Friday, 29 August 2014

REVIEW: The Witch of Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper

21422053I received this book from NetGalley for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review in any form.

Author: Kendall Kulper
Published by: Orchard Books on 4th September 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Witches, Magic
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Links: GoodReads | Amazon | Waterstones


Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the sea witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keeps the island's whalers safe and prosperous at sea. But before she could learn how to control her power, her mother - the first Roe woman in centuries to turn her back on magic - steals Avery away from her grandmother. Avery must escape before her grandmother dies, taking with her the secrets of the Roe's power. 

The one magical remnant left to Avery is the ability to read dreams, and one night she foresees her own murder. Time is running short, both for her and for the people of her island who need the witches' help to thrive. 

It's common to judge a book by it's cover. But there are those special novels where the story is so much more than the colourful jacket it is given. The Witch of Salt & Storm is one of these special novels.

You are briefly given the fact that this book is about Magic and Witches and most would expect a lot of fast-paced action, thrilling plot twists and such but you wouldn't find that here. This is a story about what it means to have your dreams shattered, how it feels to be trapped with no freedom, it is a beautiful and heart-wrenching story about a girl who wishes to fight the inevitable and still hope that one day, she could become the person she had always wanted to be.

Avery Roe is a witch living on Prince Island where whaling is a huge industry. Avery's grandmother is the island's infamous witch known to create spells and charms to help the people of their island to prosper and avoid losses and bad luck. Being brought up by her grandmother, Avery has the gift of dream-telling - the ability to decode the message behind people's dreams that foretell their future. After her Mother denied magic and continuing the Roe family line, Avery is to become the island's next Roe witch after her grandmother, but before any of that could happen, Avery is taken away by her Mother, away from her grandmother and bound by charms and spells to keep her trapped. To make matters worse, she dreams of her own murder and it is said that a Roe witch cannot be killed.

The synopsis sounded very promising but I was very surprised with the end result. Kendall Kulper's writing is both expressive and lyrical. Very beautifully written indeed. The Witch of Salt & Storm is emotionally gripping especially as you follow Avery on her journey to return to her grandmother.

Avery is one of those protagonist's where the reader is left stupefied. She is an independent girl with a strong spirit and she develops to become even greater as the story goes on. I sympathized with Avery a lot after the sorrows and challenges she faces and admired her courage. There are factors that she and I both share. I loved reading about her relationship with Tane whom she helps after he promises to aid her in return. (And yes, there is romance and that too was written to perfection. It is both surprising and unexpected.)

The world building is magical with some historical elements. There is mythology and superstition and many surprising aspects in the story. I didn't wish for the story to end. Powerfully addictive, you will be forced to keep on reading and find out what will happen to Avery. There are up moments and down moments which will either fill your heart with joy or break you until there is nothing left.

This is one mind-blowing story with a beautiful setting, unique story and appealing characters. It is a story filled with drama, sorrow and happiness all at the same time. It is difficult for me to put into words how incredible this book was but I can say with confidence that this was a great pleasure to read and I highly recommend everyone reads this. I feel this is something every reader would love no matter what genre they favor.

Gold Wreath
 Simply magical.

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