Salt and Storm is a 19th century fantasy standalone set in a small town along Mississippi. The story opens with our heroine’s narrative of her recollection of her grandmother teaching her powerful witch stuff so I instantly find myself captivated and intrigued.
Avery Roe is the granddaughter of “The Witch”, also called “The Roe Witch”, a woman whose power is always sought by whalers who need luck while they hunt or an avenging wife who wants her husband cursed. Thus, grandma Roe is revered and feared by the villagers and Avery has always believed and dreamed of a life exactly like that of her grandma’s but a twist in the plot brings her quite far from her lifelong dream. She could not summon spells and couldn’t seem to manifest any ability that would make her worthy of being the next Roe Witch. All she had was her ability to interpret dreams.
I find the plot quite complex and rich. Even though there are no scary, evil villains, I find the main conflict very much disturbing and affecting. I am very curious indeed about what Avery could do in order to cheat her own demise. I even got more riveted when a mysterious boy, Tane, enters the story with magic and charms of his own. Of course, there is a sort of cheesy romance but that didn’t bother me at all. In fact, I kind of think it’s sweet.
I find the writing very fluid and easy to read. I also find it really funny especially during the first parts when Avery would scream whenever she’s frustrated. Whenever she screams, and I anticipate it a lot, I would also let out a loud guffaw. I couldn’t help it. I find her really hilarious when she does that.
The reason for my 3.5 is how the story ended. The meaning of both Tane and Avery’s dreams were a huge letdown. It kind of defeated the purpose of the story-to tell a story of romance or of witches. Well, perhaps there’s romance in tragedy but I just beg to differ. Tane also remains a mysterious stranger. No explanations as regards his background and his ability to create charms but overall, it’s a well-written, unique standalone fantasy-romance which would have been perfect if it had a more solid conclusion.