Review: The Witch of Salt and Storm by Kendall Kulper

The Witch of Salt and Storm
Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the sea witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep 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.

Avery has never read a dream that hasn't come true, but a tattooed harpoon boy named Tane tells her he can help her change her fate. Becoming a witch may prevent her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers it will also require a sacrifice she never expected. And as she falls in love with Tane, she learns it is his life and hers that hang in the balance.

I complain so much about books that don't meet my expectations, but it's always a great day when I read a book that exceeds any expectations I had. This book was one of them. I'm not a fan of airy writing and this book definitely had that, but with the setting and the sad tone of the book it really worked. The whole book had a sad, lonely island tone about it and it was so atmospheric that the writing was beautiful to read. It also never felt like a 16 year old girl's narration, but then again it did fit the historical setting and Avery isn't exactly the average teen.

I felt like the magic in this book could have been developed a whole lot more, however it wasn't exactly the focus of the book so it didn't bother me that much. It is a focal point of Avery's life though so I did like where it was mentioned, the air of mystery definitely suited the big reveal nearer the end and the book definitely had enough tension and action in the climax to keep me happy - in this way it sort of reminded me of A Witch in Winter by Ruth Warburton, another book similar to this that I seriously enjoyed.

(I think I liked The Witch of Salt and Storm more though!)

I can't believe that Kulper is a debut author though, her words are gorgeous and the worldbuilding is unparalleled. I felt everything that Avery did and I think I fell a little bit in love with Tane along with her. By the end of the book I was actually almost in tears and it takes a very strong author to do that. The end was just... wow. I have no idea if this is a series or a standalone, but I would willingly read anything else that this author puts out in the YA market.

(This is such a poorly organised review, I am pretty much spazzing!) 

Overall, Witch of Salt and Storm has cemented it's position as one of my all time favorite YA reads, and I cannot wait to read more from this author. Atmospheric, exciting and romantic, this is a definite must read!

Overall Rating: A+

Book released 4th September 2014 by Orchard Books
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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