Aurora/Rora/Roar (she has got a lot of names in this) is a princess with no power. She comes from a line of Stormlings, the elite who protect their kingdoms from violent storms of all types that ravage the world.
Twisters, hurricanes, thunderstorms, fires, any storm you can think of… they seem to be alive and even sentient. They have “hearts” that only Stormlings can take and extinguish, giving them more power and protecting the people.
Only it’s not quite so perfect and things have been kept from Rora. She has lived a sheltered life and discovers there’s a whole new world out there, after she sneaks out and follows her sketchy betrothed Prince Cassius. Stuff happens and Rora takes on a new identity as an apprentice with a rag-tag group of storm-hunters.
So, this started strong for me and somehow just fizzled out by the end. The world-building was fairly interesting, although this kind of magic is not my favorite.
I think my biggest issue was the romance. There is a weird sort of maybe-love triangle, although not really? The main romantic interest was Locke and I just couldn’t get into the lust/hate relationship between him and Roar (as she is known to the hunters). Instead of fun bantering, it felt too angry and argumentative to me. I didn’t really feel any chemistry.
Cassius was the most intriguing, although I find it hard to believe there is a way to redeem him. He did some pretty crappy things in this. But the ambiguous villain is a personal favorite and we are never quite sure if Cassius is full-on bad guy or just warped from the upbringing and being forced to play palace politics.
There were several scenes with Cassius and Nova, who was Roar’s childhood friend and maid servant (whatever you call them). I think I saw somewhere that someone mentioned a ship between her and Cassius, but I don’t see how she could ever forgive him for being such a douche to her in this book.
I also felt there were too many “training” scenes, which are never a favorite of mine, and also, I dislike the plot device where the heroine is sick or mysteriously weakened by forces we don’t discover until the end of the book – and that happens to Roar.
I did appreciate how Roar is mostly capable of handling herself and wasn’t a damsel in distress (outside of that mysterious condition she developed around storms). She wasn’t run over by the cute men in her life, although there is a fairly good amount of angst (do I like him or do I hate him, why do we fight so much when all we really want to do is kiss, argh lol).
Overall, a decent fantasy that reads more Young Adult (even though the heroine is 18). It doesn’t quite read as “New Adult” either, and regardless of the genre, I just wasn’t able to push this from “liked” into the “really liked” category. 🙂 Three Stars. Review also found at Goodreads.