Roar

Roar - Cora Carmack

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed by this one. Not because of any expectations I had going into it since I hadn't heard anything or even read the synopsis when I started. My disappointment had everything to do with the beginning of the book itself. It started with the princess of Pavan and heir to the throne, Aurora, meeting the prince of another kingdom to whom she is betrothed. She and that prince, Cassius, immediately had chemistry and hit it off until Aurora overheard him speaking with his brother about how he was using her. Naturally this led to her hating him, but the two are still betrothed, and Aurora really didn't have a choice since she has been hiding the fact that she did not have the magic powers that run in her family that kept her kingdom safe. To protect her kingdom, Aurora needed a husband with those powers, and Cassius had that.

 

That setup there was basically perfect for me. It had an arranged marriage romance with a couple with great chemistry that quickly turned to hate on one side due to political scheming by the prince and his toxic family. Meaning it would have been a hate-to-love arranged marriage romance with political intrigue and bad family getting in the way. And I love all those things.

 

So it really put a damper on my enthusiasm when Aurora chose to run away from all that to go adventuring with a group of storm hunters in the hope of being able to attain magic. And she picked up a new love interest, Locke, in that group who didn't really interest me. Their romance wasn't helped by the fact that he started off thinking she reminded him of his sister. Then he kept getting overprotective and possessive of her. Cassius had been possessive of her too, but he was also presented as bad since he was actively plotting against her and her kingdom whereas Locke was presented as good. Aurora resisted that behavior from Cassius more once she realized she was being used, but her resistance against being treated that way by Locke often was overridden by Locke himself. But I will admit part of my dislike for Locke probably stems from my disappointment of the far more interesting plot getting thrown away for adventuring and romance with him.

 

The other members of the storm hunter group were intriguing, and I really wish they would have gotten some more focus (and less on Locke). Things got more interesting when Aurora was interacting with them instead.

 

Unfortunately, the most interesting characters of the book were not the ones in the storm hunter plot which was the main plot line. There were breaks when we saw what characters in other areas were up to and they had the far more intriguing plots. Cassius and his family took over Pavan once Aurora ran away (or was kidnapped as she led everyone to believe), and they've got some big secret that were slowly revealed over the course of the story that really made me wish the book had been what I'd initially thought it would be.

 

Also in Pavan, Aurora's only friend, Nova, was imprisoned as a suspected conspirator in Aurora's kidnapping. There was not enough of her in the book. I very much liked her.

 

And there were a few glimpses of a mysterious man with strong storm magic travelling across the land and wreaking destruction. I am curious to see more of him as well.

 

Roar had a lot of great elements to it. It just chose to go with a story I found less interesting than the one that the beginning set up. But that's more a matter of personal preference than the story itself being bad. There was plenty to like, and I'll probably read the next book when it comes out. I just won't be expecting a story I'm not likely to get.