Review: Salt Magic by Hope Larson and Rebecca Mock

Salt Magic by Hope Larson and Rebecca Mock cover shows a twelve-year-old girl in a white dress riding a dark gray horse. A woman's face appears in the background as if she's part of the clouds.

Salt Magic
Hope Larson
Illustrated by Rebecca Mock
Margaret Ferguson Books
Published October 12, 2021

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About Salt Magic

When a jealous witch curses her family’s well, it’s up to Vonceil to set things right in an epic journey that will leave her changed forever.

When Vonceil’s older brother, Elber, comes home to their family’s Oklahoma farm after serving on the front lines of World War I, things aren’t what she expects. His experiences have changed him into a serious and responsible man who doesn’t have time for Vonceil anymore. He even marries the girl he had left behind.

Then, a mysterious and captivating woman shows up at the farm and confronts Elber for leaving her in France. When he refuses to leave his wife, she puts a curse on the family well, turning the entire town’s water supply into saltwater. Who is this lady dressed all in white, what has she done to the farm, and what does Vonceil’s old Uncle Dell know about her?

To find out, Vonceil will have to strike out on her own and delve deep into the world of witchcraft, confronting dangerous relatives, shapeshifting animals, a capricious Sugar Witch, and the Lady in White herself–the foreboding Salt Witch. The journey will change Vonceil, but along the way, she’ll learn a lot about love and what it means to grow up.

Salt Magic on Goodreads

My Review

I’ve had this book on my radar for some time. The idea of a fantasy set in 1919 Oklahoma definitely intrigued me, and I couldn’t wait to get into the story to see what it was all about.

Honestly, I thought the setting and fantasy elements really complemented one another. I liked the way they were connected and how they impacted the characters’ stories. I loved Vonceil as a character, and especially enjoyed the author’s choice to tell the story from the perspective of a young girl rather than telling the story from Elber’s point-of-view, which might also have made sense.

The color palette in the book was really engaging, too. I liked the way different pages had very different color schemes, and how only a few pages pulled all the colors together to create these vibrant, impactful scenes. I thought that was really cool.

SALT MAGIC is another book that I’d looked into thinking about my nephew and niece, and I think it will be one I recommend to them. I have a feeling the fantasy elements and unique setting will appeal to at least one of them. If the words “western fantasy” excite you at all, definitely check out this book.

Salt Magic on Bookshop

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 10 up.

Major characters are white living in Oklahoma.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Mild profanity used very infrequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
References to romance between men and women as minor characters. Vonceil does not have a romantic arc to her story.

Spiritual Content
Some characters have the ability to perform magic.

Violent Content
References to domestic violence and abuse of an elderly person. Vonceil sees the scars her brother carries from when he was shot in Europe as a soldier in World War I. Vonceil hears about a weird situation in which animals attacked someone en masse.

Drug Content
Vonceil stumbles onto a moonshine still in a barn.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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