Sunday 26 May 2024

BOOK REVIEW: The Taste of Storm and Brine (The Talisman Series Vol 5.5) by Brett Salter

The Taste of Storm and Brine
Series: The Talisman, Book 5.5
Author: Brett Salter
Publication Date: 27 February 2024
Genre: YA Fantasy / Adventure

Book Description:
The inevitable, all-out war for Earth is inching ever closer, and luckily, we have The Alliance to defend us from the Darkbrand army. But what about other parts of the world? The Alliance, as talented as they are, can’t be everywhere all at once. And the Darkbrands don’t just pop up in the most convenient places. They are indiscriminate and random, as well as dangerous and smelly. So, expanding The Alliance’s circle of allies seems like a good idea, right? Well, one certain water dragon seems to think so, anyway. Starboard, The Sentry of the South, is a loyal and stout defender of The Den of Oceania. He’s even met most of The Alliance members face to face. But after a brush with death, can he convince his fellow water dragons to join The Alliance’s claws… Um, I mean cause? Will The Den of Oceania ever be able to trust the humans completely? Or arrrrrr their hopes for survival destined to be swept out to sea by the coming storm?

Buy Links:
Amazon US | UK


The Taste of Storm and Brine, a novella in the Talisman Series, serves as a bridge between the events of books 5 and 6. The story follows Starboard, The Sentry of the South, a water dragon who is determined to expand The Alliance’s circle of allies to better prepare for the impending war against the Darkbrand army. The Darkbrands are a pervasive and destructive force, threatening not just the land but also the oceanic territories. Starboard, having met most of The Alliance members, embarks on a mission to persuade his fellow water dragons to join forces with humans, despite their longstanding mistrust. The narrative explores Starboard’s character in depth and introduces new characters such as Tampa and Driftwood, who bring unique personalities and dynamics to the story. The novella captures the tension and urgency of preparing for an all-out war while highlighting the challenging alliance-building efforts between humans and dragons.


This book was a brisk and engaging read. It was refreshing to see a focus on the dragons, particularly Starboard, a character who has been part of the main series but hasn’t been deeply explored until now. This novella dives into his backstory and motivations, making him a more relatable and compelling character. The shift in focus from humans to dragons was unexpected but welcome, providing a new perspective on the broader conflict and how it is affecting the world at large. The nonstop action kept the pace lively, ensuring there were no dull moments, which is particularly beneficial in a shorter narrative. Starboard’s humorous and engaging nature added a delightful layer to the story, making his journey all the more enjoyable to follow.

I appreciated the inclusion of Tampa and Driftwood, who stood out as distinct and memorable characters. Their interactions and the challenges they face highlighted the diversity and complexity of the dragon community, which is a nice contrast to the human-centric view in the main series. While I did miss some of the familiar characters from the main series, the novella compensated by deepening the lore and providing insights into the dragon-human dynamics. The portrayal of the inherent mistrust between the two species was particularly well-done, reminding readers of the deep-seated conflicts that The Alliance must overcome. This aspect is often glossed over in the main series, where cooperation against a common enemy tends to overshadow underlying tensions.

Overall, this book is a worthy addition to the Talisman Series. It enriches the narrative by exploring new facets of the story and setting the stage for future developments. Despite missing some beloved characters, the novella’s focus on the dragons and their perspective adds a fresh and exciting dimension to the series.


Rating: 4 Stars
Source: Author

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