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. 🙁
Series: Kingmaker Chronicles #3
Published by: Piatkus on January 2, 2018
Genre: Fantasy, Magic, Romance
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.View Spoiler » [
Cat confronts her mom and given how horrible and evil her mom was, I expected her to cling on until the bitter end. I thought there was no way she wouldn’t go out fighting. But instead, her mom does a complete 180.
“I envy your choices. Now, when it’s too late, I wish I could have made them myself.”
“I’ve taken from you. So much. I understand that now.”
In the span of two pages, her mom went from holding Cat’s friend’s ransom to the above quotes?? What villain does a 180 that quickly??
There was no epilogue! Everything wrapped up way too quickly.
Heart on Fire NEEDED an epilogue. I fully expected there to be one and was shocked when there wasn’t. View Spoiler » [After all that build up with fucking “Little Bean” and we never actually get to see her born?? And there was almost no satisfying “happily ever after” because we never got to saw the characters in the “after”. « Hide Spoiler] It’s almost kind of funny. All the rest of the book dragged on and on and repeated itself, then we get to the end and it was all wrapped up WAY too fast. It was almost like it was rushed to completion.
Contrary to what it sounds like here, I didn’t hate Heart on Fire. Mostly I’m just massively disappointed. I’m feeling this disappointment even more than usual because this was the final book in one of my all-time favourite series and I didn’t love it. So although I didn’t hate the book, that lack of love for it hurts even more.