Sea Witch (Sea Witch, #1)by Sarah Henning Published 31 Jul 2018
|Sea Witch (Sea Witch, #1).pdf|
|Publisher||Katherine Tegen Books|
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Everyone knows what happens in the end. A mermaid, a prince, a true love’s kiss. But before that young siren’s tale, there were three friends. One feared, one royal, and one already dead.
Ever since her best friend, Anna, drowned, Evie has been an outcast in her small fishing town. A freak. A curse. A witch.
A girl with an uncanny resemblance to Anna appears offshore and, though the girl denies it, Evie is convinced that her best friend actually survived. That her own magic wasn’t so powerless after all. And, as the two girls catch the eyes—and hearts—of two charming princes, Evie believes that she might finally have a chance at her own happily ever after.
But her new friend has secrets of her own. She can’t stay in Havnestad, or on two legs, unless Evie finds a way to help her. Now Evie will do anything to save her friend’s humanity, along with her prince’s heart—harnessing the power of her magic, her ocean, and her love until she discovers, too late, the truth of her bargain.
"Sea Witch (Sea Witch, #1)" Reviews
The sea is a fickle witch.3 1/2 stars. I gave myself a bit of a headache trying to rate this book. Parts of it were 2 stars, other parts 4/4.5, so in the end I've settled on this. But I will say one thing: this book is probably not what you are expecting. I hope it can find the right readers.
She is just as likely to bestow a kiss as to steal the breath from your lips.
It's really a question of how much patience you have. And how easily you can sit through maritime chapters without falling asleep. It's a very slowly-paced book, especially during the first two thirds of the story. Any exciting witchy The Little Mermaid goodness you might be expecting happens in the later chapters, and even then it's pretty subdued.
Though, in many ways, Sea Witch is much smarter than I expected for a YA The Little Mermaid retelling. The story is set in 19th Century Denmark and is woven with hundreds of years of Danish history. The Danes, especially under King Christian IV, put many "witches" to death in the 16th and 17th centuries. Henning combines this real fear of witches on land with the story of the sea witch we all know from the Andersen tale (and the Disney remake).
There are many interesting aspects of what the author has done here. I love that so much of it is rooted in history; I love that I googled Øresund Kingdoms and discovered that the Øresund strait is a real thing. I love that it mentioned the infamous "witch" - Maren Spliid.
The story is about three unlikely childhood friends - Nik (the prince), Anna (now deceased) and Evie (the half-Italian fisherman's daughter). In the present of the story, Nik's near-drowning results in him being saved by a mysterious girl who looks like Anna. She is the beautiful Annemette and Evie quickly befriends her, feeling drawn towards this stranger who looks so like her friend.
Slowly drawn friendship and romantic dynamics lead toward magical secrets. Annemette is clearly not all she appears to be, but the depths of what she's hiding are indeed dark and full of terrors. This is all set to an atmospheric backdrop of salty air and sea breezes. Henning does a great job of infusing everything with a sea-like essence.
Also, Nik is a delightful little sweetie. Rarely are male characters allowed to be such starry-eyed romantics and it was adorable, yet not unrealistic.
Unfortunately, though, it really is slow. I actually wonder if I would have made it through if I hadn't committed to an arc, and I foresee many DNFs on the horizon. It's not a thrills and romance kind of book - it's a gentle wander through history, class divides and the unwarranted fear of witches. The occasional third person chapters also slow down the book. I think Sea Witch will work really well for the right sort of reader, but I think the majority of readers will pick this up expecting something it doesn't deliver.
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I decided to make my own painted edges. They are not great, but I love them! I used purple to go with the purple in her eyes!
Book & Poster Below
A million stars for the cover and the poster I got in one of my book boxes and got laminated!
I liked the story! I didn't love it to death as I'm not a big fan of The Little Mermaid. But who cares, it was good enough for now and I'm glad plenty love it 😊
I wasn’t sure about this when I first started reading it, but I’m so glad I carried on! Around the 40pg mark, I became hooked on the plot. It ended up being hard to put down. Very unique take on the classic story of The Little Mermaid. I think people are going to enjoy this one!
You can find this review and other non-spoilery reviews @ The Book Prescription
Actual Rating: 3.5 stars
“IT’S A PERFECT NIGHT FOR BURNING WITCHES.”
🌟 I learned to go into books without high expectations because the end result will be better whatever it is. But The little mermaid retelling? I am lying if I say that I didn’t raise up the bar a bit!
🌟 I recently read To kill a kingdom and that book was very good, it is getting much attention and for The little mermaid fans, it is actually a very good retelling! Now I don’t know if this can be called a retelling because that was only found after like 80% of the story. Actually this was the biggest problem in this series: nothing pretty much happens till 70% of the story. Now this is not a bad book, but it starts out good and then things start to get slow and there is dragging till the above mentioned part! I can see why people won’t be motivated to continue this in early parts, so if you want the good parts in this book, you have to be tolerant/patient.
🌟 The writing style is good. Not so special but it held my attention enough to make me finish this. There were a few quotes that I like too.
“My father, the sea king, says that when everything is as you hoped, you are blind to the imperfections.”
🌟 The characters are well-written. Once again, nothing too special and by that I mean I didn’t add them to a favorite list or any list in mind, I believe they are the kind that is good but won’t stick with me for a long time.
🌟 Summary: There are many Mermaids stories now and they are increasing too. Sea witch is not the best one of them, but it is a good story if you wait enough. The last 20-30% made me happy. There were literal quotes from the Little mermaid movie, I know some scenes by heart and that’s why I got excited reading them. The majority of the book is 3 stars for me, the final parts were 4 and 5 stars. So the final Rating from me will be 3.5 stars!
ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Buddy Reading this with Queen Of ARCs
this was just....not good.
reasons why this book did not work for me:
-there was no plot up until the last 50ish pages
-the characters were flat with zero development
-the two male characters were completely interchangeable
-the romances were the worst cases of insta love I've ever seen
-when the plot finally picked up all the characters became different people out of nowhere
overall this book was just flat out boring
“Magic was barter—the right words, actions, potions for the right result.”
Well, that was... unexpected.
Sea Witch is marketed as a villain origin story, namely the sea witch from The Little Mermaid. Being the weird kid in the murder corner, I eagerly requested on Edelweiss, thinking it'd be a dark and transgressive retelling along the lines of Marissa Meyer's Heartless or Fairest. What I got instead was a quiet, rather literary novel about friendship and social class.
The story does largely unfold the same way as the original tale: a mermaid saves a prince, then goes on land to try to win his heart in four days. If she fails, she'll be turned to sea form. A human witch called Evelyn narrates the novel, with third-person chapters recounting the past. The mermaid Annamette bears a striking resemblance to Evelyn's best friend who drowned four years ago and she naturally wants to persevere Annamette's life.
Honestly, Sea Witch didn't start getting interesting until the 60% mark, when a twist kicks things into high gear. The writing doesn't help either. It's difficult to explain, but it tries too hard in places, plugging descriptives when they're unnecessary and weigh down a sentence.
Most of the novel has a small-town atmosphere, focusing on Evelyn's struggle with her low birth and her friendship with the prince Nik. There are also lots of insights into Danish history and culture, the country The Little Mermaid originated from.
Sea Witch will appeal to a certain kind of reader, but it failed to hook me in. (Fish pun intended)
ARC provided by Edelweiss