Salt & Storm, Kendall Kulper’s debut novel, is truly unlike anything I’ve read. It’s historical fantasy brimming with witches, magic, curses, romaSalt & Storm, Kendall Kulper’s debut novel, is truly unlike anything I’ve read. It’s historical fantasy brimming with witches, magic, curses, romance, and mystery. I couldn’t put it down!
Salt & Storm starts off very slowly. Don’t let that stop you from continuing with the story though. The writing is heavy, very reminiscent of other historical fantasy novels. That’s not to say that it’s not gorgeous though because it definitely is. I remember the style of writing being pitched as similar to Laini Taylor’s and I definitely saw that comparison from the start. Kendall Kulper does have a style all her own though that readers will get used to quickly and come to love over the course of the book.
The story itself is fascinating. I’ve always been a fan of stories about witches and Salt & Storm is going to be added to my list of recommendations when it comes to those types of books. These aren’t your typical witches though. The Roe witches each have very distinct abilities. Avery’s grandma’s magic focuses on emotions, Avery’s mom’s magic also focused on emotions but specifically those of love and affection, and Avery’s own gift was to be able to interpret dreams, although sometimes it seemed more like a curse. Also, the witches were held in very high esteem on the island. Sure, people were intimidated by them but they also sought them out for protection and aid.
The romance was very much a slow burn type of romance, my absolute favorite. There were times at first when I feared it would veer into instalove territory but that was not the case. It was more that Avery and Tane had an instant attraction as well as a kind of magical pull. Tane was good for Avery. He opened her eyes to how sheltered she was and gave her a new way of looking at life. She really changed as a person as she got closer to Tane and he made her a lot more likable in my eyes.
Overall, Salt & Storm won’t be for everyone, that’s for sure, but I highly recommend it. It’s a captivating story that may take longer to read than other books but it’s worth it!...more
It’s not often that I read a sequel that not only measures up to the first book but surpasses it but Idols definitely does that. Icons grabbed my atteIt’s not often that I read a sequel that not only measures up to the first book but surpasses it but Idols definitely does that. Icons grabbed my attention and intrigued me but Idols had me hooked and dying for more.
Idols picks up right where Icons left off and it’s pulse pounding start. The Icon children are on the run from everyone. They need to find the fifth Icon child but they have to stay off the radar while searching for her. As if that’s not bad enough, the Icons are spreading, taking over more land and killing more people. Dol and the others need to find a way to shut down the Icons for good and get rid of the Lords.
Dol, Ro, Lucas, Tima, Fortis, and Doc are all back in this sequel and they are a lot easier to like this time around. It was hard to connect with all of them in the first book but that wasn’t the case in Idols. They were all much more developed and well-rounded. Dol was brave but also quite terrified. Her powers were constantly growing and changing and she didn’t know what to think about anything. There were times when she almost thought she was going crazy. I felt horrible for her but I liked seeing her grow with her powers. Ro’s powers were also changing but that was pretty much all that changed about Ro. He was still hot-headed, in love with Dol, and unwilling to trust/like Lucas. Lucas was much easier to like this time around. He was so sweet and I loved seeing a vulnerable side to him. Tima wasn’t very different from the first book but she did learn how to use her powers a little better and took a more active role in the group. As for Doc and Fortis they were definitely some good comic relief.
The story was so fast-paced. The pace was one of the my biggest complaints about Icons so I was really happy about the change in the second book. Things were constantly going on throughout Idols and there was never even a second of downtime for everyone. It was crazy! Also, there is still a lot of background information throughout Idols but I felt like it didn’t slow things down at all. The backstory was actually one of the most interesting parts of the book and I loved finding out more about Fortis’ part in the coming of the Lords and the Icons. It was not at all what I expected.
Overall, Idols is a fabulous continuation to the Icons series. My faith in the series is redeemed after reading this one and I can’t wait to see what happens next for everyone. Also I should probably warn you that the ending might break your heart, just a little bit....more