick-ass heroines out there. It was just my thoughts on the term hero and heroine, not the role they play.