Salt & Storm

Salt & Storm

by Kendall Kulper


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316404518
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 09/23/2014
Pages: 416
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 5.90(h) x 1.10(d)
Lexile: 960L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Kendall Kulper grew up in New Jersey and currently lives in Chicago with her husband and dog. She graduated from Harvard University, where she studied history and literature. Thanks to Salt & Storm, she knows more about nineteenth century whaling than she ever imagined. You can visit her at

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Salt & Storm 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Ficteatious 7 months ago
Posted at Ficteatious. 4.5/5 This recommendation is a long way coming. I read SALT & STORM before it was published and have since been trying to put into words how I feel about this book. I don’t know that I really managed, but I tried. Here’s a thing you have to know about me: I love witches. Their magic, their stories, their strange darkness. So I picked up SALT & STORM craving what I liked, but afraid I was going to be disappointed. I wasn’t. Oh boy, I was not. SALT & STORM is Kendall Kulper’s debut novel, a deeply atmospheric story about Avery, a sea witch determined to take over the family job of being the witch of the Island. It has whalers. It has magic. It has complex characters. It has Tane. And I know I usually start with blabbering about my favorite characters, but this time we’re taking a small detour. Let’s talk about my actual favorite thing in SALT & STORM: Magic. Kendall Kulper has a way of writing magic systems were it makes perfect sense without being info-dumpy, taking small details and weaving them through the story, letting the reader put it together. And it works. Avery’s sea witch magic felt like the waves themselves: flowing, vicious, out of reach. Her special abilities both exhilarating and terrible. And then there’s Tane, the tattoo’d harpoon boy, who storms into Avery’s life and brings a very different kind of magic with him. His magic is warm, sacred, binding. Tane’s magic wraps around you in a hug that could conform or kill. Suffice to say that I was extremely impressed with the handling of the magic in this book. As you can tell by all my gushing. Of course, a beautifully planned magic system would be nothing without good characters to carry its weight, and Avery and Tane certainly do. They are the type of characters that I like separately, but so much more together. Characters who are sort of antagonistic but end up being partners in crime are my weakness. Avery and Tane were my weakness. The secondary characters were fleshed-out as well, in a way that you could see their motivations but where always left wondering who to trust. Avery’s Grandmother (the current witch), her mom (a deserter), Tane’s family–all felt like real people, all weighted in the story. Even Avery’s prophetic dream, while not a character, felt like a true force, a looming threat. At the end, Kendall Kulper manages to take all her threads and pull them tight and break my heart in the process. I would come back for more. - Adriana Thank you to NetGalley and Little, Brown Books for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
gaele 10 months ago
AudioBook Review: Stars: Overall 3 Narration: 3 Story: 2.5 Set in a rather nebulous timeframe (we know from frequent references that it is post-Civil War) in a fictional island off the coast of New England, the initial reference to this story, for me, came from Moby Dick. Whaling is the predominant industry, and the Roe witches, a family of long standing on the island are “Sea Witches”, and renown dream interpreters. All fairly straight-forward elements, in which Kulper has clearly done her research on whaling and the bits of dream interpretation and magic that she brings forward. But this is a story of Avery Roe, the current heir to the Roe witches skill, except she isn’t. Abandoned by her mother and raised by her grandmother, Avery has yet to learn her magic, although her dreams are present and very real. But, with the return of her mother and the rather childish mother-daughter conflict about Avery learning to wield her gifts is near never-ending and on an endless loop of one step forward, more conflict, two back, more conflict. Wearing and overly complicated – when you mix in the overuse of flowery prose and description, although some is quite beautiful, they spin off into tangents that never quite prove their worth to the plot. Avery’s dream that she will be murdered is now playing on her every waking moment, and finding a way to outwit the prophecy, as her dreams have never been wrong, seems to be the primary purpose of this phase of the series. Lacking in character development that would have been far more appreciated than the endless, if lovely, descriptions would have gone far to helping the story feel tethered to any one of the multiple elements (history, magic, and fantasy) the author was touching upon, as would a better build of both her relationship with her mother (the endless arguments were wearing) and the one with Tane, that left this ‘relationship’ feeling very insta-love without actual purpose. Unfortunately, with so many elements added and descriptions leading to nothing that will be of import later in the story, these were often as confusing for the presenter as the listener. Sad, for the premise in this book is amazing and it’s clear that Kulper both did her research and cares for the idea, the lack of cohesiveness made this a story that missed the mark on promise, while the author’s ability to describe and turn a phrase are eminently clear. It was a lack of editing for a clear chain of events that let this story down, and perhaps time to clearly define important elements, flush out characters more fully and remove the oft-repeated phrases, ands, and arguments and this book would have come closer to its promise.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I haven't bought the book yet. And I probably will not since every idiot that writes reviews have to spoil it for prospective buyers by writing full essays instead of short opinions. Just my own thoughts.
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
Avery Roe knows her birthright is to serve Prince Island as its witch. Roe women have been on Prince Island off the coast of Massachusetts for generations working charms and other magic to keep whaling ships safe and profitable. The magic sings in Avery's blood; the call of the island reverberates through her bones. Avery's efforts to unlock her magic and succeed her grandmother as the next witch have been thwarted these past four years by Avery's mother who turned her back on magic as surely as she has kept Avery trapped in a fancy house living a lie. When Avery becomes a whale in her dreams, she knows what it means. She knows the murdered whale signifies her own murder. And soon. Her only hope is to become the Roe Witch before fate catches up with her. You can beat a Roe Witch within an inch of her life, you can sicken her with strange magic and scar her, but you cannot kill a Roe Witch. If Avery can unlock her magic in time with the help of a mysterious harpoon boy named Tane, she might be safe. But magic seldom works the way a person wants and changing fate is an even rarer thing in Salt & Storm (2014) by Kendall Kulper. Salt & Storm is Kulper's first novel. Kulper expertly combines historical details with tantalizing bits of fantasy to create a sweeping story that spans three generations. Although this story ostensibly focuses on Avery, and although there is a bit of a romance, Salt & Storm is a story about family at its core. Avery is a prickly character for the most part. She is driven and sometimes selfish to the point of self-absorption. Although Kulper aptly demonstrates Avery's growth as a character her default response to almost everything in the story remains anger or rashly impulsive decision making. As Avery struggles to unlock and understand her magic, she also begins to learn more about the grandmother she was taken from at a young age and the mother she never allowed herself to understand. Compared to the larger themes of family and obligation, it is a disservice to focus too heavily on the romantic relationship in this story which honestly felt more like a plot device than anything resembling actual chemistry. As you can tell there are several things that are done very well here. Kulper's writing, in fact, is lovely and the historical details about whaling are integrated very well into the story. While Avery is far from likable or clever for most of the story, her selfishness makes sense and she is at least unapologetic. Avery knows who she is and who she wants to be if nothing else. There are twp real problems with this story.The first problem is that Avery has no agency. Throughout the story she talks about having power and being in charge--but she never is. Now you could say that is because she doesn't have her magic yet. Except Avery's mother is at the mercy of her husband and Avery's grandmother has the entire town as a threat to her own freedom. The idea of the Roe witch is couched in the idea of independence but that is ultimately just a lip service at best. I won't spoil the story but even the way in witch Roe women unlock their magic is one that lacks any degree of agency or power as things are visited upon these women rather than the women choosing to do anything in their own right. The second problem-one I wasn't even sure I wanted to talk about at first because it is such a big problem--is Tane (and this part to follow will have some spoilers so you have been warned!). This mysterious tattooed boy may eventually have Avery's heart but he has no history of his own. His entire culture has been wiped out. And, even if we were to let that stand, Tane's origins come from an amalgam of sources. Instead of being an authentic representation of any one source Tane is reduced to a pastiche that is meant to appear exotic without any real purpose. Worse is the fact that Tane dies in the end. We can talk about plot points and whether this was necessary but the key thing to remember here is that Tane dies. Not Avery or her relatives. Not any of the sailors we meet. Tane, the only minority character, dies. Tane was already problematic before all this but to kill off the only person of color in the entire novel means something. I'm sure none of this was intentional on the part of the author, but even unintentionally killing off literally the only PoC character in a novel is deeply problematic particularly when that death becomes a plot point to move along the main (white) character's story. There is a lot of potential here and, as I said, Kulper's writing is lovely and she is absolutely an author to watch. While this story features magical elements, Salt & Storm remains firmly grounded in its historical context creating a story that will appeal to historical fiction and fantasy lovers alike so long as they can turn a blind eye to the problems already mentioned. Possible Pairings: Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman, Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones, Dreamhunter by Elizabeth Knox, A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin, Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier, Moby Dick by Herman Melville, Clariel by Garth Nix, For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund, The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski, The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare, Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Salt & Storm is a beautifully written novel about a young girl, Avery Roe, who is determined to carry on her legacy and deny the future planned by her mother to save her from a life of challenges and hardships. When a vivid dream, elegantly described by Kendall Kulper, reveals to Avery her own murder she strives to alter fate, falling in love with Tane, her greatest supporter, while battling the determination of her mother to keep Avery from her destiny of being a witch.  Unexpected turns keep the reader searching for answers.  Kulper’s descriptions are amazing and the characters are well developed – I didn't want the book to end, even though I was anxious to read the conclusion.  I am an avid reader of young adult literature and would rank Salt & Storm right up there with the top reads.  I would definitely recommend this book – it is well-written, interesting and a real gem!
chapterxchapter More than 1 year ago
Initially it was the cover for Salt & Storm that got me interested in reading author Kendall Kulper’s debut novel. After reading the synopsis I knew that I had to get reading. The premise was interesting and unlike anything I had seen before in spite of the witch-theme that the novel has. A story set on an island where a teen girl is fighting to continue her family’s legacy? That sounded pretty cool. In Salt & Storm the main character Avery Roe has known since she was a child that the women in the Roe family are all powerful beings. Roe witches are trusted by all who inhabit Prince Island and are known for making deals with sailors in exchange for their magic. All Avery wants is to embrace what has been entitled to her since birth: to become the next Roe witch. When her mother steals her away from her life with her grandmother, the current Roe witch, new beliefs are thrust upon Avery. What she should want is a life with a wealthy husband who can give her everything her heart desires be it material or otherwise. What Avery knows she wants is to unleash the power deep within. Then she meets Tane—a stranger and sailor with foreign magic she can’t quite understand. With her mother’s own magic trying to keep her apart from her grandmother and embracing her birthright, Avery joins forces with Tane to become the Roe witch. From then on Salt & Storm is a story about first loves, magic and family secrets that test the limits between wants and needs. Plot-wise, Salt & Storm is great It’s a story that is unique in its own way and doesn’t give a clear indication of just what will happen next. The entire story is a mystery of what may or may not be and what choices will impact the end result. A bit of magic and romance is always everybody’s cup of tea, add dark family secrets and some harsh realities—who wouldn’t want that? The character in Salt & Storm are all very unique in their own ways. No two characters share the same personalities. Even the island itself could be considered a character. The people around Avery as she maneuvers through the story all give Salt & Storm an amazing supporting cast. Characters like Tane, Avery’s grandmother and Avery’s mother all add emotional depth to the story while keeping the pace along. I was always left wanting more of a character after they left the scene. I’ve only had two problems with Salt & Storm while reading. My first would be the writing-style. While it is lyrical and descriptive it also grew very confusing at times. The prose is heavy and makes reading a bit distracting and difficult to get used to at first. The transitions between flashbacks and current events weren’t very clear. The second would be the pacing of the novel. I’m sure that while the writing heavily impacted this, the pace was awkward. Some parts of the novel had me on the edge of my seat and others left me bored as I turned through pages waiting for the next big peak in the plot. Needless to say, I wish that the pacing in Salt & Storm had been more consistent as it definitely would have made my experience a lot better. I would recommend Salt & Storm to readers who are looking for a novel that is original in its entirety. Any readers who want some historical fiction with magic mixed in should also definitely give it a shot. To any readers who want a novel with a romantic side-plot, this is probably also something that should be added to your to-be-read list/bookshelf/stack/whatever. Happy reading!
Sarah_UK1 More than 1 year ago
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Hachette Children's Books and NetGalley.) 16-year-old Avery has known all her life that she will be the next ‘Roe Witch’ after her grandmother dies, until her mother steals her away and forbids her from ever seeing her grandmother again. Avery knows that she can’t give up on her destiny though, no matter what her mother says, and turns to a boy called Tane for help, even though she knows she should stay away from strange magic. Will Avery ever become the next Roe Witch? Is Tane’s magic powerful enough to break the spell her mother has over her? And how much pain does she need to suffer before her own magic kicks in? This book was heart-breaking, beautiful, and totally captivating. I have to say that I loved Avery, she was so fierce in her beliefs, and so sure of her path in life that no matter what was thrown at her she stayed strong, and continually strived for what it was that she wanted. I felt so sorry for her in the way that her mother treated her, and how she lost so much, to gain so little. The storyline in this was so good! I loved following Avery’s story, I loved the magic and the mystery and the intrigue, and I loved the way the writing was so atmospheric, and you could almost feel the ocean spray just from the descriptions in this book. There was romance of the forbidden variety, and it was sweet, and breath-taking, but didn’t overwhelm the rest of the story. I kept hoping desperately for Avery and Tane to be able to be together against the odds, even when they were stacked so highly against them. The ending to this was really good, and even though it wasn’t sunshine and roses, it was fitting, and heart-wrenching. I have to say that I really enjoyed this book, and I will definitely want to read it again in the future. Good books don’t come along very often, but this was definitely one of them! Overall; heart-breaking, beautiful, and totally captivating, 9 out of 10
COBauer More than 1 year ago
Received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. If I could only describe “Salt & Storm” in one phrase it would be HOLY WOW! Kendall Kulper is an incredibly gifted storyteller. I was completely captivated from page one as the stakes were life and death (literally). Not a bad way to hook a reader… ;) An utterly gut-wrenching and surprisingly realistic exploration of first love. What made it so beautiful is the many kinds of love Kulper explored: love for Avery’s home, heritage, family, friends, and Tane. Avery made for a wonderful protagonist, full of depth and passion and Tane was the perfect compliment. I felt like I was living her journey of self-discovery and falling in love right along with her. When her heart ached, mine ached. When she realized she had fallen in love (swoon), I felt like I had fallen in love. The world Kulper built was superb—she clearly did her homework, even though the author admitted it wasn’t entirely historically accurate. But, hey… that’s the beauty of fantasy fiction! I mean… witches. Each character felt fleshed out in their own way (even the supporting or minor characters), which is no easy task. The island felt like its own character—she took on a life of her own. I truly believed Prince Island held some sort of supernatural power over the Roes. One of my favorite things an author can do is with language. The way her characters spoke was perfection. The intricacies of the dialects had this theater nerd jumping for joy! A truly original piece of literature. To those of you who tend to stay away from YA or Fantasy—don’t let the genre fool you… I know I’m repeating myself, but: Kendall Kulper is one hell of a gifted & sophisticated storyteller. Cannot recommend it enough!
valercrazy More than 1 year ago
Right at about halfway through this book, I had to complete two weeks’ worth of Advanced Univariate Statistics in three days while sick but these external circumstances are sadly not to blame for this two star rating, this book just wasn’t my cup of tea. Honestly, I will probably forget that I ever read this book in eight months; I tried and tried to connect to the MC, Avery Roe, but I never could which led me to have apathetic feelings towards her actions throughout the entire book. Avery likes to believe that everyone in the entire world (excluding us, the concerned readers) is against her and this gives her the right to be dramatic. If you can’t tell, I didn’t enjoy this trait about her; in fact, it annoyed the crap out of me.  One word to describe me while reading this book: lackadaisical. Avery would stress out and make a dramatic choice. Sure, that’s fine, I would think. Then she would completely change her mind and do something else dramatic. You do you. Whatever. She would complicate absolutely everything and decide to do something completely unnecessary and ridiculous. Eh. I’m sure you’ll change your mind before long. Basically, I didn’t care what she did.  I was just bored throughout this book; the writing was fine, the story was fine, the characters were fine, and the romance was fine. Scratch that last part, the romance was lacking; I was reading Sway by Kat Spears at the same time as this and the chemistry in that book was insane while the romance in this book couldn’t elicit a tiny ripple in the ocean (she’s a water witch). I didn’t hate this book at all, I just didn’t care which I think is worse; it’s like when your parents say they aren’t mad, they’re disappointed, that’s how I am with this book. The book had a promising premise but it just fell flat and I didn’t like how it weirdly came together, I wasn’t satisfied.  A few things I did like: the Roe witches are the bomb dot com and I enjoyed seeing some strong female characters who men respected. Preach.  Avery grew up shadowing her grandmother, the resident witch, because her mother essentially quit being a witch and abandoned her. I enjoyed how Avery looked up to her grandmother and had a love of magic as a whole. We eventually find out why her mother left and why she did the things she did which was helpful to understand the whole story. Every Roe witch has their own unique gift and Avery’s was dream interpretation; she would often see how someone dies which reminded me of Helena Bonham Carter in Big Fish, go watch it if you haven’t, it’s my favorite movie ever.   The plot could have been interesting: Roe witches can’t die. Avery Roe is destined to come into her powers. Avery dreams of her death. Now that is a conundrum if I’ve ever heard one but yet, it wasn’t executed well. It should be noted that this is a standalone novel; there is not a sequel in sight.  FAVORITE part: that cover is simple yet beautiful.  FAVORITE quote: “There’s magic in talking out loud, like drawing out poison, like exposing a wound to air.” That gives you just a taste of the writing to see if you would like it. I loved this quote because I’m a psychology student and a firm believer that talking is good for the soul.