It really sucks when the final book in a series disappoints you

I usually go into a series expecting book two to be mediocre. It isn’t always, but I expect it. However, I expect book three to be fireworks and epicness and quite often the best book in the whole series.

It breaks my heart to say that wasn’t the case for Heart on Fire. 🙁

Heart on FireHeart on Fire by Amanda Bouchet
Series: Kingmaker Chronicles #3
Published by: Piatkus on January 2, 2018
Genre: Fantasy, Magic, Romance
Pages: 448
Source: Purchased
Book Details
Rating: ★★½

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.

I gave this book three stars when I first finished it, but I lowered it to 2.5 after writing this review because I saw how hugely disappointed I was and thought three stars was too high for those feelings. 🙁

I think the main problem I had with Heart on Fire is that it didn’t follow the direction I thought it would. I think I expected book two in this series to be about Cat’s insecurities and getting over emotional stuff with regards to family, confidence, and sorting out her powers. Then I expected book three to be about Cat having mastered her powers, her priorities, and what she’s fighting for, then she’d just focus on the physical challenges of taking over Fisa (rather than emotional ones).

That’s not how it went.

Cat spent the whole book yanking us back and forth.

  • Waaa I’m a complete and total failure! I don’t know how to use my powers!
  • ….oh! I get it now! THIS is how my powers work! THIS is what triggers them! I get it! SEE MY AWESOME AND TERRIBLE POWER!!!
  • Crap I just lost my powers again. Snuffed out. I’m so mad that Zeus won’t just tell me how they work! I CAN’T DO ANYTHING I’M USELESS!
  • ….oh! Huge epiphany! Everything makes sense now! THIS is how my powers work! I WILL DESTROY YOU ALL AND WIN THIS WAR!
  • Ugh my powers are gone again. I have no idea how to use them! They’re GONE! Someone teach me!

Every time I thought she finally got her shit together and figured them out because she’d literally say, “this makes sense now!” But I guess it didn’t make sense at all because then she’d “lose” her powers again just due to lack of confidence, and we’d start the process all over.

One of the characters in the book even commented on this:

“Repress. Explode. Repress. Explode. On endless repeat.”

That’s 100% accurate. She’d repress her powers, then explode from some trigger and have full access, then repress again, etc.

I feel like the third book is not the place for this kind of blind fumbling. I thought this book was going to be 100% Cat kicking ass and dominating her enemies. Sure, I expected battles she may not win, but ultimately I just wanted her to be awesome and confident at this point in the series and she wasn’t. I felt like she kept yanking me back and forth with her insecurities and it drove me nuts!

Cat’s pregnancy also got annoying

I get kind of weird when characters get pregnant. It’s not really something I enjoy reading about that much. I tried to be open minded about it, but Cat started calling her unborn child, “Little Bean” and it grated on me. It was “Cat checked on Little Bean” or Griffin would say, “How’s Little Bean?” It got to a point where if I heard “Little Bean” one more time I was ready to throw something.

The ending didn’t seem realistic

And that made it a bit anti-climactic.

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    1. I’m sorry you didn’t like the second one either. 🙁 It’s such a disappointment because I love all the elements of this series: the mythology, the romance, the magic… But it just wasn’t put together very well. 🙁

  1. It always sucks when the most anticipated book of the series doesn’t meet your expectations, sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy this one as much 🙁

  2. Yikes, that’s so sad! I know you loved this series so much! I have a confession to make. Unfortunately, I didn’t like A Promise of Fire. I mean, it was okay, but I expected Winter King epicness, you know? And… I don’t know, maybe it was because the romance happened too easily? I expected more resistance and tension. But I do feel sad that it didn’t end amazingly like you expected.

    1. I’m so sorry you didn’t like it Pamela! 🙁 The Winter King is so hard to live up to. I think it helped that I actually read A Promise of Fire BEFORE The Winter King. So I really liked A Promise of Fire, and then I OMG ADORED The Winter King — it just kept getting better, you know?

      1. I’m pretty sure that was the problem. Ugh, you’re so lucky! XD

        It was soo frustrating that while reading it I was waiting for that moment where I’d finally start being all ‘omg this is the greatest book ever!’, but it didn’t come. However, I haven’t entirely ruled out continuing! I’d been waiting for the third book to come out. Maybe later this year I might give the series a try!

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