ABOUT THE BOOK:
Title: Roar (Stormheart #1)
Author: Cora Carmack
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publishing: June 13, 2017 (Tor Teen)
Format: Hardcover, 380 pages
Source: Self-purchased finished copy from Barnes & Noble
“You are lightning made flesh. Colder than falling snow. Unstoppable as the desert sands riding the wind. You are Stormling, Aurora Pavan. Believe it.”
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.
Where do I begin?! I, obviously, LOVED Roar by Cora Carmack — my last 5 star read was A Court of Mist and Fury when I read it in the Spring! This was one of the books of the month in July for my online book club, Buxom Book Beauties, and I am so glad it was, otherwise I am afraid this might have been added to my never-ending TBR list, not to actually be read anytime soon.
I was excited to dive into Roar after seeing it being promoted, pre-release, on social media. Based on the description, I felt like this read would be right up my alley, and boy, was I right!
I am going to be perfectly honest with you…prior to reading this book, I checked out some reviews, and not all of them were positive. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I am respectful of others’ (as I hope others will be of mine), but I interpreted the book much differently than those people. I am glad I didn’t let those reviews deter me from reading Roar.
Let me take a second to praise the stunning cover. I mean, JUST LOOK AT IT! The colors, the texture, the art itself — this cover is beautiful and an absolutely perfect fit for the story contained within. Well done, Tor Teen!
I also want to shout out Cora Carmack for her writing style! I know she has been around the block, but this is the first book I have read by her. This also happens to be Carmack’s YA debut. THAT shocked me because her writing was so fluid and captivating, and I never got the YA-rookie vibe. *Cue celebratory music: “All I do is win, win, win no matter what!”*
Onto the meat and potatoes…
Aurora, princess and sole heir of Paven from a long line of Stormlings, is not the person that every one believes her to be. She is keeping a secret that could greatly impact the future and safety of her kingdom. Because of her secret, her mother, the Queen, keeps Aurora sheltered (to the max!). Aurora tries to make up for her shortcomings by throwing herself into her studies and physical training. She devoted herself to every other aspect of being a princess, but that was not quite good enough. To protect the kingdom, the Queen arranged a marriage between Aurora and a strong, powerful Stormling; a prince from another kingdom. Enter Cassius.
If you were terribly sheltered, how do you think that would affect you? I believe this made Aurora extremely naive and her naivety influenced her thoughts and actions.
So, Cassius is an interesting character. I believe he was someone caught between a rock and a hard place. He wanted to please his royal family and do what’s best for them, as he was told, but I also believe he has some morals, which may have caused a bit of an internal struggle. Now, I am not saying his moral compass always points due North, but I have this hunch that he does have some good in him. And, okay, he seems kind-of dreamy when he isn’t being an ass, so I have my fingers crossed for some more of him in the series!
Now, the other male lead is Locke. I loved his story. I loved the mystery surrounding him. I loved the push and pull between he and Aurora. I LOVED HIM! The slow burn, though, nearly killed me! Why you gotta do that to me, Cora!?!
To understand my opinion of Aurora, you have to know that I OFTEN find myself disliking female protagonists. I don’t know why, but I just get annoyed with them. Celaena/Aelin from Throne of Glass and Blue from The Raven Cycle have been exceptions — they’re my girls! Maybe I just like the sassy ones?! Again, I don’t know why I generally feel that way, but 9 times out of 10, that’s the case. Aurora (…Rora…Roar) is one of the rare ones that I adored!
As I mentioned before, I strongly believe that being sheltered caused her to be horribly guileless and unworldly, but she comes into her own. Her character development is on point! I thoroughly enjoy seeing character growth based on a healthy mixture of positive and negative “life” experiences. She is strong, determined, very intelligent, and, yea, brazen!
I will not discuss the events that take place in Roar, because spoilers, but I will say that the story progresses at an even pace, leaving us with THAT ENDING! I thought the plot was original and well-driven. I absolutely cannot wait till the next book releases.
Overall, I know others found some faults, but I truly enjoyed Roar from cover to cover. I would definitely recommend this book, especially to YA fantasy fans. Now I need to get my hands on some more books by Carmack to fill the void until Stormheart #2 releases.
Until next time… xo