“You are lightning made flesh. Colder than falling snow. Unstoppable as the desert sands riding the wind. You are Stormling, Aurora Pavan. Believe it.”
-Cora Carmack, Roar
Hey guys! Roar by Cora Carmack was one of my most anticipated reads for 2017, so I was beyond excited when I got sent a review copy by Tor Teen! (Thank you!)
Set in a world where violent, magical storms rule the wildlands, the cities must use magic to protect their inhabitants. But in the kingdom of Pavan, their sole heir, Aurora, hasn’t shown any trace of the magic she’s supposed to have. Needs to have. To keep it secret, her mother arranges a marriage for Aurora with a Stormling prince from another kingdom… But she soon discovers that he’s hiding secrets of his own. After sneaking out of the palace one night to spy on him, she finds an entire black magic dealing in storm magic, the very thing she needs and doesn’t have. But the people selling it aren’t Stormlings, they’re storm hunters, born without magic but possessing it now-along with a new option for Aurora’s future. Can she be brave enough to steal storm magic for herself?
The world building in Roar was just fantastic and my favourite part of the book. I adored it! The descriptions of a harsh landscape, ruled by brutal, magical storms and the magic system that runs alongside the magical storms was brilliantly evoked and really set the scene for me.
The main character, Aurora, was smart and brave, although unequipped for some things she faces in the book, she never gives up trying and pushing herself to confront her struggles. I really liked this about her character-as a princess, it would have been unrealistic for her to be completely toughened up from a life inside the palace, so this rang true for me. I liked that she had learnt how to fight from the soldiers as well, and was a resilient character-there is more than one facet to a character and I found Aurora quite interesting to read about as I could never pin her down to singular characteristics; she was brave and scared, naive and intelligent. I thought that worked very nicely in the plot and I’m interested to watch her character develop in the next two books. (I’m pretty sure it’s a trilogy?)
The storm hunters were also a great collection of characters that added depth to both the plot and the magic system, making this book more of a delight to read, along with the snarky dialogue between a few of the characters that was a nice counter point to the tension in the plot. One of the storm hunters, Locke, was the main romantic interest for Aurora, but I struggled liking his character as much. He was more of a typical, brooding male, which is fine-I expect a few tropes in a YA fantasy-but I didn’t like his over-protectiveness and handsy approach to Aurora, it felt a bit off to me. His character does develop throughout the book, and this lessens as he seems to reproach himself for his treatment of Aurora, but I hope that his character continues to develop in the next book as well, because I didn’t think it did quite enough to balance out his behaviour in this installment.
That said, this world where humans battle storms to survive was deeply compelling and it set up some very intriguing plot points that I’m looking forward to reading about in the next book! I’m giving this one 4/5 stars. I’d recommend reading Roar if you’re a fan of romance more than gritty fantasies, as it was a little cheesy in places, but I personally love reading romances and don’t mind that!
Has anyone else read this one? Or is planning to read this one? What did you think?