Series: Stormheart #1
Published by Tor Teen on June 13, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Buy on Amazon
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.
I have mixed feelings about Cora Carmack’s latest young adult fantasy romance novel, Roar. Let’s review, shall we?
Aurora Pavan is a complicated character. I admire her courage and bravery to obtain magic despite her supposedly magical shortcomings. Fiercely setting off with a bunch of unknown hunters in order to bring back power to her kingdom is a wonderful thing. But all that admiration drys up when I really step back to analyze the events of the book. Aurora essential leaves her kingdom defenseless and unprotected to gain something she may never obtain. I feel very little remorse for her as the rest of the story unfolds.
For someone brought up to be a queen of a territory, she comes across as ignorant and juvenile. Reasons are revealed as to why she has certain characteristics, but in the end they do not justify her complete lack of knowledge about her own kingdom. Additionally, she runs off on this adventure without really thinking through the logistics. I expect a young woman, raised to be a queen, to be smarter and more thoughtful in regards to her kingdom.
The romance took me completely by surprise. I thought one individual was meant to be Aurora’s love interest, and it turned out to be someone completely different. While the romance is surprisingly sweet, I had a hard time rooting for the two lovers. Their relationship is built on lies and deceit. I wish more had been done by the end of the novel to dispel some of the lies between the two of them.
In the end, I wish this story had focused more on developing and defining Aurora as a character outside of her romantic interests and her quest hunting. The world-building and the characters are interesting enough to keep me reading further in the series. However, I need Aurora to accept some accountability and ownership over the actions she takes that lead to the ending circumstances. Her character development could make, or break, the series for me.
tl;dr A problematic protagonist mixed with intriguing world-building and a sweet romance make this an uneven read.
Tell me the last book you enjoyed despite its issues?