Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Review: Roar by Cora Carmack

Title: Roar 
Series: Stormheart #1
Author: Cora Carmack
Release date: June 13, 2017
Cliffhanger: Yes
Rating: 5 stars

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.


My recent fantasy obsession led me straight to this gorgeous book, and I was so excited to have the opportunity to read it. I tried not to get my hopes too high. Expectations have a way of dooming you to be disappointed when you let them run away with you. But when I started to flip through the first pages of this story, almost immediately I knew that I had something special in my hands. This tale of scheming royalty, courageous hunters, and the contest for power and survival will not be easily forgotten.

I was swept away to the fascinating Pavan Kingdom, where Aurora's powerful Stormling family rules and protects from the terrifying deadly storms that plague them. Storms that hold magic, and have the power to infect the mind, sending its stunned captors to their doom.

Storms are the greatest predators in existence because they can destroy you with their savage strength or enthrall you with their terrible beauty. Like a poison flower with the stealth of a snake and the ferocity of a lion and the force of all the world’s armies combined.

A Stormling Kingdom is seen as the only hope for survival in this brutal land. Stormling magic is passed along the rulers' bloodlines, it dispels the storms with the aid of Stormhearts. These are the stones and gems that amplify their power, or give them affinities. The more Stormhearts that are collected through the generations, the stronger their power is that they wield.

Rora is next in line to inherit the crown, and at eighteen, her time in seclusion has come to an end. For years, she and her mother, Queen Aphra have kept an alarming secret that threatens to tear their safety apart at its seams. Rora holds no magic, and unless she marries immediately, there will be no one to take over her mother's storm duties when she is succeeded.

She may have been young and sheltered, but that didn't mean she was unintelligent. She spent her childhood studying, training, and preparing herself to be a strong and self-reliant woman. It took great courage to face her uncertain future for her family and her people. Because no one was to be trusted with her secret, her only friends were her books for many years. She yearned for a grand adventure her whole life, but her upcoming nuptials would soon kill that dream stone dead. At least, that's what she thought.

After accidentally stumbling upon a black market filled with possibilities she wasn't prepared for, she hatches a daring plan to shake off the chains of matrimony and take the power back that had been lost to her for so long.

Sometimes she was Aurora. Confident. Clever. Cultured. Sometimes she was Rora. Afraid. Alone. Ashamed. And more and more, she was Roar— bold, brash, and increasingly baffled by the situation in which she found herself. And sometimes she was none of them, lost and adrift somewhere in between, like the wildlands between Stormling cities.

Locke is a nineteen year-old hunter, and at first very much against her joining them. She's inexperienced and naive to the dangers that she'd be up against, and he doesn't want her death on his hands. Tragic events from his past have made him a very protective person, and he knows this girl has trouble written all over her. He just doesn't know the depths of the mysteries that she conceals.

With any good fantasy book, you need exceptional world building, and an original plot. This book had those in spades. This world BLEW ME AWAY with it's uniqueness and violent beauty. The varied storms that could level an entire population in a heartbeat could also provide incredible power. The storm hunters that Rora encountered and joined were a very detailed, well developed group of secondary characters. Each with fascinating backstories and engaging personalities. It was action packed, with more than one chilling adversary pitting themselves up against the princess and her new friends.

The desire between these two provided just the right amount of kindling for this YA romance. Not too heavy, but it was smoldering throughout with angst and passion that you could really feel.

With each soft sweep of her mouth over his, she dismantled the frame of his world and built a new one.

If you're looking for something different than anything you've read before, something that will keep you guessing, and completely addicted...look no further. This book had it all. In fact, my only complaint is that I now must wait in desperation for an undisclosed time until the next in the series. No news to speak of on when we can expect more. But you'd better believe I'll be first in line to take another exhilarating trip to the enchanting world of Caelira.


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