After reading Roar I pre-oredered Rage as soon as I could, because the world Cora Carmack created is awesome!
And Rage is here! And just as awesome as Roar. Read my review of Rage tomorrow, but in the mean time:
Get ready for the Rage season!
From New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack, the second in the captivating new YA fantasy/romance Stormheart series, perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and Victoria Aveyard.
Princess or adventurer.
Duty or freedom.
Her Kingdom or the storm hunter she loves.
If Aurora knows anything, it's that choices have consequences. To set things right, she joins a growing revolution on the streets of Pavan.
In disguise as the rebel Roar, she puts her knowledge of the palace to use to aid the rebellion. But the Rage season is at its peak and not a day passes without the skies raining down destruction. Yet these storms are different…they churn with darkness, and attack with a will that’s desperate and violent.
This feels like more than rage.
It feels like war.
RAGE is available NOW!
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When the siren sounded, it took even Cassius a few moments to realize that this siren had nothing to do with tempests.
He stood abruptly from his desk, knocking over a bottle of ink in the process. Black liquid spread across his papers like unholy blood, but there was no time to stop it, not even time to be frustrated with himself for his clumsiness.
They were under attack.
Not by storms, but by men
He hastily pulled on his boots, inserting a spare knife into each one, then grabbed his sword. By the time he entered the main hallway, the edge had left his movements and his steps had grown into a sprawling stalk. This was where he thrived. Give a predator prey and he came alive, no matter how close to death he might feel. His vision sharpened, the exhaustion disappeared, and a hunger rose from deep in his gut.
A fight was exactly what he needed—and not with some far away magic, but up close, hand to hand, face-to-face, blood drawn. He needed to feel victory. Needed to serve up a defeat that was permanent.
When men died, they stayed that way, unlike the enemies he normally fought.
The hallway swarmed with soldiers, all clearly taken by the chaos. He grabbed the highest-ranking officer he recognized and spat, “Tell me what you know.”
“A breach, sir. The main gate.”
Bleeding skies. How had they gotten through the main gate
without anyone noticing?
“Where is the fighting located?”
“We don’t know, sir.”
Cassius froze, his eyes narrowing, and his jaw went tight.
“What do you mean
, you don’t know?”
“We have not found the intruders.”
His heart slowed, forgoing its beats as his mind raced—not in anxiety, but in deference, as if one knew the other was more needed. What would intruders want? Where would they go? What would their goals be?
One blink, and he knew.
“I want soldiers on every member of the royal family, now.” He was surprised there had not been an attempt at overthrowing them before now, frankly. “Once my family is protected, then every other remaining soldier is to scour this palace until the intruders are found, do you understand?”
An affirmative chorus rang out from the soldiers in blue, and then everyone was in motion, chattering about who would be seeking out his father, brother, and mother. The room emptied quickly of everyone except Cassius and a handful of soldiers who stood behind him.
“I did not mean me,” he growled.
The soldiers hesitated still.
“Go!” he barked. “Find them. Now.”
Then, blessedly, he was left alone, the siren still wailing on occasion, the only company for his scattered thoughts.
He should have gone after them, should have put himself in the thick of things, but instead he turned and headed back the way he came, down the royal wing where the Pavan family had stayed.
He was the only Locke to call this wing home. He was not certain why, but he bypassed his office and went for the door at the very end of the hall, the queen’s rooms.
He listened for a moment, but heard nothing inside. He knocked. Again, he could not say why. The woman rarely ever woke, not since his father had started bribing the nurse to add something extra to her tea.
But sometimes when he looked at this door, he had this feeling in his stomach that he didn’t recognize, a feeling he didn’t know how to name. And it told him to knock before he went inside. When no answer came, he turned the knob and entered on his own.
First, his eyes saw bare ankles, and followed them to the unconscious form of the nurse who cared for the queen. Her arms were askew in front of her, and her face lax, but a quick press of his fingers to her neck told him she was not dead. He lifted his eyes farther and found only rumpled sheets where the queen should have been.
Something in him rose high, pressing right under his skin, the part of him that liked to hunt and hurt.
He had been just down the hallway. Had someone managed to steal the old queen right from under his nose? Or did he somehow have even less knowledge and control than he thought? Could she have walked free herself somehow?
He had sent all those soldiers off searching and here was the breach right under his very eye. Where he slept and worked. Humiliation burned deep in his gut, and he charged toward the bed, pulling at the sheets as if he might find some clue there to how he had allowed such a blunder.
Could this be the Stormlord? Another prong in his plan? The meager resistance his brother had been cheerfully exterminating to impress their father? Or something else entirely? There were too many pieces on the board for him to win this game. The board was too damned big for him to even know what the game was sometimes.
Quickly, he searched the rest of the room, searching for any advantage, and he found it in the poorly closed balcony door. Out- side, he found a peculiar crawling vine that had somehow made its way from the ground up to the queen’s balcony even though he had never seen it on any of his walks around the grounds. He touched the leaves, bright green and crisp—fresh. And something else about them—they were real, to be certain, but they hummed under his touch, as if they brimmed with something that was nearly familiar to him.
Cassius knew what he was seeing, knew it by heart from years of engrained warnings and fear. But his father had done such a thorough job of eradicating the practice and the people from Locke, it had often seemed more myth than malevolence.
But here before him was proof.
He rubbed a newly birthed leaf between the pads of his fingers, and plucked it free from the vine. He waited for it to wither or turn to dust, but it stayed—both a truth and a lie all at once.
There was a witch in Pavan.
And whoever they were, wherever
they were, they had the Pavan queen.
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About the Author
Cora Carmack is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult Romance and YA fantasy. Her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages around the world. Cora lives in Austin, TX, 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 and her dog Sherlock. But she can always be found on Twitter and Instagram (@coracarmack), Facebook (www.facebook.com/coracarmackbooks
), and her website (www.coracarmack.com