Sourcebooks Casablanca is thrilled to announce that we are releasing our very first fantasy romance! Coming August 2016 from debut author Amanda Bouchet is the un-put-downable A Promise of Fire, the first in the Kingmaker Chronicles series.
Early readers, including New York Times bestselling author Darynda Jones, agree that this is an addictive story — luckily there will be two more books following Cat and Griffin!
I’m always leery of books that get a lot of hype. Inflating expectations can make a good book seem not so great, in my opinion. Though there are those rare instances when a book lives to type. I’m a fan of romance. Period. I’ll read anything where two (or more) characters find love and their happily ever after. Contemporary romance has been the “It Girl” for a while now. And that’s great. We all know the genres shift in popularity over time, and what was popular four years ago will once again be dominating the marketplace.
That said, fantasy romance hasn’t been in the limelight for some time. It’s hard to find unless you’re working hard to get it. There are a few blogs that cater to the genre, Here Be Magic, for one. But finding a meaty fantasy romance that’s fresh and fun, not weighted down with so much angst you want to tear your hair out, can be a challenge.
Well, search no more! I’ve been reading about an upcoming Sourcebooks title, A Promise of Fire, by Amanda Bouchet, for some time. The book comes out in August. The publisher sent a swanky copy of the book as an Advanced Reader Copy, which one of our reviewers happily snapped up. And I am more than happy to say I agree with her Recommended Read, 5+ ribbon forthcoming review.
OH MY GOSH. I haven’t been so blown away in a while.
Stop. Wait. Reality Check. To un-hype, if I may, it’s not that the story-line has never been done before. There’s a powerful evil magic user (Magoi) , some non-magical (Hoi Poloi) good guys, and a woman who’s more than she seems. (Recall also Harry Potter was just a wizard in a long line of wizard stories, yet it was done so well it became iconic.) Bouchet’s characters aren’t so different from anything you’ve ever read. The hero is sexy and broody. The heroine is pretty, snarky, and blessedly full of common sense. Thank God. So yes, there’s a familiar plot and characters who seem typical of a romance book. So why all the gushing?
Because there’s magic in her storytelling, a kind of wondrous ability of the author to suck you in, making you read “just one more page” until you realize the book is over, and you’re left wanting more. The world building is marvelous. It’s a different land, where magic users and non-magic users coexist, mythology teases at the fringes, and kingdoms are fought and won using fair means and foul. The writing flows, the pacing is spot on, and the conflict builds so naturally you start to lose your sense of anything outside the author’s world. The secondary characters are fully fleshed out, enriching the story that much more. No one is two-dimensional, which makes Bouchet’s writing so thoughtfully absorbing. Hell, after reading her book, I wanted to BE the heroine. Cat is so authentic and normal yet not, a Magoi with real power. The sexual tension in the book is awesome, and the romance balanced perfectly with the fantasy elements and plot. What also intrigued me is that the story is told in first person point-of-view. That’s not normally a favorite viewpoint of mine, but it fits so well and gives so much more insight to the book through the heroine’s eyes that I can’t imagine the book not being written that way.
I am dying to read the next two books in this series, and I can’t wait for them to come out.
Because you’re no doubt curious to know if my hype is just that, hype–it isn’t at all–I have two print ARCs to give away, courtesy of Sourcebooks, for two random commenters on this post. Simply comment about fantasy romance to be entered to win.* (*books mailed only to U.S. residences)
Take a chance on A Promise of Fire. I swear, you’ll thank me later, gushing and singing your own praises about this amazing new series. Well done, Ms. Bouchet. Well done.