Author: Sarah Henning
Published: July 2018 by Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: Fantasy / Young Adult / Retellings
Curious to know more about this book and what I think of it?
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.
Sarah Henning is a journalist who has worked for the Palm Beach Post, Kansas City Star and Associated Press, among others. While in South Florida, Sarah lived and worked through five hurricanes, which gave her an extreme respect for the ocean. Sarah lives in Lawrence, Kansas, which, despite being extremely far from the beach, happens to be pretty cool.
Slow, but enchanting
For the Mythothon, I was looking for a book to fit the prompt ‘Poseidon, God of the Sea; Read a book which features the sea’ and I choose to listen to the audiobook of Sea Witch. The audiobook is narrated by Billie Fulford-Brown.
“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.”
This is a book about three unlikely childhood friends; Evie, the witch and daughter of a fisherman – Nik, the crown prince of Havnestad and the Øresund Kingdoms – and Anna, the young girl who drowned four years ago.
The book is mostly centered around Evie’s story. Evie is Nik’s best friend, despite of their unequal social classes and the fact that Nik’s mother – the Queen – disapproves of their friendship.
One day, Nik falls off his boat because of an unexpected heavy storm and he nearly drowns. Evie and Iker (Nik’s cousin and Evie’s crush) set out to rescue Nik, but when Evie gets to Nik she sees a girl hovering above him in the water. The girl has long blond hair and blue eyes, just like their friend Anna used to have. When Evie walks closer, the girl sees Evie and swims away. Evie is shocked to see a tail. Did she just see a mermaid?
Nik survives and a few days later a girl shows up in Havnestad. The girl resembles the mermaid and Anna. She introduces herself to Evie as Annamette. Why has she come to Havnestad and why does she look so much like Anna?
Sea Witch wasn’t what I expected it to be. It’s not so much a retelling of The Little Mermaid, as it is a story about friendship, love, betrayal and revenge. The retelling part is limited to the last 10% of the book. Also the story is a bit slow. The majority of the story is about the blossoming and unlikely love between Evie and Iker, the class differences, Annamette’s crush on Nik.. Not much happens in the first half of the book.
But, although it was a slow-paced story, I did really enjoy listening to the audiobook. Sarah Henning combines the Anderson tale of The Little Mermaid with 19th century Denmark and Danish history. The characters and their motives are well described and the story is full of magic. Because of the slow-paced plot, the background story of Anna, Evie and Nik was very detailed and I thought it was enchanting to listen to.
3,5 out of 5 stars.