New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack's young adult debut: Roar.
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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About the Author
Cora Carmack has done a multitude of things in her life–boring jobs (retail), fun jobs (theatre), stressful jobs (teaching), and dream jobs (writing). Raised in a small Texas town, she now lives in New York City and Texas, and spends her time writing, traveling, and marathoning various television shows on Netflix. Her first book, Losing It, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller, and her subsequent books were also hits.
Read an Excerpt
By Cora Carmack
Tom Doherty AssociatesCopyright © 2017 Cora Carmack
All rights reserved.
You are lightning made flesh. Colder than falling snow. Unstoppable as the desert sands riding the wind. You are Stormling, Aurora Pavan. Believe it.
Believe it, and others will too.
It was a vow that her mother, Queen Aphra, made her swear on the day she reached twelve years. She had gripped her daughter's shoulders tight, and Rora could still remember the pinch of pain, the furious beat of her heart as she saw how afraid her mother was and learned to be afraid too.
Today that fear had led Aurora Pavan to sign her life away before she ever had the chance to really live it.
As she was primped and prettied like some kind of sacrificial offering, her mind remained stuck on her morning spent in the throne room. She recalled the rasping sound as the treaty was unrolled and the way her fingers suddenly felt too weak to hold a quill. Many days of her sheltered life had been spent writing out ideas and facts and figures for her tutors, yet in that moment, she had struggled to remember the letters of her name. Then she had met her mother's eyes, and those familiar words came to her again.
Colder than falling snow.
That was what Rora had to become as her shaking hand sealed her fate with a scratchy, bleeding line of ink. And now hours later a stranger peered back at her from the looking glass, powdered white so that none of her flaws would show.
Rora's white-blonde hair had been curled and bound up in an elaborate ceremonial headdress that was crowded with jewels, flowers, and four jagged crystals cut like bolts of lightning to mimic her mother's skyfire crown. Headdresses honoring a family's ancestors were an important part of the Pavanian tradition, from the upper echelons of nobility to the poor and working class. They were donned for birth and death and every major life event in between, including betrothals. But this headdress was larger than any Rora had ever seen. It had to be anchored to the thick metal necklace she wore about her collar with embellished fastenings, and it weighed on her nearly as much the events of the night still to come.
The shimmering white powder covering her already pale skin made her look like she'd just emerged from a blizzard. Her ribs were tightly bound in a corset that squeezed and squeezed until it felt like all her organs were in the wrong place. Over that was a heavy, beaded gown whose neckline dipped low, revealing far more cleavage than she had ever shown. The fabric clung to her frame until it fanned out at her knees into a long train, and the color of the dress changed from white to ash gray to glittering black.
Rora looked exactly as her mother had always told her to be — lightning made flesh: blinding white and bright against a dark sky, and the train that pooled around her was the ground, charred black by her impact.
It was stunning. Exquisite, really. Even Rora, who hated dresses of all kinds, could tell that. It was also a lie. Every jewel, every bead painted a picture of someone that wasn't her. But that was the goal for tonight's betrothal celebration ... to be someone else, to be the perfect Stormling princess. Because if she failed, everything could fall apart.
A creak pierced the room, and every bustling body around her froze. Rora swore that the small sound moved through her bones the same way thunder did when it was close. Then the sinister tingle of storm magic spread over her like a second skin. Her gaze slid to the box her mother had just opened, to the jewels and stones inside that plagued her nightmares.
The hearts were not unlike the storms themselves — darkly beautiful but with an air of menace and deadly intent. It was an apt description of her future husband as well.
Slowly the room emptied of attendants and maids and seamstresses until only the queen and Aurora remained, ruler and heir. These Stormhearts had been passed down the Pavan family line for generations, the last remaining remnants of long-dead storms that her ancestors had defeated to gain their magic during the Time of Tempests. Back then, the continent of Caelira was ravaged beyond recognition, and people flocked to the Pavan family stronghold for sanctuary. They pledged service or goods or gold to live near those who had been blessed by the goddess with the ability to challenge the dangers of the sky, those that came to be called Stormlings.
Aurora's ancestors then passed along three things to their descendants — the crown of a newly formed kingdom, the hearts of the storms they had conquered, and the magic that ran through their blood as a result.
Without a Stormheart, a Stormling might have enough magic in their blood to influence small storms of their inherited affinities. But with one of those talismans amplifying their magic, one person could single-handedly bring down a tempest savage enough to wipe whole cities from existence. And tonight, as she and her betrothed were presented to the court, for the first time Aurora would wear the Stormhearts reserved for the heir.
Her mother lifted the first relic from the box, and the hair on Rora's arms stood on end. The air crackled, and she felt far more residual magic standing close to her mother than she ever felt holding the stones herself.
This Stormheart was a cloudy, pearlescent stone and represented skyfire, the strongest of her family's five affinities. When those jagged bolts of white fire streaked down from the sky, dozens all at once, it was her mother who protected the city of Pavan. And now that Aurora had turned eighteen, she would be expected to join in the fight the next time dark clouds rolled over their lands.
"Light in your blood, skyfire bows to you," her mother murmured before settling the stone into the hollow that had been left for it in the center of the ceremonial headdress. Rora shivered, and her mother's eyes darted quickly to hers. Queen Aphra interrupted the ritual to ask, "Did you —?" There was such hope in her voice that Rora couldn't bring herself to meet the queen's eyes as she shook her head. Frowning, her mother bent to pick up the next Stormheart. This one was a deep ruby, thin and sharp like a shard of glass.
"Fire in your blood, firestorms bow to you."
Firestorms built quickly with little warning, and hot embers fell like hail. They could singe straight through skin; and in the flat, grassy kingdom of Pavan, they could set the land ablaze in a blink. It was said to be the rarest of all affinities. Carefully, the queen slotted the gem into an open space on Rora's necklace. It lay over her sternum with the sharp point coming to rest at the top of her cleavage. Several smaller versions of the crystalline lightning bolts that adorned her headdress fanned across her collarbone on each side of the bloodred Stormheart.
The queen added four more hearts to the ensemble, speaking the words that her father had once spoken to her. A flat blue stone set into a bracelet for thunderstorms. The heart of a windstorm, gray and cylindrical, slid into a socket on a thin silver belt around Rora's waist. A jagged slate-gray piece for fog adorned her other wrist. And last, her mother lifted a silver ring adorned with a small black jewel. It was the only Stormheart in the box that wasn't ancient.
No, this Stormheart was barely twelve years old. Rora's brother, Alaric, had stolen it from a twister that had touched down near the southwestern border of their territory. Stormling families were limited to the affinities they inherited from their original Stormling ancestors, but some believed it possible, though wildly dangerous, to gain a new affinity in the same way the first Stormlings were said to have done — by stealing the heart of a storm and absorbing its magic. At eighteen, Alaric believed he could take down a twister and gain the Pavan family another affinity.
He'd been wrong. He had thrust his hand into the heart of the storm to claim it as his own. And when the battle was almost won, the storm's winds returned the favor, thrusting a tree branch through the heart of the Pavan heir.
The few devout priests in the kingdom who still followed the old gods had claimed it a reminder from the skies not to reach above one's stars. Sometimes Aurora wondered if they weren't still being punished.
The ring did not rouse at the queen's touch, but remained a cold, dead gem as she slipped it onto Rora's finger. It only would have worked for Alaric or his offspring. Rora and her mother pretended it was just a normal ring. Just as Rora always pretended to be something she wasn't. And her mother pretended she wasn't disappointed with her daughter. And that they all wouldn't have been better off if Alaric had lived.
Rora would keep pretending, through the celebrations and the wedding after that. And then her entire life. She would pretend that she did not desperately wish she were better. Different. More.
Her mother took her shoulders in that familiar hard grip. "Remember, be confident and controlled. Do not let them intimidate you."
"Do not speak more than you must. Keep a tight rein on your temper lest you —"
"Lest I give myself away. I know, Mother."
The queen paused, the curve of her lips pushing into a frown. "I know this isn't ideal. I wish we had all the time you could want and could wait to find you a love match or at least someone of your choosing."
"But we don't. We are out of time. I understand."
Arranged marriages were rare in Pavanian royal history. Often, rulers chose for love, like her mother and father. Others held contests of skill for young nobles to prove themselves to the heir. But soon the skies would bruise and bleed and howl as the Rage season drew its first breath, and if Aurora was not married by then, her own little kingdom of lies would topple.
"Promise me you will try to find the good in this. To find some happiness," the queen said.
Rora nodded. She didn't have the heart to tell her mother how impossible she thought that was with a man as hard and cold as Cassius Locke, the second son of the Locke kingdom. The Lockes by reputation were cunning, smart, and as vicious as the storms that plagued their city by the sea. If she showed a weakness, she had no doubt they would exploit it. And if they learned exactly what all the jewels and powder and fine fabrics hid? Aurora's last hope to keep her kingdom would unravel.
"Are you ready?" her mother asked.
A small part of Aurora screamed in revolt; she wanted to ask for permission to leave, to disappear into the wildlands and find another life. But the queen had lost enough in this life. Her husband succumbed to a disease that her magic couldn't touch. And her son had captured a storm's heart at the expense of his own. And the only one she had left, her daughter ... her daughter looked the part of the perfect Stormling princess — so impressive, so ethereal, that no one would ever dare to think the truth.
That she had no storm magic at all.
* * *
Aurora's muscles twitched involuntarily as she stood outside the throne room, as if her body might decide to run without her mind's consent. Two of her guards, Taven and Merrin, waited a few steps behind her. They followed her inside, and an eerie silence took hold after the heavy doors closed.
Moments later Cassius Locke melted out of the shadows, looking more like a villain than a prince — dressed all in black with dark hair and eyes to match. At twenty, he was a mere two years older than she. But the prince before her seemed bigger, older ... much more a man than she had expected. He reminded her of those thunderstorms that stalled on the horizon — growing bigger and darker as they churned in on themselves.
Their gazes met, and she held his stare, shoulders square and back. Sweat dripped down her spine beneath the elaborate costume, and a headache knocked at her temples from the weight of the headdress, but she did not let it show. His eyes dropped, perusing her form. Rora's heart thumped a little faster. The longer he looked at her, the more uncomfortable she became. And she hated herself for it. For letting him get to her.
If her mother had taught her anything, it was that no one could make you feel small unless you allowed it. So she took a deep breath and let herself believe she was the fierce and powerful girl everyone thought she was. And she stared right back.
Maybe Rora didn't have magic, but Cassius didn't know that. She had spent her whole life preparing to be queen, and she'd be damned if she spared an instant of worry for what he thought of her. She evaluated him in return and spitefully hoped it made him uncomfortable. Starting with his neatly combed midnight hair, she assessed his looks — strong brows, straight nose, pointed chin. His face was almost too symmetrical, as if crafted by an architect. Rora frowned and swept her gaze down to his broad chest and large shoulders.
Instead of making him uncomfortable, she began to feel uneasy with her perusal. He was too attractive. Far more handsome than any of the local young men she might have chosen. But that beauty was tempered by an air of brutality — a hardness in his eyes and the precise, sharp movements of a man who was deadly and wanted everyone to know it.
He stood a handspan taller than she, a rarity for Rora's tall form. When she finally looked back at his face, he was quirking an eyebrow, one corner of his mouth lifted in a smirk.
"Don't stop on my account. Please, look your fill. See what you're getting, Princess." He did a slow spin, giving her a full view. She meant to scoff at his arrogance, but the sound was strangled beneath a gasp when she saw him in profile.
The folds of his black tunic left a gap down the middle of his back, revealing something that looked like armor beneath; and down the line of his spine were sharp, unnatural protrusions.
He angled his head toward her and smiled. It did not look as a smile should. It exaggerated the strong angles of his face, making him appear harsh ... dangerous.
"Did you think you'd be the only one wearing hearts today?" He turned fully and there, piercing the back of his tunic like monstrous vertebrae, were Stormhearts. Nearly a dozen. Some were familiar — the crystalline red of firestorms and pearlescent skyfire. Others were not like any she knew. And, unlike Rora, he even had duplicates.
"H-how?" Second sons never wore Stormhearts. Those remained with the ruler and the heir.
"These belong to me, not to the Locke kingdom." Suddenly her corset felt far more constricting, like a snake coiling about her middle tighter and tighter. A dozen hearts of his own? Even with Stormling powers, to take the heart from a tempest was to court death itself. Many more than just her brother had died in such an endeavor. The history books chronicled the stories, and even those few who succeeded were later plagued by tragedy and destruction, as if the storms somehow sought vengeance after their demise. Clearly Cassius did not fear the wrath of gods or storms. If he truly had taken those Stormhearts for himself, he was dangerous indeed.
"I enjoy the way it feels," Cassius said, his voice pitched deep. "To reach a hand into the dark depths of a storm and rip out its heart."
A shiver of unease ran down her spine. If she had magic, could she ever take that much joy in destruction? He was watching her, reading her, and she quickly pulled on a blank expression. Other than not having magic, that was her greatest weakness as a royal heir. She felt too much, thought too much; and even with years of tutoring, it was still an effort to keep the tempest inside her from showing on her face. "How was your journey?" He lifted an eyebrow. "Long. The mountain passes were more troublesome than we had expected this time of year."
"Storms?" she asked.
Rora's jaw dropped. "But we're still in the Slumber season."
"The deluge of snow that nearly trapped us in the pass at Bone's Break cared little what season it was. The wildlands have been even more unpredictable of late."
As far as she knew, the Lockes had no snow blood in the family line. The snowstorms never ventured far enough south to matter in their kingdom. "Your father — was he able to control it?"
He shook his head. "None of us had ever seen a blizzard. And my father rarely faces storms these days. My brother and I battle most."
She supposed the same might have been true for her if she had magic. Instead, she and her mother had delayed the transfer of protection duties as long as possible. It was why she had to marry now. With the Rage season looming, they were out of time.
"How did you —"
Before the question was out of her mouth, he reached his free hand back to touch the Stormheart at the top of his spine. It was a glittering white, nearly silver, and almost perfectly round. "I did not have snow blood. But I do now."
Excerpted from Roar by Cora Carmack. Copyright © 2017 Cora Carmack. Excerpted by permission of Tom Doherty Associates.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Cora Carmack thrills in this new Young Adult Fantasy novel. It's no secret that Carmack is an amazing storyteller; from her swoony boys, to the headstrong yet relatable heroines. I know that after reading a book by her, that I'll be transported to into another world. And that's always welcome in my book. If you couldn't tell before, I loved this. I liked the world building, the characters were all on point, and I look forward to being able to continue in a new series. Unfortunately, I didn't much care for the romance. Gasp! I know right, but I felt like Aurora was able to hold her own without any type of boy in the storyline. Yes, romance is nice to have but Roar is much more than that! It's all about a heroine we can relate to. Rora is strong, beautiful, vulnerable, and I liked her spunk. I think she's one of my favorite characters Carmack has ever written. As I was saying earlier about the world building. I thought it was very well thought out and interesting. I loved the whole concept of storm magic. And once secrets start coming out, well it's only the beginning a wonderful ride. Now as I also mentioned before about the guys. While I didn't much care for them on a romantic level, I did very much like them as characters. The two boys in question are Prince Cassius and Locke. I liked them both for different reasons and even though one can be considered bad; I loved him all the more for it. Overall, I think this is the start to something wonderful. Fans of fantasy, strong female leads, and romance will devour this book like there is no tomorrow. And then begging for the author to hurry up and write the next book! I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm going to be like that! This is a huge GO and no doubt on top of my list of what to read next.
It was very different from Cora' s other books but I loved it. It took me a little while to figure out what all the powers were and what they did but that's what intrigued me to keep reading. I loved it so much and can not wait for the next one. I couldn't put it down! Great Job Cora! There was so many twists and turns too that made me want more. Plus I felt like I was living I the book which doesn't happen often but when it does I love it!
This was everything I enjoy reading packed into one book. I love the magic and fantasy with enough of a love story to keep me reading for hours on end! Great story!
Roar by Cora Carmack is amazing. I’ve been a fan of Carmack’s for awhile and she writes some of my favorite new adult books. Roar is Carmack’s first young adult novel and she definitely launched with a bang! Aurora is the princess of Caelira. She only wishes she was capable of the power her mom has. Instead of protecting her Kingdom, Aurora has to hide during the storm attacks so no one will know that she does not have the power that a princess of Caelira should have. Now Aurora’s mother is trying to marry her off to Cassius, a prince from another land. Cassius has his own devious plans. When Aurora begins to catch on and she follows him to a place no prince or princess should go…her life changes. That is where Roar’s adventure begins. Carmack’s plot is grand. She writes it oh so well. The reader doesn’t get the whole plot at once which is something that I really like. We get a slow reveal as the story continues on so the reader gets to feel some suspense and anticipation. This story and the characters grip your attention and draws you into this beautiful world. Oh Course, Carmack leaves you wanting more! One thing I absolutely love about this story is the uniqueness. Storms have personalities and hearts. People fight these storms because they are deadly. I really liked the Elemental power and the magic that is in this story. The storm hunters are amazing. I love this ban of misfits. They care about each other even when it is hard to show it. It truly is something to have a group of people that have your back. Even if they are tough on each other, they still take the time to teach. The writing is amazing. The characters are written extremely well. I feel like you can’t ask for a better book. So far there are no love triangles but there is at least two swoon worthy men. Aurora/Roar is one of the best female characters ever. I am really looking forward to book two. You Don’t Want to Miss Roar by Cora Carmack!!!
**Review originally posted on My Fangirl Chronicles** I’m not really sure where to begin with this review because the only thought running through my mind right now is, “OMGGG THIS BOOK IS AMAZING!!” The world that Cora has created in “Roar” is so captivating and unique; it’s a refreshing take on the YA fantasy genre that you won’t find anywhere else and will not want to leave once you enter it. You may think some storms are scary in real life, but in the world of the Stormlings and Stormhunters, they are all downright terrifying (yes, even fog)! The Storms themselves feel like their own characters, not just because they literally have their own hearts (Stormhearts), but also due to their semi-sentient nature which makes them even more dangerous and frightening. But, despite these fearsome foes, Caelira feels like such a magical and exciting world to be in, especially if you’re a powerful Stormling or a brave Stormhunter. Our heroine, Aurora, is one of the most strong-willed, honorable, stubborn, and bravest characters in the entire book and I absolutely adore her. It quickly becomes clear to Rora that if she wants to find happiness and protect those dear to her, she must take destiny into her own hands to become the queen she was always meant to be. I loved seeing Rora slowly transform into her Stormhunter alias, Roar. Despite her sheltered and privileged upbringing, Roar is a natural-born fighter and does not give up easily. No matter how difficult things become or whatever challenges arise, Roar stubbornly refuses to back down – sometimes frustratingly so. Locke, their leader on the battlefield, often finds himself at odds with Roar and somehow always manages to say the wrong thing, which then leads to their frequent conflicts. I believe part of it has to do with his natural tendency to push everyone to do and be their best, which causes him to appear bossy but he pushes himself the most out of everyone else. He is strong in every sense of the word and had to grow up quickly when he was younger. I. LOVE. HIM. He is very protective and loyal to those he cares about, and often times seems as if he’s carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders, similar to Roar. Their undeniable chemistry and romance is one of my favorite things in this book. I loved seeing Roar and Locke challenge each other to be the best versions of themselves, and slowly change to fit together perfectly. Even when they were competing or flirting, it always felt as if they were on equal ground and always giving as much as they were taking. If I could choose a group of best friends I would want this group of Stormhunters to be them. They have such an amazing group dynamic and I really love how close they all are to each other. They tease one another and argue like families do, understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and always have each other’s backs. They are so diverse; no two people are alike and they each bring various skill-sets and personalities to the table but that only strengthens them as a whole. Cora’s writing is so rich and engaging, you can’t help but become enthralled with this new world she has created. Full of twists and turns, swoon-worthy romance, secrets and devious plots, and dynamic characters, “Roar” is certain to become your next favorite YA fantasy read!
Pros: -This book had very little going for it. It was definitely not at all what I was expecting. I decided to give this two stars solely because of how fascinating the premise is. I love the idea of storm magic and how the storms are almost sentient beings. I just wish it was more fleshed out and I understood more about it and more was explained. Cons: - It has now been 4 days since I finished this book and I can barely remember the characters names. I honestly thought Cassius was the most real character. I felt like I knew more about him and I actually wanted to know more. Aurora and Locke were not characters I came to care about and I honestly do not really care what will happen to them. - This book is supposedly a "fantasy book", but it is lacking so much in that category. It is definitely a romance novel and you can tell that Cora Carmack is a romance writer (and there is nothing wrong with that), but I wanted an amazing fantasy book and instead I got a romance novel disguised as a fantasy book. I will not be continuing with this series because I while the magic system fascinated me, I did not care about the characters enough to keep reading more about them in future novels.
I had no idea what was going to happen in this one. It was an amazing read and I can not wait for the next one to come out.
“She could not tell him that she was so very good at pretending that she no longer knew exactly who she was. 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 wild lands between storming cities.” This book was so much more than I expected. In this world storms are tearing through towns and destroying entire cities. Storms hold hearts that are magic, and can be controlled by some born with certain affinities for magic. Aurora is a princess from a strong family, but she was born with no magic, and was forced to hide it. A series of events leads Aurora to discover that there are other ways to have magic than what she has been told. And she decided to go a journey as Roar to find magic for herself. This book kept me interested from the first page. All of the characters are intriguing and different, even the villains. The love story involved was swoon worthy. And the entire journey with Roar exciting and unpredictable. I give this book 5 fabulous stars and I am very anxious for the next book in this series.
A fabulously written classic YA fantasy novel.
This review is going to get started with a huge bow-down to whoever the cover artist of ROAR is. It was what drew me to the book in the first place and I was in love. It’s just gorgeous. I really really hope Tor doesn’t pull a cover-redesign for this series, EVER. I’ve seen a full art print of it without the words and everything and wow, I am in LOVE. Beyond the physically aesthetics, the premise for this story is incredibly intriguing. I found it to be incredibly intriguing, considering how little I’ve read about the idea of using the weather as the means of the overall plot that grips the story together. The world-building is done impeccably and made me want to soak in the world even more. The lore behind it just made it so so easy to dive in and get lost in the epic details. I loved that I got to discover the extent of how storm wrangling (it’s not called wrangling at all in the book) works for people who were born with it, those who have taken it, and those who have not had real experience with it at all. If you’re a fan of Mary E. Pearson and Sarah J. Maas, you will like this book. It definitely gave me crossover vibes of THE REMNANT CHRONICLES and THRONE OF GLASS. There are a few criticisms that I do wish to contend with that did bring down the quality of what I think is one of the most creative ideas in a long time. First, the romance. I am all for steamy corset-ripping time action. I love that stuff. I LIVE for that stuff (ex: my love Sarah J. Maas’s ACOTAR series), but I was disappointed by how easy it seemed for Aurora to be swayed by these incredibly attractive men who found no issue with using possessive language when talking about/to her. Even with her second love interest, I felt like Cormack was trying hard to make it seem like her trust with men was broken because of her first love interest, but I could tell that she was trying to do that. The trust issues felt forced and were in it for the same of giving Aurora dimension in that part of her life. Don’t get me wrong, the love scenes were pretty steamy and I know Cormack is critically acclaimed for that genre (which is awesome), but I certainly felt like Cormack’s novice side in YA was coming through. As such, I feel like Aurora’s character development and autonomy were both stunted because of the romance. The causes to her development are essentially and ultimately because of a make character. When I think back on it, I realize that there was not an epic moment of self-realization or turn of events for Aurora that was not spurred on the heels of a male character or her interaction with one. I guess what I want to say is that she is too much of a bystander and allows things to happen rather than have complete control over the situation. This is why I felt like Novaya had more character building than Aurora did. She seemed singular in her person whereas Aurora did not. I wanted more with Novaya because of this. Nonetheless, I feel like she has a lot of potential to be an amazing heroine in the series. I hope that she really grows in the STORMLING series because I want to love it a lot. (With that paragraph being said, I really like the subtle shift in Aurora’s name whenever she changed surroundings. When she’s in Pavan, she’s Aurora or Rora, but when she’s in the wild, she goes by Roar. I really really loved this and thought it was a great touch that made her character feel fleshed out just a bit more.)
(Review taken from http://literaryweaponry.com) “You are lightning made flesh. Colder than falling snow. Unstoppable as the desert sands riding the wind. You are Stormling, Aurora Pavan. Believe it.” I bought Roar back in June when it was first released and it has been sitting on my shelf ever since. The cover is lovely and it was nice to pick it up, look at it, and put it back down from time to time. I even opened it once and made it through the first chapter before I put it back down again. Why was I hesitant about reading it? The book has been billed as a fantasy romance and, well, romance just isn’t up my alley. Finally, last week I was feeling blue and thought a little romance might be just the pick me up I needed so I reached for this book and settled in on the couch with a steaming cup of tea. I didn’t really have any expectations when I finally got a serious start reading this book. Do I love fantasy? Sure. Absolutely. But romance and I have a tenuous relationship and we keep a respectful distance from each other for the most part. However, this book got its claws in me. We begin with the lovely Aurora. She is the only surviving heir in the ruling family in Pavan, a city plagued by terrible storms. There are some people, Stormlings, that possess the ability to control and dissipate these storms that can easily wipe out an entire city. Rumor has it that Aurora is one of the strongest of these Stormlings and will soon be called upon to protect her people. The only problem with that is the fact that Aurora possesses no magic. She and her mother have kept that lack of magic a secret in order to maintain their power in their kingdom. To continue to hide that lack, and still keep their people safe, Aurora is to be married off to a magically strong prince from another city. His family’s magical heritage is strong and will be able to protect their city from the intensifying storms. But, that family has their own agenda and once Aurora discovers that they are not who they appear to be, she makes some choices that will change everything. “But those words were my greatest hope when I was young. To find answers for the unanswerable, a path through the impossible.” She embarks on an adventure with a group that goes out into the wilds to tame and capture these massively destructive storms even though they have no magic of their own. The princess wants to learn how to protect her city without the help of prince she was promised to. Roar ended up being a wonderful story of adventure, love, and mental and physical strength. Roar (as Aurora becomes known out in the wild) is determined and will not let anything stand in the way of her learning to protect her city. The magical elements in the story I felt were well developed and there was enough back story to it for those elements to make sense without becoming too heavy. I think we have all read at least one of those books with the dreaded info dump explaining the fantasy aspect that takes you out of the story. In Roar, it was carefully crafted throughout the story and you never got that dumped upon feeling. Now, I genuinely thought the love story in this book was going to be off putting. It was made obvious early on who the love interest would be and that he is a brooding character who tries to stay out of emotional situations. Not much of a surprise, right? But, again... (remaining review at http://literaryweaponry.com)
First off, what did I just read? It wasn’t terrible (okay maybe the last 50 pages were), but this book was pretty boring. I’m sorry, but I’m just being honest. The writing style was good, but I felt like I read almost 400 pages of nothing. It was just world-building, traveling, some twisted stuff, and quite a bit back and forth between POVs. I can only give this book 2 out of 5 stars. One major disappointment was that there was only a teeny, tiny bit of romance, and it was pretty late into the book. And honestly it felt like it was put there just because the author figured the readers would want some kissing. Like hey, I guess they should kiss now. It didn’t feel organic to me. It felt forced, and honestly the affection in this book kind of made me uneasy. I’m not going to go into details, but the romance I was expecting did NOT happen. Aurora/Rora/Roar was not my favorite character. She was okay sometimes, but I honestly felt like her mind frame was kind of childlike. She’s supposed to be getting married, and ruling her lands, and I just don’t feel like she was anywhere near the preparedness that her situation required. Her behavior reminded me more of a younger teen in many ways. The beginning of this book was probably my favorite…even though it was kind of an info dump. I liked Locke for the most part, but I wouldn’t say he’s a book boyfriend. Maybe someone I’d try dating, and decide from there if he’s a yay or a nay. As the story progressed, there were a lot of people that got left behind and only randomly got thrown a few pages here and there of their POVs. It was kind of off-putting, because I’d almost forgotten all about them, and then we were in their minds again. I felt like nothing really interesting happened; nothing that shocked me and made me want to applaud the cleverness of the writing. And then the last 50 pages (yes, I’m talking about them again) were beyond bizarre. It was like the author felt the need to completely change the story, that she veered off the path that the previous 300+ pages had set up. I was sitting read it, and was like what the heck just happened? The last 50 pages were the worst of all the pages. I rolled my eyes quite a bit. Sorry, not sorry. On top of all the above, the font is pretty dang small, and it gave me a headache if I tried reading more than 50-100 pages a day. Honestly, I should have just marked this one as DNF long ago, but I thought maybe there’d be more romance, action, and adventure. Plus I was buddy reading with Jessica, so that motivated me to read more as well. I’m not continuing this series, because I have a ton of books on my TBR, and I need to find things I love. Maybe I’m the black sheep with this book, because I see lots of 4-5 star reviews, but I just can’t. Baaaaa.
Roar by Cora Carmack 2.5 Stars Characters: Aurora- You never knew who you were getting with Aurora. Would it be Aurora, Rora, or Roar?! (you’ll see if you read it) Nova- Nova was the superstar in my eyes. I wanted more of her and less of everyone else lol!! Locke- Locke had great potential but felt kind of “meh” at times. Cassius- Am I supposed to be swooning over him? Because……..it’s not happening Quotes: “And I am here with you. If you have questions, ask them. If you have fears, shed them. If you have doubts, give them to me and I will crush them beneath my heel. If you need help, I will provide it. Even if you only need someone to yell at, I can be that too. And when the time comes that you need someone to trust, I will be that person. I promise.” ^ this quote had me swooning guys. Hope my future husband puts this in our vows lol. Overall: This felt like one big prequel for the next book. The font was ridiculously tiny and the book was still 378 pages. Each time I read this for any significant amount of time, it would result in a headache or migraine. They should’ve made this a thicker book with larger font or cut down the pages. As I said, this felt like a prequel and that everything that happened was just a set up for book two. If felt like too much was going on but at the same time that nothing was going on. How is that possible you may ask? Well, we had several characters, several towns/places, we had to learn an entire new vocabulary/terms/background to go with this unique story line, etc. BUT at the same time we were in this traveling scene for most of the book. I did love the uniqueness to the plot. It was original and very interesting. I think it could’ve been executed a bit better but overall, it was nice to see new stories. This book had tendencies of feeling like information overload. We had so much to learn because we were starting with such an original story. I kept thinking “let’s get going already!”. If you know me, you know i’m a huge romance lover. I love reading romance in my books, whether it’s the main focus or just a subtle addition. I wasn’t feeling it in this one. I didn’t feel the connection between the two characters like I knew I was supposed to. I had no one to root for because I honestly didn’t see any of the characters as a potential couple. What romance did occur was very lackluster in my opinion. It felt forced and disingenuous. Overall, this had a great base. I was very intrigued to learn more and the ending made me want to continue BUT it’s hard to love a book when you only love the idea of what it COULD be.
Such an amazing book I was hooked from page one!
I could not put it down, need more!!
I was drawn in by the characters and story, but there was a cliffy ending. I wish I had waited until the 2nd one was out so I could pick it up right after.
It's been a long time since I made it through a book past my DNF point (the first 25% of a book) and wanted to rate it lower than four stars. While I enjoyed reading Roar—it has solid world building, a unique magical element, and decent writing—I found myself bored through several sections, struggling with my feelings towards the main character, and all of the characters in general. It just sadly wasn't one of my favorite books or one that I would readily recommend. Basically, it was okay, and I don't regret reading it. Otherwise, I wouldn't have finished it. While reading, I felt like a casual observer as opposed to being thrust into the thick of things—I was emotionally unattached for the most part. Whether someone lived or died, I couldn't care less. I was just curious to see what it was all leading up to, but in the end, that didn't even end up being revealed in this book. Though I am kind of curious to see what's in store for this series since it seemed as if this book was setting up for what was to come, reading the sequel won't be a top priority for me.
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Roar by Cora Carmack Book One of the Stormheart series Publisher: Tor Teen Publication Date: June 13, 2017 Rating: 4 stars Source: ARC sent by the publisher Summary (from Goodreads): 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. What I Liked: I've read several of Cora Carmack's New Adult novels (her Losing It series, specifically), and I've had pretty good success with those books. When I saw that Cora would be publishing a YA novel - her YA debut - I was pretty thrilled! Especially after reading the synopsis, and then seeing the cover of this book. I had high expectations for Roar, and my expectations were met and exceeded. Aurora Pavan is the heir to the throne of Pavan, daughter of many powerful royals... and a magic-less Stormling. She and her mother have hid this for years, isolating Aurora from everyone. But as she is now eighteen, and the Rage season is coming, they can't hide Aurora for much longer. The solution? Arrange a marriage with the second son of the King of Locke - Prince Cassius, the cold, hard young man with more Stormhearts than a second son should ever have. When she follows him one night, Aurora discovers a black market full of magic, in which people are buying and selling storm magic, thanks to storm hunters. Aurora may not have her own true Stormling magic, but she can learn and obtain this storm magic. This way, she can take control of her destiny. Usually I don't love it when books have long synopses, like the one we see on Goodreads and on the back cover of this book, but I actually really appreciated that long synopsis. Read the rest of my review on my blog, The Eater of Books! - eaterofbooks DOT blogspot DOT com :)
Couldn't put it down!! When is the next book available???
I wasn't quite sure what to expect going into ROAR. I'm a fan of Cora Carmack's NA contemporary books, but I was excited to see how her writing translated into YA fantasy. I have to say, I wasn't disappointed. First things first, Roar was much slower than Cora's previous works. It hooked me with a fast-paced opening, but then things seemed to even out and the plot progressed in a steady, if slow, fashion. There was a ton of world-building and what I took as series set-up happening, so I don't really fault the book for it's somewhat meandering pace, because a good fantasy needs those things. In fact, thinking back on most of my favorite fantasy series', both YA and adult, the first book is usually the slowest. That said, I do hope the pace picks up drastically in the sequel. Now that I'm drawn in and invested, no more set-up. I want action. Cora has always written heroines that I fall in love with. Rora is no exception. I loved seeing her character's story unfold, watching her grow and react. The supporting cast was also a lot of fun, but I did feel as though most of the characters aside from Rora and the two love interests were pretty one dimensional. I would love to see more side character growth and backstory in future books. The magic system in Roar was fantastic. The concept of storm magic, of storms having any amount of sentience, was unique for me and I thought Cora did a wonderful job with it. While I normally like my fantasy magic systems to have quite a bit more structure, I was ok with not fully understanding everything about this one yet. I feel like it was fleshed out just enough to make me happy as a reader, but also left a little room for mystery and imagination, which made it fun. Overall, I really enjoyed ROAR. I am hoping for a bit more from the sequel, definitely a pace change. This book was a lot of fun though, and the story really grabbed me and pulled me in. Its uniqueness will make it hard to forget. I can't wait to see what the rest of the series brings!
I enjoyed the characters and the premise of the plot. The end seemed a bit anti-climatic, but overall it was an excellent start to the series and I can't wait to see what happens next.
The book was gripping and intriguing from start to finish
pooled ink Reviews: 4.5 Stars Honestly I wasn’t completely sold on the idea of storm-magic at first (as in when I read the book’s description) but I decided to go for it and oh my word, I am incredibly glad that I chose to do so because I was hardly two pages in before I fell completely captivated. Cassius definitely had a lot to do with that (lol), but I also liked Aurora right off the bat. And in fact, the whole idea of stormhearts and magic and storm hunters was surprisingly awesome, definitely unique, more detailed and intricate and thrilling than I had expected, and I ended up really loving the whole concept. ROAR pauses on the edge of a moment, teetering between the end of discovery and the beginning of destiny. FYI: the romance is such a strong part of the story you have to be open to that fact before diving into this book. You definitely get a lot of action and adventure, but every page is also glossed with romantic tensions between Aurora and Locke. So if that’s going to annoy you because you just want warriors and destruction then maybe go for Nevernight instead. But if you like the seductive combination of romance and fantasy adventure (such as with A Court of Thorns and Roses) then this is definitely for you. Crackling with an unceasing energy, burning with a heart-pounding romance, and fierce with a unique realm of magic and thrilling adventure, ROAR is a fantasy story that once begun is quickly devoured and leaving you restless for more. It is passionate, exhilarating, fantastical, and sure to mesmerize. Read my FULL review on my Wordpress site: Pooled Ink
Ms Carmack has hit a home run here!! I am no young adult but i love magic and fantasy! Really great addition to the genre. Thanks for a great read! Did not realize it was a new publication, darn now i have to wait! Love the characters and plot.