Roar by Cora Carmack
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.
*Normally I would post a pic of the book here but I couldn’t be bothered pulling it out, going out into the cold and taking a picture of a two star review book*
Let me start off this review by saying, Roar had SO MUCH DAMN POTENTIAL THAT WAS WASTED ON A WOMAN’S, INNER TEENAGE SEX FANTASY.
Now that’s out of the way, let’s dive into the review itself, shall we?
There were many things that I raged—or rather, roared, about—in my goodreads updates, but the one that kept irking me was the lack of respect Carmack showed Roar regarding her treatment by the stereotypical, poorly written male love interest.
I don’t understand the aesthetic appeal of possessive men. Never have and I, quite frankly, never will. Nothing is attractive about a man claiming a woman as ‘theirs’ in any form, whether that be romantic, platonic or otherwise. IT JUST AIN’T COOL MAN. The constant possessiveness of Prince Cassius (RIP gorgeous name) and Hunter Locke really drove me bonkers. More often than not I want to throw my hardback edition across the tram when I read it.
I also loathe how Carmack has written the men’s possessiveness as their version of ‘caring’ for Aurora/Rora/Roar, when really, I shall give her a dictionary for Christmas so she can look up the definition herself. People are not possessions meant to be claimed. People are not pieces of territory to be claimed. People are meant to be free and able to do whatever the flying fudge-buckets they want to do.
Another thing that got on my nerves was the plot.
Disclaimer: I LOVED the storm magic element that Carmack has written in Roar. In fact, it was the one thing that glued the book together and prevented me from giving it an abysmal rating. It wasn’t written prettily—which is fine considering other things that weren’t written well at all—but the concept of the magic was the one saving grace and was what prevented me from accidentally hitting a random on the tram with the hardback.
Back to the plot. The bare bones of the story, and what we’re given in the blurb, goes something like this: Princess has no power, Leaves to get power, Stuff happens, She returns home to claim her title as Stormling Princess.
Sounds cool enough, right?
What we actually got: Princess has no power, STUPIDLY FALLS FOR A GUY SHE MET A DAY AGO AND GETS HEART BROKEN, Finds way to get power, Leaves, FALLS IN LOVE WITH ANOTHER POESSESIVE DOUCHEBAG THAT I COULDN’T GIVE A FLYING FUDGE-BUCKETS ABOUT, Get’s power, STILL IN LOVE, Poorly written cliff hanger.
As you can probably guess, I was very disappointed. There was so much damn potential for a wicked story about Princess who discovers herself and reclaims her agency. There was so much potential for a story about a young woman, coming into her power and her destiny as this badass princess.
When she does leave, it’s not her mother—the Queen—that goes out to find her. It’s the Prince Possessive Douchebag Cassius, WHO DOESN’T EVEN CARE ABOUT HER?! To be honest, it should’ve been the Queen looking for Aurora/Roar/Rora, because not only does it make sense for a mother to be looking for her only living relative, but because Carmack could’ve explored the idea of a mother doing whatever it took to find her daughter. Instead, she settled for having Cassius send out band after band of soldiers, pulling a Game Of Thrones in regards to unneeded violence.
Honestly, I’m glad I read Roar. As an aspiring fantasy author, this book has been sent from Satan’s library in a 380 page crash course of how not to write a bad book. It also gave me an excellent avenue to vent my built up rage, and it got me to write this review which I haven’t done for a long time!
Skulls Out Of Five: 💀💀