Roar by Cora Carmack – Book Review


By Cora Carmack


Title: Roar

Author: Cora Carmack

Page Count: 380

Publisher: Tor Teen

Publication Date: June 13th, 2017


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.


My Review:  

            I received Roar many months ago in my June Fairyloot, and I was absolutely thrilled! I’ve been looking forward to reading it for a while and was glad to finally have it in my hands. Although it took me a few months to finally start, I went into this novel with high expectations, and Cora Carmack did not disappoint me.

           Carmack’s ability to write so many interesting characters truly impressed me–usually the main characters are interesting while the side characters are lacking, but she didn’t overlook a single characters. The main character, Aurora/Rora/Roar is a spitfire. In the beginning of the book I was worried that she was going to be a useless princess with no backbone who falls in love with the first guy that actually tries to get close to her, but she proved me wrong. The minute she leaves that castle and sets off to become a storm hunter she completely leaves behind ‘Aurora/Rora’ and allows ‘Roar’ completely take over. Locke, Duke, Sly, and the rest of the storm hunters are probably my favorite characters of the entire story. They’ve each got their own strengths/talents, and the way Cormack writes them truly lets them shine. Roar’s first love interest and storm hunter, Locke, is smart, charming, and incredibly kind to Roar when she is in need. Roar’s other love interest, Cassius, is a completely different story. I get Darkling (from the Grisha Trilogy) vibes off of him and I LOVE IT. He, his brother, and his father are completely wicked, and added just the right amount of conflict to allow the story to develop–I can’t wait to see what they do in the second novel, and how they’ll develop as villains with a new threat on the horizon.

           Roar had my full attention from the very beginning due to the vivid details Carmack put into the world building, making the Lands of Caelira come alive. One specific scene that truly jumps out of the pages is the secret market in Pavan; the intricate descriptions of every worn down cart, every glowing lantern, and every sketchy market go-er helped to transport me into the story. I truly admire the way Carmack never skipped out on a single detail of any of the multiple lands, which really helped improve the overall quality of the story. I adored how realistic the world was, even though it was fantasy, and I think that is something that very few authors achieve when writing fantasy. If I was able, I would have loved to have pulled myself into the pages and live in Caelira–when the lands aren’t at war, or course.

            I found the plot to be, surprisingly, very complex and layered. As soon as I got past the first thirty or so pages of the story which I found to be quite boring, the story really opened up and expanded past what I had assumed it to be. Every time I believed I had  figured out the rest of the story, Carmack twisted the plot up once again, leaving it as a mystery. The action scenes had my adrenaline pumping, and I think they really helped to give the book a fast-paced feel even though it’s close to 400 pages. Overall, I think Carmack did a fantastic job in creating a new, unique story that is unlike anything I’ve ever read before. The idea of storms being alive and having magical hearts that humans can steal is something truly new and refreshing to the world of YA fantasy.

                In conclusion, I give Roar by Cora Carmack four out of five stars for having a rather slow start, but overall compelling characters and an interesting story line. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a unique YA story full of fun and adventure.

If you would like to purchase Roar

Book Depository

Barnes and Nobles



7 thoughts on “Roar by Cora Carmack – Book Review

    • VibrantReads says:

      Thank you! And I’m also somewhat rooting for Cassius (especially after the knife throwing scene and because he reminds me so much of the Darkling), but I don’t think that he and Roar interacted enough for me to fully ship them yet.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Kristen says:

    Your story synopsis draws a frame around the fascinating world that Carmack creates, and your review reveals a surprising depth to keep this from being “just another” fantasy novel. Interesting. I’ll suggest it to my students who enjoy fantasy reads.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s