Author: Cora Carmack
Series: Stormheart, #1
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: June 13th 2017
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 honourable. 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.
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
My Thoughts On…
Ever since the death of her brother Aurora has been preparing to become the queen of Pavan, but she has a secret no one outside her family can discover. Despite being born to one of the oldest Stormling families Aurora has no powers, and as the rage season looms ever closer Aurora needs to marry into a family who can hide her powerless state from her people, a family who are intimidating with dark secrets of their own.
Aurora doesn’t trust Cassius, the prince she is to marry, not after overhearing a conversation between him and his brother. One night Aurora follows Cassius out of the castle and finds herself in a part of Pavan she never knew existed; a market where storms are traded, and even people born without magic have discovered how to steal magic the storms.
For Aurora this offers her a way to take the throne without having to marry someone she cannot not trust, into a family of liars and manipulators hungry for power. With a new path in sight Aurora disguises herself and covers her tracks before heading off with the hunters, determined to become one of them. However the path is dangerous, and it’s not just the storms in front of her that Aurora has to be wary of, but the jilted prince left behind her in Pavan.
Roar had a lot of potential. It was a brilliant concept, and Aurora was an intriguing character whose journey and desires I easily connected with, however I found the plot was too slow to develop. The first book in this series was heavy on the world building and exposition, setting up the situation and introducing us to all the nuances of the world Aurora lived in, which meant it was only the last part of Roar that present us with the challenge Aurora would face, beyond her powerless state. It felt like this book was constantly building up to something big, but instead of a fast-paced first book in the Stormheart series it ended up being a slow build up to what will likely be a fast-paced sequel.
Aurora has spent her whole life isolated, fearing what could happen if anyone were to discover she has no powers, and as such her only company growing up was her books and her dreams of adventure. When she overhears Cassius and his brother talking she sees her future stretching out the same way as her past, with Aurora isolated and pushed into the shadows. However after she meets the hunters she starts to sees another future, one where she doesn’t need Cassius to rule over Pavan, and so Aurora becomes Roar.
Roar is determined to join Duke’s crew, she wants to learn how to steal the heart from the storms that plague her city and she isn’t afraid of hard work, danger, or the tough training Locke throws her way. There is more driving her than just a desire for power and it pushes her forwards despite the pain and the doubt.
Locke has been a storm hunter for a long time, and he is all too aware of the dangers the life holds. When he first sees Roar at the market there is something about her that he wants to protect, something that reminds him of his sister, long dead now. He wants to help Roar but he doesn’t want her anywhere near the dangerous life of a storm hunter. At first he wants her to go home, wants to drive her away, but eventually knowing he won’t be able to he pushes her harder, giving her the skills she needs to survive.
I wasn’t too invested in the relationship between Roar and Locke, or the relationship between Aurora and Cassius. I enjoyed seeing both Locke’s and Cassius’s thoughts through their POV chapters, but neither character grabbed me the same way Roar did, and as such their relationships with Roar didn’t grab me either.
What I loved about Roar was the setting; not so much in terms of seeing Pavan through Aurora’s eyes, learning about its history and culture, but in terms of discovering more about all the different storms that plague the land. They’re deadly but they have a heart, and if a hunter is skilled enough they can claim the heart and steal the power of the storm for themselves. I thought it was a really unique idea for a story, and I loved reading Aurora’s journey as she experienced the storms up close and personal, learning how to survive and how to fight back when they struck.
Roar was overall a decent read, but there wasn’t much about it that stood out for me. I enjoyed the world building but the plot was a little too slow to develop, I liked Roar’s character but couldn’t connect with Locke or with their relationship. Still the conclusion has promised an interesting second book, so I’ll be looking forwards to seeing where the story goes.
What did you think of Roar? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.