Review: Roar (The Stormheart Series) by Cora Carmack
In her YA debut Roar, Cora Carmack creates an exciting fantasy world filled with fierce storms and electrifying magic. Readers will be captivated by its blend of vivid world building, intrigue, romance, and adventure.
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.
Roar by Cora Carmack
Stormheart Series #1
Published Date June 13, 2017 by Tor Ten
Young Adult Fiction / Fantasy
Hardcover, Pages 384
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
I love stepping into a new fantasy world where everything feels immediate, especially those that are full of descriptive imagery and sensory details. Cora Carmack's Roar does that and more. The world she's created is filled with both danger and beauty.
Vivid and capricious, it is a land that is ruled and shaped by fierce magical storms where a kingdom rises from its depths in defiance and the Stormlings battle for control over these mercurial elements.
When we first meet Aurora she is trapped by an elaborate deception. Intelligent and brave and honorable, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen yet, she carries a dark secret, one that jeopardizes the very kingdom she's sworn to protect. Though she comes from a long and powerful line of Stormling families, Aurora possesses no powers herself.
With fierce storms on the way, and to keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from a powerful neighboring kingdom. Aurora fears discovery and worse, she learns that the Stormling prince is hiding dark secrets of his own. When she accidentally discovers a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic, she knows there's a new way to save her crown and kingdom.
Aurora goes through so many changes in this story, from Aurora the princess with no magic nor (perceived) power, to Roar, a brave and determined woman ready to take on fierce storms and anyone who threatens her kingdom and crown. Carmack takes the familiar threatened princess and gives readers a fierce heroine who discovers her own strengths and worth. At first, Roar seems as tumultuous as the storms she chases but after a few reveals in the story, it becomes clearer why this is so. Intelligent, brave, and determined, Aurora is an easy heroine like and admire.
I love romance in my reads, and Carmack creates plenty of romantic tension and friction between her characters.
There are two men that revolve around Aurora and are, in part, catalysts to her empowerment. Her betrothed Cassius Locke, the dark and brooding Stormling prince and a storm hunter she meets in a black market. Both create strong and conflicting emotions in their relationship with Aurora and I loved seeing their many-faceted, complex sides.
Roar is an exciting new YA fantasy with vivid world building to devour. Action-packed plotting, intrigue, romance, and complex characters make it a great new series to follow. The end left me eager to see what happens next in this fierce world populated by characters that I need to know more about.