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.
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!
ROAR by Cora Carmack is available now, so make sure to order a copy!
Amazon | Audible | B&N | Book Depository | iBooks | Google Play