Heart on Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles #3)
Published: Jan. 2, 2018 (Sourcebooks Casablanca)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review
Reviewed by: Jo
Rating (out of 5): 4 stars
Note: While this review will be spoiler free, it will reference previous books. If you haven’t started this series yet, check out VBC’s review of book 1, A Promise of Fire.
After winning the Agon Games, Cat and Griffin have managed to liberate the kingdom of Tarva without an all-out war. With Tarva now joined with their own kingdom of Sinta, Cat and Griffin are one step closer to realizing their dream of a united Thalyria. Now they, along with the rest of Beta team and their surrounding family, must face the final hurdle: the Tyrannical leader of the kingdom of Fisa.
With seemingly the fate of the world on her shoulders, and little bean on board, the stakes have never felt higher, but Cat’s magic is more unpredictable then ever. As she tries to find a way to unlock her full potential, she must journey across the kingdoms, uncovering long-held secrets, shocking betrayals, and more than one infuriatingly enigmatic god. Even with the love of her new family behind her, can Cat finally face the one thing she has been running from for years: her mother?
Now that Cat and Griffin’s relationship is basically rock solid, Heart on Fire shifts the focus more on to Cat and her internal struggles. Here situations force her to delve deep and make peace with some of her longest held self-doubts in order to tap into her remaining powers. It’s by no means easy, with Cat becoming increasingly frustrated both with herself and those around her that seem to be unreasonably withholding answers. I have to say, I also found it pretty frustrating. Long, drawn-out passages of introspectiveness seemed to be repeated after every battle or encounter with Cat making little headway until the end.
That being said, there are some pretty fantastic battle scenes, and I particularly loved that Greek mythology became even more prevalent in the actual plot. Cat meets countless gods and legends in this installment, and this Olympian nerd ate it right up. Over the course of the book it begins to dawn on Cat just how much of hand the gods have had in her fate, a fact she isn’t always thrilled about. Once again her sarcastic mouth gets her into more than one sticky situation; in fact she reminds me a lot if Charley Davidson in that regard!
As in previous books, the secondary characters shine in this series, although Beta Team and Griffin’s family featured less than before. There are some shockers thrown in around these characters, with more than one fate left open-ended. I’m seriously hoping for a spin off series, as I need to know what happens to them! All the characters feel so fleshed out, with issues and agendas of their own. There are some beautifully heartfelt moments, not just between Cat and Griffin, but also between Cat and her new family, Carver in particular. It creates a nice juxtaposition for when Cat finally faces off against Andromeda and we get to see just how far Cat has come since the first book.
Heart on Fire is a truly satisfying conclusion to Cat’s story. The mythology and characters more than make up for a few pacing issues. I say “conclusion to Cat’s story” because I’m hoping against hope that this isn’t the end to the Kingmaker Chronicles, as there’s so much scope, and a few loose threads! Either way, I loved this trilogy and Amanda Bouchet is definitely an auto-buy author for me!
Sexual content: sex