Oh my goodness it’s almost release day for Cora Carmack’s ROAR! I am SO excited to finally share my review of this amazing storm-tastic book with y’all (AND there’s a giveaway which is pretty awesome)!
If you haven’t checked this book out yet, perhaps this trailer will convince you to smash that pre-order button like no other 😉
by Cora Carmack
Series: Stormheart #1
Published on June 13, 2017 by Tor Teen
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.
Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.
To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.
Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.
She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.
Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.
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Where do I even begin? I mean, this book promised storm magic and action and conflict and romance and everything I could possibly want from a YA fantasy and it delivered.
Okay, I totally freaked out about the storm magic on its own because I love storms. So obviously that just covers half my adoration for this book on its own.
This is the first I’ve read of Cora Carmack’s work and it was a winner. The idea alone, coming from someone who reads more fantasy than any other genre, was beautifully rich and unique. I thought the idea of a world essentially controlled by storms and the Stormlings who can protect the people from them gave the book that original edge that you need to stand out in the genre.
And, oh hey, my second most read genre romance made an appearance in the subplot. I will say that I wish that world could have come out a bit more in the story because once the romance was introduced it fell to the wayside just a bit. I can’t say I minded terribly since I’m such a sucker for romance and gotta ship those characters, right?
And these were shippable characters. I think Carmack really brought Rora to life and gave her a strong growth throughout the story. She’s not exactly weak at the beginning, but definitely naive and sheltered, so it was interesting to see those flickering embers you see beneath the surface catch hold and bloom into a bonfire by the end. Rora truly becomes a force to be reckoned with. I was a bit worried about her character because I’ve read so many fantasies with a heroine who goes from 0 to 60 and suddenly becomes amazing at everything…but Rora didn’t. She struggled, a lot, and is still growing as a person which also sets the book up perfectly for a sequel.
She’s paired against the two Lockes, by which I mean Cassius Locke…and, well, Locke. That’s his name. It confused me for a bit at the beginning but clicked pretty quick. Cassius was the bad boy you can’t help but love but also know isn’t good for you. Except he’s not all bad and there’s much more to him than meets the eye (as in, I want more!). Locke is much more down to earth. He wants Rora to be safe above all else. With the band of storm hunters he acts as a sort of captain of, they teach Rora about life outside of Stormling protection. Which was a lovely group dynamic, by the way. I love reading about bands of people from all different backgrounds going on an adventure together and they did exactly that.
There was a lot going on in Roar and I don’t want to say too much without spoiling anything BUT I will say this: prepare yourselves for a magical storm of action and swoony romance sure to be a favorite of all YA fantasy readers. Plus the set-up woven through the story as well as brought into light at the very end has me beyond ready for the sequel because YOU CAN’T JUST LEAVE IT LIKE THAT! Such cliffhanger. Much wow. Need book two!
Check out the rest of the tour! Plenty of posts to read!
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