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!
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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Roar, written by Cora Carmack, is an imaginative, unique, and beautifully written novel. It’s an addictive read that will keep you captivated from the first page and a fantastic start to a new series. The gorgeous writing flows effortlessly across the pages and vivid descriptions and immense emotion draw you completely into the story.
Aurora is a Stormling princess and the heir to the kingdom of Pavan. Facing an arranged marriage to strengthen the kingdom, she is dressed in jewels and lavish fabrics and is exactly who the people expect. Only, she has a secret, one that can ruin everything and cause the kingdom to fall instead of saving it.
Aurora’s betrothed, Cassius, is not known for his kindness. He is cold-hearted and dangerous and Rora would do anything to stop this wedding if she knew of another way to save the kingdom, but Cassius seems to be her only answer. He has a plan that will change his life, if only it plays out the way he wants it too when he takes Aurora as his wife. He, too, harbors secrets though and will do anything to protect them.
Rora sets out to get some answers and finds herself in a dangerous situation. Locke comes to her rescue and he adds a whole other element to the story. Strong and menacing yet tender and soft, Locke intrigues Aurora, even more so after finding out he is a storm hunter. Little does she know that the moment they met, he would forever alter the course of her life by changing the way she viewed the world and giving her the hope that was lost long ago.
This story is amazing. It’s a fresh fantasy that will take you on a wild ride through treacherous storms and blossoming love. The plot is creative and, though there is magic laced throughout, the characters are original, real, and relatable.
The more we get to know the main characters, the more their personalities unfold. They are complex and interesting, showing fantastic character growth, and I couldn’t help but become fully invested in their lives.
Rora is a spectacular heroine. Things that she grew up believing are far from the truth and we get sucked into the reveals right along with her. I loved watching her emotions play out. She is confident and strong, smart and clever. She has a good heart and wants the best for her people. She is fierce and her unending drive to succeed was beautiful.
She might appear fragile, but there was fire in her.
Locke is exceptional. A devastating past shaped the man he grew to be and trust does not come easy. He’s got a huge heart and cares for the people in his life. His strength and perseverance is remarkable, especially when he fights for something or someone he holds dear. I loved how deeply he cared for Rora. His love is real and true, and he warmed my heart giving her his all.
“You are exactly where you are supposed to be. And I am here with you. If you have questions, ask them. If you have fears, shed them. If you have doubts, give them to me and I will crush them beneath my heel. If you need help, I will provide it. Even if you only need someone to yell at, I can be that too. And when the time comes that you need someone to trust, I will be that person. I promise.”
Even though there’s an instant attraction between Rora and Locke, the story has a gorgeous slow burn romance and the build-up is utterly delicious. I felt what Rora felt. Every quickening pulse and breath-catching moment evoked the same response deep within me. The emotion shared between Locke and Rora was beautiful and the passion was realistic while still keeping it in the YA genre.
She could lose herself in this man. She could shed more than just the sorrow that tried to smother her. In his arms, she could let go of everything. He even outdid the pull she felt to her home and the responsibilities that waited for her there. For this man . . . she could let go of Aurora and be only Roar.
Nothing is as it seems and this novel is full of twists and turns which are spectacularly crafted. Every part of the story was important and I loved the creativity as things transpired. This first installation provides an excellent setup for more magic, more romance, more action, and more angsty situations in the books that follow as secrets are revealed and Rora fights for what she believes in.
This story wowed me and I am still fixated on it days after turning the last page. I am desperate for more and can’t wait to see the direction this series takes.
“My secrets are yours. Every one of them.”
*ARC generously provided by the author and Tor Teen via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
“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.
“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 the Author
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 online.