Thursday, October 19, 2017
Heart on Fire by Amanda Bouchet
Kingmaker Chronicles, Book 3 - Final
This is the final installment of the Kingmaker Chronicles and I'm a little torn.
This book is entirely Cat finally learning herself. My one main problem with Catalia (and I think I'm going to name my next child that if I have one ... God willing) is that she asks too many questions, not realizing that no one wants to give her answers yet. If a group of people are constantly being vague with answers to big questions, you gotta know there's a reason why. So she keeps bumbling around in this gray area (pun intended), fighting herself, and falling short because she won't just chill. The sad part is, the answer was there the entire time but she simply hadn't though about it yet. So even though I complain about this, it still works in her favor because it does push her development along. If she weren't so dense, more than half of book 3 would not be there.
Book 3 picks up after the fight with Galen Tarva. If you remember in book 2, after the Agon Games, Elpis is asked to visit with Galen Tarva, the king there. Even though Elpis was not ready to fight at that moment, they had a lot of help beating him and winning that throne. So now, in the start of book 3, Piers and Kaia show up at Tarva city and then something happens that I'd been waiting on since book 1. If you know Piers, like I do, then you would have been waiting on his betrayal or deceit of some kind since the beginning. And what we got was (highlight line for spoiler) a half-assed attempt to get rid of Cat. I really want to say that this could have been done differently or better, but after reading the entire book, this was needed to push Cat along.
When Piers' attempt fails and (spoiler ahead) ultimately is the end of Piers, we move into more emotion. This book is sooooo emotional that my eyes were watering more than half the book. My heart was really on fire. I ride the public bus to work in the mornings and afternoons and I know those people think I'm crazy for crying like I do every single day while reading this. Anywho ... Piers fails, we learn more stuff about people in her life who happen to end up being super important.
By now, the middle of the book isn't super important. There's a sex scene thrown in there somewhere. And I'm really pleased because the number of sex scenes was cut down drastically in this book compared to book 2. God is real. I can't just say that the middle isn't super important but there's a lot of Cat dealing with family and Cat finding out about herself and Griffin as a unit. Emotion.
Later in the book, the thing that doesn't need to happen, happens. Someone important dies. And it honestly rips my heart out because this is the last person that needed to lose their life, but it also makes sense that they do. This death pushes Cat further along her journey of discovery and into that gray area I joked about earlier.
Despite the fact that this book is all about Cat figuring herself and her powers out, she still has to deal with her Mother. Up until the end, Mother doesn't disappoint. I just don't like the way things ended with her. I understand why it did. So to deal with Mother with hope and mercy in mind works with the theme. There is a theme in the Kingmaker Chronicles, and that theme is Elpis (hope). When I think back on book 1, Griffin was moving on sheer hope that Cat was what he thought she was, a Kingmaker. Book 2, hope resurfaces as she and Griffin's relationship progresses and they talk of taking over Tarva City. And now in book 3, hope is every where and right up until the very end.
The ending that was rushed.
We have to deal with this Titan. We don't know about the important death although we can assume this person ended up in the Elysian Fields. Apparently, (spoiler ahead) anyone who fought for Elpis would get direct passage there so at least we MIGHT be able to rest easily even though the exact answer was still vague. Little Bean is still just ... a little bean. And i feel wholly unsatisfied with the open ending. I like closure and I didn't get closure. I mean technically, you get closure. Mother is out of the picture so we know that means peace for everyone but I just want to know how they progress really. An Epilogue would have been great.
I still love the book and the series. The author is talented. There's no diversity ANYWHERE unless you count hair color and eye color changes. The ending was lackluster. But overall, Cat, Griffin, and Beta Team are worth the read. Even though I loved Cat the first 2 books and she worked my nerves in this one, it's still worth it. I'm interested in finding out what the author has up her sleeve next and I'll be following her closely in the future.