Roar. Cora Carmack. Young adult/Fantasy. 2017. 5 stars.
You are lightning made flesh. Colder than falling snow. Unstoppable as the desert sands riding the wind. You are Stormling, Aurora Pavan. Believe it.
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.
She had hoped. And hope broke more hearts than any man ever could.
I have been wanting to read Roar for the longest time but always found an excuse not to do so. How I regret that decision! I wish I read Roar sooner so I could have been hyping it up sooner than now. The Stormheart series is definitely making its way up to my faves because of the way book 1 was written.
Roar is a story with one of the most beautiful world building narrative ever. I was astonished at how well the narrative was constructed with precise details. I got so infested with the history snippets each chapter had. Cora Carmack did a wonderful job setting up the world for its plot, which also blew me away.
Everything in this story was wonderful, so I’ll break it down to these parts: the kingdom, the hunters, and the storms.
The kingdoms of Roar were well established. I had no problem tracking where the characters were going because of the map at the very beginning of the book. I was also invested in how the plot was going to progress when it came to geography because the main character relied so much on geography for her plan to work.
The hunters who collected the Stormhearts were very reminiscent to me of either the Six of Crows heist gang or the A Court of Mist and Fury inner circle, which is a very good thing because I’m a huge fan of both series. Although most of the hunters had less involvement in the plot as those in SoC and ACOMAF, I appreciated them nonetheless as they made the story more fun and engaging!
Cora Carmack introduced a very novel idea when it comes to fantasy books because Roar is a story about Stormlings who have magical powers and can defeat storms. Yes, storms. The role of nature is something I haven’t encountered in young adult fantasy books so I loved every bit of information that was fed to me especially when it came to the process of how one may attain Stormhearts. YA fantasy books are on high demand as of late, but Cora Carmack takes that expectation and exceeds it.
I actually expected the pacing of the book to be much faster, so I was generally confused when I realized that the story was more or less in the same place as it was for the past 300 pages and there were only a few chapters left. The slow pacing wasn’t a nuisance at all because I did need time to learn about the Stormheart universe.
I am completely mesmerized by this story and cannot wait to read more of it. You can bet I’m counting down the days ’til I get my hands on Book 2.