Roar by Cora Carmack
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I received this free eARC novel from Edelweiss (and paper ARC from Baker & Taylor) in exchange for my honest review.
Aurora is the princess to Pavan, but she has a secret she is hiding from the world: Aurora has no storm magic. She cannot contain or capture the Stormhearts, which leaves her kingdom in danger with the Storm season coming close.
Her mother decided that combining two kingdom's together would be the best solution, so Aurora is having an arranged marriage right after her 18th birthday. This is not typical in their world, but if Rora marries a Stormling princes who has storm magic, then her kingdom will be protected by a worth ruler.
But Prince Cassius from Locke kingdom is not what she expected. Granted, Rora doesn't want to go through this scam of a marriage in the first place, but he is very dark and secretive. Very secretive about more than Rora could even guess.
When Rora stumbles upon the Eye, the black market, and discovers that other non storm magic people were able to learn how to get Stormhearts, she takes matters into her own hands and decides she needs to learn how to be a Stormling. She travels with a group of hunters who chase after storms to collect the Stormhearts and the magic of storms in jars to sell for a hefty price. But along the way, Rora is not only falling for the leader - Locke - but also stumbling upon answers to why a "Stormling" princess cannot master storm magic. And it is beyond her wildest dreams as to what Rora really is...
Back at home, though, Rora's friends and family are in very real danger from the Locke kingdom, who is now implementing their own plan of action in Pavan. And the Locke's enemy, the Stormlord, is on his way to find them at their new location.
I have had this book on my radar since Cora Carmack first posted about it! So to be able to get 2 ARCs of this book blew my mind and I feel very, very happy that I was able to read this early and fall in love with this amazing story!
It was a bit rocky at the beginning getting into the story because it's the first of a series and it's set in such a unique world, but I was able to move right along and realized that I was almost done with the book before too long!
Aurora/Rora/Roar is such a badass princess. She's not the wishy washy princess who likes the dresses and the jewels and the food. She wishes she had Storm magic so she could take care of her kingdom like she should, but she is accepting of the fact that she will not marry for love for duty instead. But the second she hears of an alternative plan? She runs head first into the dangers of the world she's never encountered, determined to learn this new information.
So of course there's a love interest: Locke. Not to be mistaken for the kingdom Locke, but that is his name because that was where he was from. He cannot remember his real name, so he was given an very unoriginal nickname. Watching Rora struggle against her feelings toward Locke was very entertaining - especially with them bantering and play fighting so much.
Though I do have to say, I did feel a little bit of romantic tension between Rora and Cassius? Yes? And that could be an interesting twist to the story line later down in the series to be honest. Because I think good things could happen there too. I'm not set on either guy in Rora's life just yet, but I'll be interested to see what progresses in the next book.
This book has multiple point of views throughout the novel. Mainly it is Rora's viewpoint, but the reader also gets to read from Cassius, Locke, Nova (Rora's maid) and the Stormlord, so it makes it a very well rounded book to give the reader as much information as can be.
I really loved this world that Cora Carmack created and I can see all of the storms that happened throughout the novel. It's so vivid and real and beautiful.
I am so, so, so glad I got to read this early and I cannot wait to get my hands on the final copy for my personal library. The only thing I'm upset about is that this book was just getting to the good part when it ended, so not only do I have to wait for this book to actually be published, but that means that I have to wait even longer for the second book to come out! Gah!
Readers need to pick this up when it is released in June and love it just as much as I do! I will definitely be recommending this to all of the YA lovers out there!
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