Review: Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper

Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
Received: bought
Publication Date: September 23rd, 2014
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pacing: slow
POV: 1st person & female
Genres & Themes: YA, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Witches, Magic, Romance, Family.


A sweeping historical romance about a witch who foresees her own murder–and the one boy who can help change her future.

Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep the island’s whalers safe at sea, but her mother has forced her into a magic-free world of proper manners and respectability. When Avery dreams she’s to be murdered, she knows time is running out to unlock her magic and save herself.

Avery finds an unexpected ally in a tattooed harpoon boy named Tane–a sailor with magic of his own, who moves Avery in ways she never expected. Becoming a witch might stop her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers her magic requires a sacrifice she never prepared for.


Sea witches.

What is a sea witch, you may ask? Well, according to Wikipedia:

Sea witches used witchcraft related to the moon, tides, and the weather, or were believed to have complete control over the seas. In some folklore, sea witches are described as phantoms or ghosts who have the power to control the fates of ships and seamen.

I looked the definition up because, from the book, I did not have a feeling that they were some special creatures and wanted to know for sure. And they’re not. Not really in this story anyway. In Salt & Storm, they’re normal witches but ones that have a greater connection to the sea that the others. But, to sailors, they are important.

Unfortunately, no
or the equivalent to read about.

In this story, the witches also have other abilities. For example, our main character is a dream-telling as well as being a sea witch. But, she’s not familiar with the practice of magic. Of course, she had seen her grandmother work with it but, in her lineage, women only acquired their magic when being trained and prepared…and also because of something else (that you will discover while reading.)

Avery isn’t.

Her mother took her from her grandmother before this training could have started. Avery’s mother wanted to prevent her from becoming the next witch of Prince Island (for there only is one at once) and so cursed her so she can never see her grandmother again.

Now, Avery had as dream that she will die…and need help. And who does she find that is willing too? A boy: Tane.

See, that’s the problem. It began as a dark witch story and gradually switches to more of a love story one. When I did not care of the romance. Of course, witch-related elements were still there, but I felt like it mostly slowly went in the background.

If you want historical romance with slight magic, this is it. If you want witchcraft and a lot of information on witches, this is not quite it.

The atmosphere was pretty nice: eerie and there was often a feeling of ‘pressure’ as if running out of time (which the main character was). It was rarely calm and I guess that’s what made me read this book so fast, since I strongly wanted to know what will happen in the end.

The love story in this book is very important but that doesn’t mean that it will be all sunshine and beautiful butterflies.

I was not expecting the writing to be so good. It was impressive and that, along with the atmosphere and the main character, were what I liked the most about this book.

Sadly, to summaries, what didn’t work for me was the length of the story (too long! could’ve cut some scenes), the too many descriptions and lack of dialogs, the setting that was boring at times since it hardly changed (Prince Island, Prince Island and, oh yeah, Prince Island again—with another village in between once or twice), the romance (Tane wasn’t very exciting to read about) and the lack of witch-related (as in interesting ones) scenes that will knock our socks off.

I do believe that there are better witch-related stories out there, but I don’t regret reading this one and, if you decide to read it, I can assure that you won’t hate. You may find that it lacked here and there or that some things didn’t work for you, but I really don’t think that this is a bad book.

My review on Goodreads.

20 thoughts on “Review: Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper

  1. Aw, that’s too bad! I hate it when I go into a fantasy/paranormal expecting lots of magic and fast-paced goodness, but instead get a romance that’s happened to be set in a fantasy world. Not that I have anything against romance, but I feel like those types of books should be marketed as such and not have such misleading synopses xD Thanks for the heads up! I’ll probably still read this, but it’s good to have different expectations so I won’t be let down.


  2. I loved this one purely because of the writing. It was sensational. And I love historical anything. But I totally agree with you about this being a weak “witch” tale. It was terribly underdone in that aspect. And I could honestly care less for the romance. But damn, that writing was good. Sorry this didn’t live up to expectations, girly! Hopefully your next read will! ❤


  3. I have seen some mixed reviews for this but I can’t resist a witch story so I think eventually I will get around to reading this. 🙂
    Oh and you had my name right, just not the spelling (A-L-I not Aly) so no worries at all, it seriously happens all the time!! ❤


  4. I hate it when the book sounds all good and fantasy and then it’s just a romance with a little magic. I wish they’d write the blurbs so it was clear what kind of book it was, because I’m sure other people would like this kind of book better. I liked your review. 🙂 They really should’ve done more with the sea witch thing, that sounds so cool! I want to read a witch book for Halloween, but I guess I’ll keep looking.


  5. Great review! I really like how honest you are when you write your reviews. And once again another promising story that ends up being a disappointment… I love fantasy book and I love witches like nobody else’s business but I can’t fathom why they need to mess up with the readers…. I hate when a book tells me is about witchcraft and then is yet another love story with magic in the background. Just no.


  6. Oh another girl who is not yet fully aware of her powers, but stay put once she needs them they will kick ass, even yours. Gah, really? I mean this seems like a really dark and interesting story but I don’t think I can take any more of those characters. But then again the whole setting seems really appealing to me so I’ll probably read it. I do that to myself. Sorry it was a disappointment for you. Great review, Lola 🙂


  7. Oh no, the blurb made this book sound so cool and full of magical adventures! But booooo when the romance overshadows the rest of the plot. :/ This is why I’m super picky with the romance in the fantasy books I read, because I’m always afraid that it’ll turn from “ADVENTURE WOOHOO!” to “omg let me kiss u over and over pls.” 😐


  8. Pahahaha, so they’re all Ursulas?

    Awww, sorry this one didn’t work out for you. 😦 Your review was amazing, though. You really did a great job of pin pointing exactly what didn’t work and why so it was really constructive!


  9. *sigh* I was actually a major fan of this book and fund that it all just worked for me. I love the take on the witches (I’m not usually a witches person but it worked for me) and the romance (although I do admit that there was a point where it am just happened to fast one random day) but the ending is really where I found myself loving this book. It was so unexpected and gutsy! I wanted a sequel right away but I’m so happy it’s a standalone!
    I’m sorry to hear this one just wasn’t it for you but I hope your next read it better!


  10. I liked this a bit more than you did Lola, but my thoughts are pretty similar to yours. I did like the concept (I mean, a witch foretelling her death? How creepy is that?!) but I was kind of bummed out that it settled more on the love story angle than the actual witch-y angle, you know? I thought Tane and Avery’s romance was decent enough, but it really didn’t make me swoon or make me ship them excessively. Thanks for sharing and, as always, BRILLIANT review! ❤


  11. Aw sorry this one didn’t work out for you! I’ve seen it around a lot lately and it sounded like a good one. It sucks when a book ends up being below your expectations and not worth the hype. The cover is so eye catching, too! Anyway, great review & hope you read something better soon!!


  12. I’m sorry this didn’t live up to your expectations, Lola! 😦 Personally, I think it’s right up my alley, so I’m looking forward to reading it. Thanks for a wonderful and honest review. 🙂


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