Friday, 9 June 2017

Review and Excerpt Tour: Roar (Stormheart #1) by Cora Carmack

I am so excited to share the Review and Excerpt Tour for Roar by Cora Carmack with you guys today! This book was an epic adventure and impossible to put down! It beat even my admittedly very high expectations. Roar is a book you don't want to miss! Keep reading for my review, an excerpt, a giveaway, and some other fun!

Title: Roar
Author: Cora Carmack
My rating: 5 hearts
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Pub. date: June 13th 2017
Publisher: Tor Teen
SynopsisIn 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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Before I start, I would just like to thank Cora Carmack for deciding to try and write YA. It was epic! It was awesome. It was every other superlative you can find, and it was better than any word can describe. It was everything I hoped it would be and more. It was emotional, action-packed and full of twists. It was surprising, heart-breaking and heart-warming. It was simply amazing, and it left me a mess. The book hasn’t even been published yet, and I want to go and hide until the next book comes out. How does life go on after a book like this?

   I loved Rora, but Roar was even better!

   The main character, Aurora, is awesome! Plain and simple. She was relatable, badass and so much fun to read about. She’s far from perfect, and she knows it. But she’s caring and protective, and just easy to like. Rora is the kind of character readers wish existed, but have accepted that they don’t. The kind of character you just want more of, because they’re so awesome! And what was even better was the journey she goes through throughout the book, not only the physical journey, but the mental one as well. With everything she goes through and learns, and she comes out stronger because of it! I can sit here and list everything that was amazing about this book all day, but what I liked most was the journey she makes and how much she grows.

   Can we take a moment to appreciate the swoon-worthy hotness that is Locke?

   I already knew that Carmack can write a swoon-worthy hot guy like nothing else, and she does it with this book, too. From the moment he showed up, I loved him. Sure, I got frustrated at him at times, but only because I needed him and Rora to get together so, so badly. So what makes him so swoon-worthy, then? His hotness, for sure, but also his protectiveness, his total badassery (yes, I totally made up that word now), and his occasional sweetness, to mention a few. And just like Rora, he really grows through this book. It was amazing to watch!

   The romance was amazing!

   Romance in Fantasy books is a very difficult balance, because it’s really important that it is intense and filled with tension, but at the same time doesn’t take over the plot. And it’s rare to find one that has the perfect amount of romance and has it in such an amazing way as this one does. The romance is absolutely electric, and the tension is there from the beginning all the way until the end. But at the same time, it’s sweet and slow-building. It’s the kind of romance that makes a reader’s heart pound, and leaves you swooning and laughing and fanning yourself, but most importantly, begging for more.

   I am in love with this world.

   Carmack has created such an amazing, interesting and unique world, and the world-building was exquisite. One of the many reasons why I couldn’t put this down was that I needed to know everything about the world. The way Carmack drops small pieces of information at the perfect time is amazing, and also very rare. And the world was so intricately woven that it felt more like that was the real world, and my normal life was the fiction.

   The plot was interesting and fast-paced.

   There were a lot of things going on at the same time, but not so much that it was overwhelming or hard to keep track of. Instead, it kept it fast-paced and always interesting, and kept me at the edge of my seat, always wondering what’s going to happen next. There are just so many secrets, so many lies to uncover that you just don’t have time to stop reading and live your life. And the ending broke my heart and left me a complete mess.

   Roar is everything a reader could possibly wish for, filled to the brim with romance, action and set in an extraordinary world. But be warned; once you start reading, there will be no putting it away and living your life.

You are lightning made flesh. Colder than falling snow. Unstoppable as the desert sands riding the wind. You are Stormling, Aurora Pavan. Believe it.
Believe it, and others will too.
It was a vow that her mother, Queen Aphra, made her swear on the day she reached twelve years. She had gripped her daughter’s shoulders tight, and Rora could still remember the pinch of pain, the furious beat of her heart as she saw how afraid her mother was and learned to be afraid too.
Today that fear had led Aurora Pavan to sign her life away before she ever had the chance to really live it.
As she was primped and prettied like some kind of sacrificial offering, her mind remained stuck on her morning spent in the throne room. She recalled the rasping sounds as the treaty was unrolled and the way her fingers suddenly felt too weak to hold a quill. Many days of her sheltered life had been spent writing out ideas and facts and figures for her tutors, yet in that moment, she had struggled to remember the letters of her name. Then she had met her mother’s eyes, and those familiar words came to her again.
Colder than falling snow.
That was what Rora had to become as her shaking hand sealed her fate with a scratchy, bleeding line of ink. And now hours later a stranger peered back at her from the looking glass, powdered white so that none of her flaws would show.
Rora’s white-blonde hair had been curled and bound up in an elaborate ceremonial headdress that was crowded with jewels, flowers, and four jagged crystals cut like bolts of lightning to mimic her mother’s skyfire crown. Headdresses honoring a family’s ancestors were an important part of Pavanian tradition for the upper echelons of nobility to the poor and working class. They were donned for birth and death and every major life event in between, including betrothals. But this headdress was larger than Rora had ever seen. It had to be anchored to the thick metal necklace she wore about her collar with embellished fastenings, and it weighed on her nearly as much as the events of the night still to come.
Her already pale skin had been covered in a shimmering white powder, which made her look like she’d just emerged from a blizzard. Her ribs were tightly bound in a corset that squeezed and squeezed until it felt like all her organs were in the wrong place. Over that was a heavy, beaded gown whose neckline dipped low, revealing far more cleavage than she had ever shown. The fabric clung to her frame until it fanned out at her knees into a long train, and the color of the dress changed from white to ash gray to glittering black.
Rora looked exactly as her mother had always told her to be—lightning made flesh: blinding white and bright against a dark sky, and the train that pooled around her was the ground, charred black by her impact.
It was stunning. Exquisite, really. Even, Rora, who hated dresses of all kinds, could tell that. It was also a lie. Every jewel, every bead painted a picture of someone that wasn’t her. But that was the goal for tonight’s betrothal celebration…to be someone else, to be the perfect Stormling princess. Because if she failed, everything could fall apart.

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

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I receive some books from authors, publishers and third party sites (such as Netgalley). This does in no way affect my opinion, and all thoughts expressed on this blog are unbiased and my own. I do not get compensated in any way or form.