Title: Roar (Stormheart #1)
Author: Cora Cormack
Publisher: Tor Teen, 2017 (June 13)
Genre: YA Fantasy
**I received a copy of this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review**
First off, I want to say thank you to Cora for making me a member of her street team for ROAR! It has and still is an amazing experience. We had fun being “Stormlings” and I was on my own mini-team, the “Snowstormlings,” which had great members who worked their butts off helping promote this amazing book.
I wanted to get this posted yesterday (as well as a BookCon recap in which I tell all about meeting Cora in person), but my internet has been wonky. On top of that, I’ve been invited to attend ALA, which I was definitely not expecting, and though funds are extremely tight from the NY trip, I have a great couple of friends who really want me to go. So not only have I been unpacking still, getting reviews written, and trying to balance life back in “non-book world,” I’m venturing off again next week!
Anyway, let’s talk about Roar, the book that if you haven’t heard of yet means you live under a rock.
Let’s start with the AMAZINGLY WONDERFUL COVER I LOVE:
Probably one of my favorite covers of all time. And I’m not just saying that. I may be a little biased, but I think it’s stunning.
There have been amazing graphics too, and I’m so jealous of some of my fellow Stormlings’ abilities with creative stuff.
Anyway, let us dive in to the amazing book, shall we? I’ve missed writing reviews for you guys! (You know I’m not a blurb person and that I prefer to do my own recaps…so here I go!)
Aurora Pavan comes from a prominent Stormling family: Stormlings have the ability to control storms and as storms are sentient, they have hearts. Most members have an affinity from birth: Aurora’s mother has an affinity for skyfire, and as the only living heir, Aurora is rumored to be quite powerful. As she readies herself for a wedding to Prince Cassius, she hopes to join the two royal lines before the storm season hits.
Because Aurora is hiding a deep secret: she has no magic.
She needs a good marriage to ensure someone can help control the dangerous storms that ravage the lands of Caelira. And Cassius is quite capable. And handsome, and charming. And he seems to want Aurora very much.
When Aurora overhears Cassius discuss how easy Aurora is to manipulate, she knows Cassius is up to no good. Though she must marry him to protect her secret and the lands, as well as the throne, she follows him one night to a black market filled with illegal magic. Bottled storms, stormhearts, and magic are all on display in a secret world Aurora never knew existed.
When she runs into a group of Stormhunters and learns that not only Stormlings have the ability to calm the skies, Aurora realizes she has an out: if she was not born with magic, she can steal it for herself and come back to claim the throne without having to marry.
Locke, one of the Stormhunters Aurora meets, sees the fear in her eyes. He knows she is running…he does not know why, but he can sense the pretty girl is in trouble. When he asks her name, all Aurora can get out is “Roar.” He is drawn to the little frightened spitfire of a girl:
Her tone was so fierce he nearly believed her, but he hadn’t read her wrong out there. He and fear were old friends. It had taken his parents’ place to raise him when they died, and he recognized the foul taint when he saw it. Even now, it lingered about her hunched shoulders and danced over her whitened fingers as they gripped her forearms . . .
If he hunted down the demons of every wayward girl, he wouldn’t have time to hunt a single storm. But there was something about her. Her look of wonder at Etel’s booth had caught his eye. The defiant way she stood her ground and made him acknowledge her as more than a little girl . . . that was when she got her hooks in him. She might appear fragile, but there was fire in her. And he definitely knew she was no little girl. He could still remember the feel of her pressed up against his side as he led her through the market.
Well, why don’t I give you a little excerpt to whet your whistle…the book is too good and I’m sure you’re pretty darn curious at this point, right?
“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.
I know, good, right? And the writing is just amazing, poetic prose. Too many good quotes that I highlighted as I read.
I hate doing this segment when I love a book but know it’s just not right for the classroom. The novel isn’t dirty, there’s not a lot of cussing, drug use, etc. However, besides the exemplification of perfect prose, there’s really no educational value to the story. The magic system is interesting, the world building is right on, and there’s an omniscient narrator (not my fave choice for POV but whatev). It’s a wonderful read. But I just can’t see any classroom uses for Roar.
I do think it’s a good book to keep on the shelf in a classroom library: fans of epic/high fantasy will love the intricate story, and it reminds me of The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson. There’s a heavy focus on romance (which you know I don’t mind), and it’s definitely a page-turner…but I just can’t see a lesson plan utilizing it.
So I think unless you’re using it for a college writing example, I would leave it for outside reading. I give Roar ★★☆☆☆ for classroom use:
So there’s no Lexile score for Roar. I don’t think it’s necessarily inappropriate for younger readers because though it is steamy, nothing torrid happens…but I wouldn’t also give it to a MG reader. I would probably stick with teen readers only for this novel: there is a lot of heat between the characters, and I definitely felt it! Whew! Cora knows how to write a scene!
Definitely makes your heart race, and I love that about Roar. But I would keep the kiddies away and stick with about 15 and up, mainly for those scenes. If intense intimacy without sex scenes doesn’t bother you, then 13 and up is as low as I would go comfortably. Remember, this is my opinion only. I am also overcatious.
I cannot wait for the next book. This book ends with a cliffhanger but not one that will make you pull your hair out waiting. I can’t stand those. I am eager to read Cora’s sequel, and I’m sure you will too if you read Roar. Luckily, you won’t go insane waiting until the next book because it ended in a comfortable spot for me. I hope I get to be on the next street team for the next book: working with Tor Teen and Cora rocked! I’ll have to take a pic of my Instax pic she signed of the two of us at BookCon (and that post will be coming shortly and I apologize for the delay sincerely!).
I can honestly and comfortably give Roar ★★★★★. Which in my blogger rating system means that Cora gets some Rainbow Brite love!
Oh, and did someone say GIVEAWAY???
ROAR Swag Pack and $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card for 1 Winner! YAY!!
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 http://www.coracarmack.com.
WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | GOODREADS
P. S. I’ll be doing a giveaway, a BookCon recap, anthoer giveaway, and two more good reviews shortly, so STAY TUNED, blogger bunnies! 😘❤️