From New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack comes her debut young adult fantasy, ROAR! Releasing June 13, 2017, ROAR takes readers on an adventure filled with charismatic characters in an enthralling world sure to keep them turning the pages. Order your copy today!
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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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 guard, 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.
So, in all honesty, this is a hard review to write. How do I tell you about this amazing book without giving any of its secrets away? It's almost impossible in my mind but I'm going to try. And forgive me if it's shorter than usual as I just would say way too much if I were to really dive into what this book did to me.
First off, I'm a huge fan of Carmack. I've read all her books and have not met one I didn't like. I thought for sure coming into this I was going to be a bit taken aback because I'm used to her writing contemporary romance. So for her to break into a fantasy seemed totally outside her box. And yet, she did it with grace, and style, and a firm grip on her genre! Very impressive.
Her characters were well developed. No shocker there, to be honest. I've always found great depth in those she writes as. These were no exception. Aurora (Roar) is strong and determined. A great roll model for young women. She has fear but is not afraid to face it and is willing to try and overcome adversity, meeting it head on. Locke is strong and sensitive yet has a wall up that is slowly broken down by none other than Roar. Carmack makes her romances wonderful with the raw attraction she pours out onto the page in her characters. And her secondary characters always lend so much to the story. Watching them develop creates so much potential for stories that could happen later on! She makes you want to read more about them.
I love the premise of characters being connected to storms. Magic is fascinating to me. Cora is able to make it interesting and her ideas are new and different from other fantasy stories I have read.
I will say at first I was a bit confused by the formatting of the book. There are multiple points of view told in third person. But, to be honest, it really does make the book that much better. I don't think you could see this story from just one side. You really must be able to look at it from multiple views to understand what is going on as a whole. It completes the world telling so much better than having seen it from only one point of view.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is only in the last few years I have gotten back into loving fantasy writing and this book certainly solidifies my love for it. I thank the publisher and publicist for providing me with a copy to read and review. Fans of Sarah J. Maas will definitely enjoy this new spin the world of fantasy!
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