Friday, July 20, 2018

Book Review: Sea Witch

Title: Sea Witch
Author: Sarah Henning
Genre: Young Adult | Retelling | Mermaids
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: July 31, 2018
Source: Author
Format: ARC

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 (goodreads).  

Sea Witch will break your heart. 
Plot: Sea Witch was a read that I could lose myself in easily. While it is described as a Little Mermaid retelling, it went much deeper than that. I enjoyed the liberties that Henning took with this retelling I especially loved that she was able to add a bit of mystery to the tale by taking a look at what happened on the day that Anna drowned and the weeks following. While Sea Witch dealt with some dark themes, the book had some fairly light moments, especially the dialogue between Evie and her noble friends. 

Characters: Evie came from a long line of witches but was not allowed to truly practice her craft because of the kingdom's history of witch-hunting. I immediately was empathetic toward her because she had a sense of helplessnesses about her. Her mother and her best friend died and she felt that she could have saved both if her magic were strong enough. Her eagerness to help Annemette was endearing but also worried me because it was obvious how easy it was to manipulate her. 

Worldbuilding: Sea Witch took place in Denmark and the novel felt grounded in its setting. Henning researched many traditions and geographical features which made this a treat to read! I loved the contrast between the nobility and lower classes and how the villagers celebrated their holidays (HURLING BREAD AT ONE ANOTHER). 

Short N Sweet: Sea Witch was a unique spin on The Little Mermaid tale that we know; it will surely win over fans of that classic!


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