If It’s Not A Rant, It’s a Rave: ROAR by Cora Carmack

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Title: 
ROAR

Author: Cora Carmack
Publication date: June 13, 2017
Publisher:  Scholastic
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy,Romance

About the Book:

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.

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble|  The Book Depository


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***Warning: This review contains some spoilers. ***

Wow, ROAR is the high fantasy young adult book that I did not know I had been yearning for. Everything from the elaborately described world and clothing all the way to the unique Stormling magic had me hooked. And OHMYGOD, do not get me started on the well-developed and fantastically written characters. With every page scorched with complex characters and enthralling scenes, I highly recommend that you pick up ROAR and prepare yourself for an action-packed journey that follows a heroine worthy of all the praise.

In regards to Roar, our main character, she is not set up as the literary snowflake: a character that is special and is destined to save the world. Honestly, she is a princess that knows she is supposed to hold an innate, ancestral power. She knows that she is supposed to have the gift of a Stormling, allowing her the ability to protect her kingdom from the wreck of storms, but for some reason her powers have remained dormant. Roar is often depicted as innocent and inexperienced, but she is also feisty and headstrong. I really liked that she initiates and holds strong to the idea that she must work hard and go beyond the palace walls to understand her powers (or lack of). Instead of waiting for her powers to come to her, she goes out to find them. YES *air fist pump*!!! 

In reference to the romance aspect of ROAR, I was deeply in swoons and sighs. I really enjoyed the chemistry between Roar and Locke, a character who has the gift of Stormling magic but was not born with it. Locke gives Roar hope that she can awaken her innate power, but more importantly I like that he challenges her mentally, physically, emotionally, and magically. One of my favorite parts of watching their friendship grow is that they are both stubborn characters, so of course, I fell in love with their banter and arguments. And as this fantastical story unfolds, their friendship also starts to twist into something new.

At the beginning of ROAR, I thought there was a love triangle brewing, but thankfully that theory is washed away. But I still wasn’t 100% on board for a feisty friendship to twist into a romantic relationship. Do not get me wrong, I love stories that encompass romance and hot, swoony scenes, but once these two characters, Roar and Locke, become something more than friends, their chemistry became irritatingly fluffy. Locke’s ability to challenge Roar slowly fades and I honestly was not a fan that once the kissing scenes start, he begins to coddle and become overly protective of Roar. UGH, no! Yes, she is often portrayed as vulnerable, but come on Locke, Roar is not defenseless;  she is bold and fierce–there is lightning in her heart and she is ready to strike.

Not only are the main characters well-developed, but the side characters are also unforgettable. Roar is surrounded by all walks of life. And on her journey of discovery, she is given the chance to befriend a group of unique and crazy bandits: a witch, a trickster, and a stealthy spy, to name a few. These individuals challenge Roar and give her an outlet to explore the world outside the palace walls with a new lens. 

Another raving part that I liked about ROAR is the ending. Usually fantasy books end in a gut-wrenching cliffhanger; instead, ROAR ends with hope and a swift glance at an upcoming battle. AHHH!!! So if you are ready for one of the most well-thought out series littered with secrets waiting to be uncovered,  a book with the strongest storms to battle along with many twists and turns, I highly recommend ROAR as your next read. Prepare yourself for an addicting read of perilous magic, steamy kissing scenes, and a group of outlaws worth cheering for. 


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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.

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NOTE: Thank you to Netgalley and TOR Teen for providing me an e-galley/e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All statements and opinions are my own.

Excerpt & Giveaway: ROAR by Cora Carmack

From New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack comes her debut young adult fantasy, ROAR! Now available, ROAR takes readers on an adventure filled with charismatic characters in an enthralling world sure to keep them turning the pages. Grab your copy today!

About ROAR (Stormheart #1):

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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EXCERPT:

“This life is not glamorous,” Duke told her. “We travel constantly. We sleep on the ground most nights. When we’re not in danger from storms, we’re in danger in cities where we are considered criminals. This life is not for the faint of heart.”

“There are things I do not know, things I will have to learn. But I am capable. I am familiar with sacrifice. I know what it is to make hard choices.”

“Tell me you’re not considering this,” Locke said to Duke.

The old man was silent for a long moment, both Locke and Roar looking to him for support. Duke rubbed at his mustache, a habit of his when he was thinking deeply. “Let’s think about this, Locke. She’s smart. And determined.”

“She’s a child.”

Roar’s shoulders hunched in Locke’s peripheral vision, and he swallowed back the guilt. He could apologize later. For now, it was imperative that he won this argument.

You were a child when I brought you into the fold,” Duke said. “She’s a young woman with a good head on her shoulders. And if this is what she wants, I’m inclined to at least hear her out.”

Just like that, Roar’s shoulders straightened, and Locke turned to watch a devastating smile bloom across her mouth. His weakness when it came to her only made him more cross.

“What skills do you have?” he snapped at Roar.

“Skills?”

“Yes, skills. What can you do? Or do you just plan to tag along for the ride?”

A flush spread over her cheeks, and her voice was tentative when she answered, “I’m good on a horse. Very good.”

Where in the world would she have learned to ride? He quickly hardened his expression. “Horses are fine for travel, but they don’t do well in storms. They, unlike you, have good survival instincts.”

As soon as the words were out of his mouth, Locke could have sworn he felt an updraft—the first sign that bad weather could occur—and he knew that this time he had pushed too far.

Roar marched toward him, spearing a finger into his chest and said, “I can read and write. I can speak Taraanese, Finlaghi, and Odilarian. I can read maps. I know enough about grassland vegetation and wildlife to survive without a market to buy food and drink. I’m good with knives and a bow. I learn quickly, and I’m not afraid of hard work. And I’ve spent my entire life reading as much about storms as I could get my hands on.” For a moment, her voice cracked under the weight of her anger, but she took a huffing breath and continued: “I’m good with numbers. It’s been a while, but I think I can probably still draw the constellations from memory, which should make me decent at navigation. I can—“

“Enough.” Locke’s voice came out in a deep rasp. He captured her long, delicate finger in his fist before she could continue poking him. He felt short of breath at the sight of her—livid and lovely. “Enough.”

The old Locke might have kept arguing, and Roar would have met him toe-to-toe. But if becoming a storm hunter had taught him anything, it was that fighting head-on wasn’t always the way to win. Sometimes strategy was required. He met Duke’s eyes over her shoulder, and if he had thought Roar looked smug before, she had nothing on his mentor. The man raised his eyebrows in a challenge and asked, “You?”

He hated the idea of bringing someone into this dangerous life, but if it was going to happen regardless, he sure as hell wouldn’t hand her safety over to anyone else, not even Ransom. And at the very least, it would give him the opportunity to change her mind. He gritted his teeth and nodded his acceptance.


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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.

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