Series: Stormheart #1
Published by Tor Teen on June 13th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Source: Blog Tour, NetGalley
My content rating: YA (Characters do not have sex, but there are a few somewhat steamy scenes)
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.
This book is fantastic! Just plain fantastic.
I’ve been meaning to try something by Cora Carmack for years because so many people rave about her New Adult books, but I just never quite got around to it. When I heard that she had a YA Fantasy coming out, I was immediately in. And I am SO glad I jumped onboard because this book was incredibly unique—lots of fantasy uses storm magic, but Carmack managed to come up with something fresh and new with this book. The storms are semi-sentient. And they are vicious. The only thing that keeps humanity alive is the existence of the Stormlings, who have magic themselves and are able fight back, sometimes dispersing the storms and sometimes capturing a stormheart and absorbing some of the storm’s magic.
I adored Aurora (AKA Rora, AKA Roar), a princess who is desperate to hold onto her kingdom even though she has no magic herself. She has a fantastic combination of strength and vulnerability that makes her relatable. Her quest for magic is perilous, but she knows that her kingdom can’t survive without it—and while she’s willing to sacrifice her happiness for her people if she has to, if there’s any other solution besides marrying Cas, she’s desperate to find it. And then there’s Locke, who’s spent his whole life avoiding getting close to anyone because of a tragedy in his past. How could I not root for him and Roar to find comfort in each other? (By the way, I worried for a moment toward the beginning of the book that there would be a love triangle with Locke and Cas, but that isn’t the case.)
There are some major twists along the way during this first book that made me incredibly excited to find out what’s going to happen next. With its unique worldbuilding, action-packed plotting and complex characters, this series absolutely has me hooked!! I give this book 5/5 Stars!
***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via Inkslinger Blog Tours and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
“No need to burn people from the inside out, Etel. This one is with me.”
A large, masculine form pressed into Rora’s side, and a heavy arm draped over her shoulders. The old woman straightened. She scowled and spit on the ground, and when she spoke, her tone was higher, less raspy, “Ye could have told me that, Locke, before I wasted me time.”
Rora froze. Cassius. He’d found her. She had been so distracted by the woman and her wares that she hadn’t thought to keep watch. He pulled her forward, and her feet dragged like lead. She couldn’t take a deep enough breath, and her eyes began to cloud with tears.
What have I done? How will I explain this? What will he do to me?
“Come on, girl. I’m doing you a favor getting you away from that fraud. You could at least play along.”
Rora lurched to a stop, and jerked her head upward. That wasn’t Cassius. Her hood began to slip backward. She tried to catch it, but her movements lagged behind her mind, and her injured arm had grown stiff and numb. Cool air hit her uncovered cheeks, her nose, then her forehead. Even with the scarf hiding her hair, she might be recognized. And she had a feeling this was a very bad place for a princess to be.
The hood’s descent halted; it wasn’t her fingers that had caught the fabric but his. He was so tall that Rora had to crane her head back to see him. His hair was a dark, wavy brown and hung long enough to brush against his shoulders.
“Keep that hood up. This is no place for little girls.”
“I’m not a little girl!” She clamped her mouth shut, immediately wishing she could take the declaration back. Not only because it sounded exactly like what a little girl would say but also because she had not tempered her volume. At all. And thought it wasn’t Cassius who caught her, he was here somewhere. She bit her lip in worry, and the stranger’s eyes tracked down to her mouth briefly before darting around her face.
He still held on to her hood, keeping it back enough that he could see her eyes. “So you’re not a little girl. Still doesn’t mean this is any place for you.”
She could not argue with that.
“She called you Locke.”
His eyes narrowed. “Yes. And?”
“As in…Prince Locke?”
He laughed so hard that he released her hood. She rushed to grab it and pull it down to cover her face. She had no doubt people were staring now. He sucked in a breath, and then as if he couldn’t help himself, burst into laughter all over again.
Still chuckling, he said, “I’m about as much a prince, as you are a princess.”
About the Author
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 www.coracarmack.com.
I adore Cora Carmack’s new adult series, especially Rusk University. I was excited when I saw she was taking a foray into YA fantasy but when I saw the synopsis… to be honest, it didn’t grab me and I decided to give it a pass. Reading your review totally has me rethinking that decision! With well-drawn characters in addition to the action and world-building, I am definitely intrigued. Great review, Nicole!!
If you love Carmack, I’d give this one a try—you never know!
You would not believe how happy I am to see a positive review of this book. I’ve seen a couple of less enthusiastic reviews and was putting off reading this but now I’ve seen some more positive comments I’m glad it’s next on my TBR. It sounds like a good read and considering I can only think of one other book with storm magic in it I am pretty excited to get reading.
I didn’t read any other reviews, so I didn’t know that people weren’t pleased—I loved it, so I guess that just shows that you can’t please everyone. 🙂
I didn’t read a lot of your review, I know I want to read this one, but what I did read made me disappointed I never ended up reading the egalley I got. Now very excited to get to it soon! Great review!
Sorry you didn’t get excited about the book right away. Hope it gets better for you!
I’m supposed to post tomorrow so I’ll be reading into the night! Great job!
Hope you loved it! I’ll have to go check out your post…
So glad to hear this is good. The storm magic thing had me initially, but I just wasn’t sure. But the storms being half- sentient and the stormheart sounds really cool. Definitely adding this one now. Awesome that it was 5 stars!
Yeah, I thought the storm sentience made it really interesting!
Thank you so much! ~Jessica, InkSlinger PR
Thanks for having me on the tour!
Oh, I really want to read this one. The hype machine is strong and is doing a splendid job, it seems. Lol.
Ah, yes—gotta love the hype machine!! (But, yeah, I thought it was right about this one.)
Ooh sounds like a really good read. I’m glad you loved it so much. And yay for no love triangle! 🙂
YES! I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one, but I loved it!
I’ve been seeing this book everywhere this year and it definitely sounds like my kind of book. I’ve heard amazing things about Cora Carmack’s New Adult books so I was definitely intrigued to hear this one was going to be YA. I’m glad you enjoyed this book and I am so relieved to hear that there’s no love triangle.
I’ve heard about Carmack for years as well, but just never jumped on the bandwagon with her NA. I couldn’t resist this one, though!
I’m so beyond ecstatic that the inside of the book is just as fabulous as that beautiful cover! YAY! This sounds right up my alley, and I have a feeling I’ll love it as much as you!
I hope you do!