The book which was featured in the June ‘Elementalists’ box from Fairy Loot was Roar by Cora Carmack. I had seen this book around on social media but wasn’t really sure what to expect but the premise sounded interesting so was looking forward to reading it.
Roar is the first YA novel from Cora Carmack who has previously written adult romance titles which I have not read so not sure how this compares to her previous work. The main character in Roar is Aurora, a young woman who is descendent of a Stormling family, and the sole heir to the Pavan throne. As is typical of a YA heroine, Aurora has many qualities and is intelligent as well as beautiful, considered to have the potential to be a perfect queen. However, there is one thing that Aurora lacks that is crucial if she is to take her place as a queen and protector of the people – she needs magic. Stormling people have the ability to control the different types of storm that present a threat to the kingdom. But a particular kind of magic is required to do so, and Aurora must embark on a journey to seek the storm magic she requires, a journey which takes her to the Storm Hunters, who begin to show her the way…
There is some good world building in this novel and I like the idea of the Stormling people and how those with the power can extinguish the heart of a storm to protect their people. As a result I was intrigued by Aurora’s story and how it may develop – seeing how she would cope as she flees the palace to find the magic, coming face to face with mysterious individuals and dangerous situations along the way. There are also romantic elements to the story, with multiple potential love interests for Aurora. And to me these love interests were quite an unlikeable bunch! I must admit I did find the male characters to be pretty unpleasant and whilst they captured Aurora’s attention I would deem their behaviours to be quite domineering so found myself frustrated by some their actions! As the story progresses we see how Aurora has been kept safe by her mother to ensure her secret is kept under wraps, but as Aurora prepares to marry a Stormling prince we see a vulnerability to her character, and I was keen to find out how she would deal with the responsibility of becoming a queen alongside dealing with those who vie for her attention. Whilst the romantic scenes were not to my taste I found Roar to be an interesting story set in a fascinating world and I liked the use of magic within it, which kept my interest.
On the whole I found Roar to be an enjoyable fantasy adventure in which we get a glimpse of a world where humans must battle with the elements to survive against the storms. We also see the journey of a woman from a prestigious background and what she is required to do to save those closest to her, an intriguing start to a new fantasy series.