Review of ‘A Pinch of Salt’ by Nita Round
So much makes sense now with this prequel to the Touch of Truth series. In the deserts of Gypta, Magda Stoner finds herself leading the charge against an army of demons that rise up from the sands. On the other side of the world, Ascara is a new recruit using her brain and agility trying to get a place in the Veritas Traders. The misogyny and arrogance of one of her team members put her in a very dangerous position. Magda and Ascara only meet because they end up in the same hospital ward together.
I needed this prequel because it answers so many questions that were tumbling around in my brain. It clarifies Magda and Ascara’s bond and further deepens their characterisation. Besides being the tale of their acquaintance, there is a quest that they need to fulfill. The main characters of this series are queer women but it is a steampunk fantasy and not a romance, even though Ascara is an incorrigible flirt.
The writing is so vivid in the descriptions that the action scenes took on a life of their own and I felt completely tied to the story. I read the first published ‘Touch of Truth’ series books one to three but they have been changed and re-released. I don’t know how dramatic the changes are but I have no problem reading them again. Even though I have read the prequel after the first three books, I think it can be read before or after the books of the series. What I do recommend is to read this sequel if you’re not sure you’d like this series, as it’s a short read which gives a good idea of what to expect.
I have to add that the cover is superb. I usually hate depictions of characters on the cover because I don’t like my imagination being tampered with. In this case, however, Round’s describes her characters so beautifully that the depiction is even better than I imagined. May Dawney is multi-talented indeed.