Saturday, June 16, 2018

Review: Roar (Stormheart #1) by Cora Carmack

Book Blurb:

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.

Find out more about the book on Goodreads and pick up a copy from Amazon

My Review:

5 Out Of 5 Hearts

Genre: Another-World, Heart, Mystery, Romance, Royal-Court, Supernatural, Suspense, Teen--

Aurora has no magic of her own, a secret that she and her mother the Queen have kept secret from everyone. But now, Aurora has no choice but to marry a prince from a powerful family to use his power to keep the kingdom safe from the volatile storms that attack. After meeting her betrothed Cassius, she has hope that her future may work out- that is until she over hears him discuss his betrayal of her and his quest for power. Desolate, and pretty much out of options, Aurora sneaks out of the palace to the rumored illegal magic markets where she learns that nothing she thought she knew is correct.

The cover is so gorgeous, and I am a cover snob, I would have purchased a copy regardless of knowing what the book was about but the plot is so magical and fantastical, and gawd the tension between Locke and Roar was so intense I was swept up in it. I don't know why I put off reading this for so long, but it now stole my love and it won't let go.

The story is narrated from 5 points of view: Aurora aka Roar, the sheltered magicless princess who knows nothing about her people or the storms but is willing to do whatever she can to better her people; Cassius the harsh and deadly prince with pockets overfilling with ulterior motives yet maybe not as bad as Roar thought; Novaya the servant girl that use to be Aurora's closest friend and has damning secrets of her own but is brutally loyal; (dreamy) Locke who is the fierce Storm Hunter that wants to save everyone; and the mysterious Storm Lord who's ultimate goal appears to be the destruction of everything. So, yes please to all of them and their delicious secrets, lies and manipulations! What a great character dynamic and I love all the voices (at times it felt like book had a similar feeling to the Throne of Glass first book, with the court intrigue, lies, a practically unknown magical world that is being kept secret ).

Love triangle alert folks! Why does Aurora need to pick one of the very attractive men in her life- yes, I know that I have been reading a LOT of reverse harem books recently, but I really really feel that she needs to keep all her men. I mean how can she pick one? I have no idea who I like best so how can she? We have one guy, her intended Cassius, who is an attractive barbaric charmer who Roar first was drawn to but then heard he was using her, flirting with her maid/friend and taking part in something shady. Cassius was not really given a chance I feel, and sure, he was lying, but the real question was to who (and pot/kettle issue here since Roar is a big fat liar)? Then we have option number 2- Locke, the unwilling knight in tarnished armor with a heart of gold under his grumpy very good looking exterior. He was the large, intimidating (attractive) teddy bear that opened Roar's eyes to possibilities and gave her hope for the first time in her life. (Am I wrong to hope that there might be another love interest in the future, a slightly evil, mysterious love connection??? I heart Locke hard, but it never hurts to give a girl options. Just saying.).

There were certainly some HOT encounters that reminded me that Cora's background is in romance, and woo was it steamy and intense. Yes this is a YA geared book, but the characters are 18+ and Roar was suppose to be married already- and I have read way more detailed sexual encounters in a certain other YA author's books who will not be named here but you all know who I mean. Anyway. Cora is great at building relationships and creating the tension that makes you pant and really want more (for the character, I swear!). This is the perfect fantasy transition for those who enjoy some romance in their books. I read a few reviews that said some of the book was too focused on romance, and for me, that is just not possible. I ate up the romance just as I did the amazing fantasy world and storm battle.

I am super unhappy to have to wait so long for the next book because I thought this was fantastic, but Cora's health is way more important than my lack of patience. I had the chance to meet Cora this year at Apollycon and she was fantastic, bursting with personality and making each and everyone of her fans feel important, I would read whatever she wants to write next. I really, really found this book to be fantastic- but the ending caused more questions than it answered! Relationships will most certainly be destroyed, truths will have to be revealed, and maybe the Storm Lord and Roar can meet (yes please!). To say the next book in the series is one of my most anticipated future reads is putting it mildly. Side note, any way you want to read this book is perfect- I own the ebook, audio and hardcover and kept switching the format depending on what I was doing and I was pleased as punch with the outcome.

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