From New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack comes her debut young adult fantasy, ROAR! Releasing June 13, 2017, ROAR takes readers on an adventure filled with charismatic characters in an enthralling world sure to keep them turning the pages. Order your copy today!
New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack’s young adult debut: Roar.
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.
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“You taught her?” Cassius asked.
“Yes, Your Highness.”
He surveyed Taven for several long moments. Then Cassius turned to Aurora and their eyes met. Anger clawed up her throat, and she struggled to keep her face blank. Better for him to believe he still had the upper hand.
“You taught her well,” Cassius said without looking away from Aurora, “but I’ll take it from here.”
Over Cassius’s shoulder Tavan met her gaze, eyebrow raised. She nodded; she had kept him away from his soldiers long enough, and she could not avoid the prince forever.
“You are full of surprises, Princess.”
She smiled, ignoring the bile threatening to rise in her throat. “As are you, Price Cassius. As are you.”
He circled behind her, and she felt the weight of his touch against one of the knives still sheathed near her shoulder. His breath fanned over her ear as he asked, “May I?”
Without waiting for an answer, he lifted the blade from her. “Good balanced weight,” he said. “I imagine it flies well.”
“Like a dream.”
His mouth was at her ear again—too close, too warm. “Show me.”
She stepped away like it burned. “I think I’m done for the day.”
“Come now, Aurora.” She flinched at his use of her name. Had he used it yesterday? She could not remember. But now it felt too familiar, far too intimate. “What will it take to get you to show me? How much of my pride shall I bargain away?” His hand touched the small of her back. “Or what shall I offer you in return?”
She spun, and before she realized what she was doing, she had the point of her knife beneath his chin. The courtyard went still around them, but Cassius only smiled wider in response. She was unnerved by the darkness that licked at the edge of her thoughts, of the voice inside whispering to push the knife a little harder, to show him she was not so easy to control. All she knew was that she had let fear rule her for too long, and now it was time she took the reigns.
“Do you trust me?” she asked, and slowly let the knife drift along his jaw.
His eyes narrowed. “Trust…is not one of my skills.”
“If we are to be married, if we are to someday rule, there is nothing so important as your ability to trust me, and I you.” He watched her warily. “You want something from me,” she continued, “but you’ll not get it unless I trust you.” She was talking about far more than knives, and from his long pause he seemed to know it.
“I’ll hand over my trust in this. What would you have me do?”
She led him to the largest target, the one with an outline of a person meant to test the thrower’s ability to hit a body’s weak spots. She pushed against his chest until he thumped back against the target. Then she snatched the knife from his hand and said, “Stay there.”