This was one of those Russian roulette book choices for me. I hemmed and hawed over whether or not I wanted to read it and in the end I decided to give it a go because I’m always looking for new authors to add to my never ending TBR pile and the cover is pretty damn badass. And though I spent half the time wanting to throttle Cat, and even Griffn, I ended up being unable to put the book down and ended up really enjoying the world and characters that Ms. Bouchet has brought to life on the page.
It’s difficult to know where to start with Cat and Griffn because I really liked both of them. They are both highly intelligent, have huge hearts and really do want the best for those around them and are both protectors, even when they don’t intend to be. But on the flip side, the side that drove me batshit crazy, they are stubborn as all get out and communication was not their strong suit. Griffn’s my way is the only way stance and Cat’s hotheaded, and at time immature, reactions had me shaking my head a lot. The thing here is that I understood where both sides were coming from. Griffin is a man of his times and a warlord who accomplished something no one thought a non-magic person could, so his confidence in himself is way above average, yet it makes him a little blind to the truth staring him in the face. Cat has been kidnapped and held against her will. She also has to keep who she is secret or death will come for her and the people around her. The battle of wills was tiring at times, but what tempered their tempestuous relationship was that when they weren’t engaged in their own personal battle, they worked really well together. They respected each other’s minds and abilities and their interactions were fun and flirty and I knew if they could come to some sort of middle ground, Griffin not going all caveman all the time and Cat coming clean with her secrets and fully trusting him, they’d be a force to be reckoned with.
But while Cat and Griffin were driving me to the opposite ends of the emotional spectrum, I found the world and the rest of the characters who inhabited it really interesting. The best way for me to describe the world is that it’s Greek mythology with a twist. We have the various gods who like to meddle in people’s lives. There are magical people, non magical people and fantastical creatures like Cerebus and dragons who all co-exist together. I really enjoyed learning about the political and social hierarchies and how they work, especially the Magoi (the ones with magic). As for the supporting cast of characters, I ended up loving Flynn, Kato and Carver and started to like most of Griffin’s family. Cat’s circus family were all interesting and I’m hoping we get to see more of them as the series progresses.
The writing was engaging and the pacing was well done. The story is told in 1st person from Cat’s POV only and though I had my moments with Cat, it was well done and I liked how she saw the the world. The ending isn’t so much of a cliffhanger per se, but there are things left unfinished and I will definitely be on the lookout for the next book to see what happens next.
~ ARC received from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ~
KINGDOMS WILL RISE AND FALL FOR HER…
“Cat” Catalia Fisa lives disguised as a soothsayer in a traveling circus. She is perfectly content avoiding the danger and destiny the Gods—and her homicidal mother—have saddled her with. That is, until Griffin, an ambitious warlord from the magic-deprived south, fixes her with his steely gaze and upsets her illusion of safety forever.
BUT NOT IF SHE CAN HELP IT
Griffin knows Cat is the Kingmaker, the woman who divines the truth through lies. He wants her as a powerful weapon for his newly conquered realm—until he realizes he wants her for much more than her magic. Cat fights him at every turn, but Griffin’s fairness, loyalty, and smoldering advances make him increasingly hard to resist and leave her wondering if life really does have to be short, and lived alone.
Amanda Bouchet grew up in New England where she spent much of her time tromping around in the woods and making up grand adventures in her head. It was inevitable that one day she would start writing them down. Drawing on her Greek heritage for the setting and on her love of all things daring and romantic for the rest, her debut trilogy, The Kingmaker Chronicles, took form. She writes what she loves to read: epic exploits, steamy romance, and characters that make you laugh and cry.
A French master’s graduate and former English teacher, Amanda lives in Paris, France. She met her husband while studying abroad, and the family now includes two bilingual children who will soon be correcting her French.