Vonceil is ecstatic when her older brother, Elber, comes home after serving on the front in the Great War. But the brother who comes back isn’t the one the Vonceil remembers. Wartime has made him serious and responsible–ready, even, to marry the girl he left behind–when Vonceil thought they’d have more time to play and get to know each other again.
Things get stranger when a sophisticated and mysterious woman arrives at their Oklahoma farm dressed all in white. She blames Elber for leaving her behind in France. She wants him to join her now.
When Elber refuses, she curses the family well and turns the entire town’s fresh water supply into saltwater.
To save her town and try to rescue her brother, Vonceil will have to travel far from everything she’s ever known into a world filled with magic, shapeshifting animals, and witches including a fickle Sugar Witch and the lady in white herself–a Salt Witch in Salt Magic (2021) by Hope Larson and Rebecca Mock.
Salt Magic is the latest standalone graphic novel from Larson and Mock. All characters are presented as white.
Vonceil’s adventure blends historical fiction set at the end of World War I with larger than life fairytale magic–a contrast that mirrors Vonceil’s own mixed feelings about getting older and growing up. Mock’s artwork is sophisticated and layered as she captures both the vast emptiness of the midwest and the lush, decadent magical world Vonceil discovers. Detailed and vibrantly colored artwork fully capitalizes on the full color page design and perfectly conveys the lush magic of the story–especially the Sugar Witch’s confections.
A well-paced plot and nuanced characters elevate this story filled with action, adventure, and magic.
Possible Pairings: A House Divided by Haiko Hornig, Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi, Pony by R.J. Palacio, Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce, Oyster War by Ben Towle
*An advance copy of this title was provided by the publisher for review consideration*
2 thoughts on “Salt Magic: A Graphic Novel Review”
Great review! I loved this book. It balances the exploration of darker themes without becoming heavy in tone and is a beautifully realized graphic novel.
Truly visually stunning