My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Pacing: Slow Burn
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Published: July 31st, 2018
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. – Synopsis from Goodreads.
“Though magic can shape life and death, love is the one thing it cannot control.”
When I saw that Sea Witch was marketed as an Ursula retelling I was automatically on-board. And boy! I was not disappointed. Sarah Henning was able to tell the origin story of one of the sassiest villains there is.
First off, have you seen this cover? GORGEOUS!!!! I’m a sucker for anything with tentacles on it and this one does not fall short. I think it’s probably my favourite cover so far this year.
One thing that I thought was interesting about this book, was in between chapters we get a glimpse into the past. It was a fantastic way of giving a more in-depth look at the story, without the a massive info in one chapter. You get such a better understanding of the relationship between Evelyn, Nik and Anna and how the past influenced all their present decisions.
Evelyn, the main character, is one of the sweetest protagonists I’ve ever read about. Evelyn has been through so much, especially the loss of her mother and best friend Anna. Despite this, Evelyn continues to keep her head held high, in a town that would love to see her fail. In her own way, she tries to protect the people and the kingdom she loves.
Her best friend, Nik, happens to be the Prince. Since Evelyn does not come from a desirable bloodline, everyone in town thought she was not good enough and kept gossiping about her past. It was heartbreaking to see.
The we have Nik’s cousin, another Prince named Iker. I wasn’t a huge fan of his from the start and the relationship between Evelyn and Iker bugged me. As we learned that Evie seems to always have had a crush on him. However, it was little unclear when Iker started having feelings back for Evelyn. The relationship felt a bit forced and didn’t give enough context to make a lot of sense to me. The further we go in the story it became crystal clear that a future together was probably not going to end happily. Still it seemed kind off and more of a insta-love/lust situation for Iker at least.
The pace of this book is on the slower side, but if you enjoy a story that reads and feels like a fairytale I would highly recommend Sea Witch. The author was able to keep me guessing till the ending about which way Evelyn’s story was going. Though it might not have been the “happily ever after” I was expecting I was very pleased with the ending and felt it told Ursula’s story in a very thoughtful way.
Overall, this was a solid debut novel for Sarah Henning, it drew me in right away and kept me captivated through it all. I can’t wait to see what she does next, definitely will be checking out her next one.