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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Salt and Stone: A Mermaid Fantasy by A.L. Knorr is the first book in the Siren's Curse series. The story opens with one of the best lines of the book; Targa thinks about how being on a plane was torture for a mermaid. The story revolves around her and her mother Mira's return to Poland where she picks things up with Antoni, the boyfriend who she has to lie to about what she really is. A magical stone disappears which puts Targa on the mission to track it down regardless of the cost, even it means crossing boundaries. The journey to uncover the stone's whereabouts uncovers a plot involving thieves looking to have power for themselves and introduces her to an unexpected connection - power that could prove costly for both the land and the ocean. Her secrets weigh on her, pushing her to live a double life and creating fear that telling the truth will drive Antoni away. This plays into her acceptance of her nature as a siren and what she's capable of.
The romance creates a sweet tone within the story and is a significant element of A.L. Knorr's style which can be seen in her other series. Knorr's characters are always exploring who they are within this world and with their power, so part of Targa's journey is exploring more about herself. The relationship with her mother is an important part of the story and adds a poignant, heart-breaking, and emotional side to her journey. Knorr uses these well-written moments to shine a light on the heart of a mother-daughter dynamic. Her mother taught her what love is, as well as her independent nature, which adds to the emotional bond they share and introduces a reflective tone to Targa's story. The world is interconnected with Knorr's other series with appearances and mentions of Targa's friends such as Georjie and Saxony. Salt and Stone adds to the world as a whole, delving deeper into the water element side and furthers Targa's journey with another rich adventure.