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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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!!”
I’ve been a fan of Cora Carmack’s since Feb. 2014, back when I first read her NA debut, Losing It, and not long after that I absolutely fell in love with her Rusk University series. It’s safe to say Cora has quickly become one of my top favorite authors ever, so when I heard that she was venturing into YA, which is the genre I mainly read, I was beyond ecstatic. Before I even heard of the title, I already had a feeling her YA fantasy debut was going to be amazing and that I would love it.
And I was right.
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. I, myself, intentionally read this book slowly because I wanted to absorb every beautiful detail and every thrilling scene and make it last, but there was always this nagging feeling in the back of my mind, an impatient voice that compelled me to devour every word on the page. I was so immersed into this story that I never wanted to leave. 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. She has spent most of her life pretending to be someone she is not and trying to become the person others want and need her to be, suppressing her desire for adventure and freedom. Arranged to be married to a mysterious Stormling prince to keep her secret hidden and to protect her people, Rora almost fools herself into thinking that she can be happy in such a gilded cage; sacrificing her true self for the good of others. Until she begins to uncover secrets her betrothed, Prince Cassius Locke, never meant for her to discover. 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. I can’t wait to see how their relationship progresses in the following books!
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. It’s clear that they don’t just see each other as ‘co-workers’ of sorts, simply working together for one common goal, but as family. 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. I am really looking forward to seeing more of them in the future.
Let’s go back to Cassius because I haven’t really said much about him yet. When I read the first few chapters of this book, I actually really liked Cassius and had hoped things would work out for him and Rora. He gave that darkly alluring and mysterious vibe when he was attempting to seduce Rora, and I’m sorry but it worked on me? Haha But then that plot twist happened and I went from “You go get that kiss, Rora!” to “Run girl, run!”
He’s manipulative, controlling, and deceitful but for some odd reason I still have hope that he will change. There’s some light in all that darkness, I know it. And, despite the situation with Cassius and Locke in regards to Rora/Roar, there is no love-triangle in this story. Not exactly. Even though he still continues to appear throughout the course of the book, Cassius sort of takes a backseat once Rora begins her journey to becoming Roar.
Cora’s writing is so rich and engaging, you can’t help but become enthralled with this new world she has created. She allows the story to unfold naturally without throwing out too much information at once, enabling readers to digest and experience everything as it is revealed, then drops plot twists and surprises along the way to keep you on your toes. 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!
Check out the electrifying book trailer below!
Cora Carmack’s ROAR – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:
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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.
“Don’t stop on my account. Please, look your fill. See what you’re getting, Princess.”
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About Cora Carmack:
Cora Carmack is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Since she was a teenager, her favorite genre to read has been fantasy, and now she’s thrilled to bring her usual compelling characters and swoon-worthy romance into worlds of magic and intrigue with her debut YA fantasy, Roar. Her previous adult romance titles include the Losing It, Rusk University, and Muse series. Her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages around the world. Cora splits her time between Austin, TX and New York City, and on any given day you might find her typing away at her computer, flying to various cities around the world, or just watching Netflix with her kitty Katniss. But she can always be found on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and her website www.coracarmack.com.