Thursday, January 22, 2015

Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper

Title: Salt & Storm
Author: Kendall Kulper
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:  September 23, 2014
Pages: 398
Source/format: ARC from BEA 2014

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2

Synposis (from goodreads):

You don't know what you must give up to become a witch. 

Avery Roe wants only to claim her birthright as the witch of Prince Island and to make the charms that have kept the island's sailors safe at sea for generations, but instead she is held prisoner by her mother in a magic-free life of proper manners and respectability. 

Avery thinks escape is just a matter of time, but when she has a harrowing nightmare, she can see what it means: She will be killed. She will be murdered. And she's never been wrong before. 

Desperate to change her future, Avery finds a surprising ally in Tane—a tattooed harpoon boy with magic of his own, who moves her in ways she never expected. But as time runs out to unlock her magic and save herself, Avery discovers that becoming a witch requires unimaginable sacrifice. 

Avery walks the knife's edge between choice and destiny in Kendall Kulper's sweeping debut: the story of one girl's fight to survive the rising storm of first love and family secrets.

My Thoughts:

I absolutely love this novel. Kendall Kulper has a gift for not only amazing writing but for story telling. Kulper intertwines fantasy with historical fiction, creating a magical experience for the reader.

Avery Roe is descended from a line of witches who are bound to Prince Island. Each woman is a product of a curse and each Roe woman has a special gift. A Roe woman becomes a witch when she falls in love only to find that her love will her hurt in some way. This pain from the heartbreak powers up her magic. It stirs within her and she creates powerful magic. Everyone on Prince Island relies on the Roe witch for basic charms and spells. However, Avery is about to break that curse even though she has to sacrifice her one true love.

Avery has always wanted to be a witch. She wants to take her grandmother's place when her grandmother's passes. I loved how Kulper weaved the world of whaling in this 19th century story. I felt Avery's pain as she progresses throughout the Salt & Storm. We see her as a little girl living with her grandmother and we see her as a young lady when her mother comes to take her away from grandmother. Without knowing about how a Roe woman becomes a witch, Avery falls right into the eye of the curse.

Avery has a special gift of dream telling and she foresees her death in a dream. Throughout the whole novel, she tries to prevent this murder but it is fated in the stars that all dreams she tells come true.

What saddened me was how Avery fell in love with Tane. At first, she didn't pay any mind to him until she was desperate to visit her grandmother. Through dream telling and ancient magic, Avery and Tane bond and start to love each other. I love the world Kulper created and the relationships Avery built. Avery only wanted to chase her dreams but didn't expect for those who love her to hurt her. Even though Tane is her one true love, there are other characters in the novel that hurt Avery. I feel like Avery has so much to gain but lost so much.

Meeting Kendall Kulper:

Kendall Kulper is such a sweetheart. I was fortunate enough to meet her at the Boston Teen Author Festival back in September 2014. I read an ARC of Salt & Storm prior to the event and I purchased a finished copy the day of the event for the signing. Everyone was standing in line to meet Alexandra Bracken and I was so ecstatic to be the first to meet Kulper since no one lining up near her table. Salt & Storm was one of my coveted books I was able to get at Book Expo America 2014 and I was beyond exited that Kulper was able to attend the Boston Teen Author Festival.

How awesome is the cover art? Kulper mentioned how knots are important in her book and how she wanted knots to be somehow incorporated into the cover design. I love the rich purple, the typeface and the rope heart knot. It's whimsical yet fits the story of Salt & Storm well.
Another book?

The prequel to Salt & Storm is called Drift & Dagger and it has a release date of September 8, 2015. I can't wait to read it! Let me know in the comments what you thought about Salt & Storm and if you are planning to read the prequel when it's published.

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