Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: Roar (Stormheart #1) by Cora Carmack
From New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack comes her debut young adult fantasy, ROAR! Releasing June 13th, 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!
Today’s post brings you a new excerpt, the book trailer, my 5 star review, and a tour-wide giveaway! Thank you so much to Tor Teen for an early review copy, which in no way influenced my review.
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.
“No need to burn people from the inside out, Etel. This one is with me.”
A large, masculine form pressed into Rora’s side, and a heavy arm draped over her shoulders. The old woman straightened. She scowled and spit on the ground, and when she spoke, her tone was higher, less raspy, “Ye could have told me that, Locke, before I wasted me time.”
Rora froze. Cassius. He’d found her. She had been so distracted by the woman and her wares that she hadn’t thought to keep watch. He pulled her forward, and her feet dragged like lead. She couldn’t take a deep enough breath, and her eyes began to cloud with tears.
What have I done? How will I explain this? What will he do to me?
“Come on, girl. I’m doing you a favor getting you away from that fraud. You could at least play along.”
Rora lurched to a stop, and jerked her head upward. That wasn’t Cassius. Her hood began to slip backward. She tried to catch it, but her movements lagged behind her mind, and her injured arm had grown stiff and numb. Cool air hit her uncovered cheeks, her nose, then her forehead. Even with the scarf hiding her hair, she might be recognized. And she had a feeling this was a very bad place for a princess to be.
The hood’s descent halted; it wasn’t her fingers that had caught the fabric but his. He was so tall that Rora had to crane her head back to see him. His hair was a dark, wavy brown and hung long enough to brush against his shoulders.
“Keep that hood up. This is no place for little girls.”
“I’m not a little girl!” She clamped her mouth shut, immediately wishing she could take the declaration back. Not only because it sounded exactly like what a little girl would say but also because she had not tempered her volume. At all. And thought it wasn’t Cassius who caught her, he was here somewhere. She bit her lip in worry, and the stranger’s eyes tracked down to her mouth briefly before darting around her face.
He still held on to her hood, keeping it back enough that he could see her eyes. “So you’re not a little girl. Still doesn’t mean this is any place for you.”
She could not argue with that.
“She called you Locke.”
His eyes narrowed. “Yes. And?”
“As in…Prince Locke?”
He laughed so hard that he released her hood. She rushed to grab it and pull it down to cover her face. She had no doubt people were staring now. He sucked in a breath, and then as if he couldn’t help himself, burst into laughter all over again.
Still chuckling, he said, “I’m about as much a prince, as you are a princess.”
“All she knew was that she had let fear rule her for far too long,
and now it was time she took the reigns.”
Roar was so much more than I had ever expected reading the summary. This book was absolutely impossible to put down once you started, and then once you got to the end, only made you want more. I have been telling every single person I know, that reads YA fantasy, that this book is not to be missed. Roar gives you a unique and compelling world, so much action and adventure, as well as page gripping romance that will have your heart racing! Plus just look at this cover…swoon.
Have you ever thought about what might drive a storm, maybe there is something magical inside, and if you can capture that magic, you can ultimately wield it? Well that is the core of the world in the Stormheart series. The storms are dangerous and if you cannot contain them, resist them, or take their hearts, they might just destroy you and everything you know. The world building was so unique and mesmerizing. Even Aurora herself doesn’t fully understand what is going on in the world she lives in. She just knows that her powerful queen mother, hid her away to protect her since she is the only heir to Pavan, who happens to be ungifted.
Aurora is as weak as she is strong. She makes typical headstrong decisions without thinking through the consequences, but mostly she just wants to be a better person, to better her world. She wants to be an active participant, and many girls can get behind that message. All her life she has been a coddled and sheltered princess and she needs to take control of her own life. Aurora desperately wants understand the world she lives in.
Rora has been arranged to marry the scorching hot, bad boy, stormling Prince Cassius Locke, who burned up the pages he was on, but was definitely shady. I have seriously conflicted feelings as a reader about Cassius. I was thrown into loving this dark, intense character to be told shortly after that he is tricky, controlling, and maybe a bit crazy. Since Aurora couldn’t find trust in him after their first meeting she follows him into the underground market, where she discovers that storm magic is being sold and gathered by the ungifted. Her fear of what she discovers about Cassius and her life, leads her right into the arms of an ungifted storm chaser called Locke. Aurora ultimately decides that she might find the answers she needs to help protect her realm without being forced to wed the untrustworthy Cassius. She decides to embark on a storm gathering hunt with this rag-tag band of storm chasers. So she joins the crew the next day and keeps her identity a secret to her new group, and changes her nickname from Rora to Roar.
Locke is one of the more experienced storm hunters and he and Roar have pretty instant chemistry. Locke tries to keep his distance and fails. He is tasked with training her and protecting her, but he finds himself falling in love with her instead. The romance is page turning and scorching hot. At times I wanted to slap both Locke and Roar because they were being too juvenile and out of character, but ultimately I enjoyed their journey to finding themselves. The other storm chasers are hilarious, warm, and necessary to keep the story moving. I could talk about them all for paragraphs, but just know that out of them all, Jinx is my new favorite character and I expect a lot more from her in book 2! 😉
If you love a well crafted, creative, romantic fantasy, I highly recommend Roar! It was seriously unputdownable! Oh skies, this book was exactly what I needed to break my slump. Hope you give it a chance and love it as much as me!
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.