Review: Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

Sea Witch
Sarah Henning
Katherine Tegen Books
Published on July 31, 2018

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

About Sea Witch
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.

My Review
Even though the description kind of tells where this story is headed, I felt like so many things about it took me completely by surprise. I liked the fact that it was set in Denmark and really felt anchored in the setting, from the village’s dependence on fishing to the climate to some of the cultural elements. I thought the way beliefs about the goddess of the sea were woven into the story was great, too.

At first I wasn’t sure if the characters would really draw me in. Something about Evie didn’t immediately hook me. I think I felt like she was well-intentioned but a little bit oblivious to the feelings of the people around her. She really grew on me, though, the more I read. I loved that her good intentions ended up being a huge driving force in the story, but not always for good. I don’t know if that makes sense. Sometimes she did things meaning to help but they backfired. Every time that happened, I felt myself only get more deeply invested in the story.

I think Sea Witch is perfect for fans of the movie Maleficent or really any fairytale origin story. I enjoyed it and found it to be a pretty quick read.

Sea Witch on AmazonRecommended for Ages 12 up.

Cultural Elements
Major characters are white. The story takes place in Denmark.

Profanity/Crude Language Content

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between boy and girl.

Spiritual Content
The town celebrates rituals honoring the goddess of the sea, Urdu. When someone dies, everyone considers it because Udru takes what she will. A king some years ago burned witches, and public feeling is very strongly against them, so Evie and her family keep their power secret. Evie uses her power to try to bring more fish to the fisherman so the people in her village don’t go hungry. Evie befriends a mermaid who has been transformed into a human girl.
Magic always demands a price, such as a life taken for one saved. This means when someone’s life is saved, someone must die instead. In one instance, the sacrifice is willing. In another, the life is unwillingly given.

Violent Content
A woman gives her life for a spell to save her child. A child drowns in the ocean while her friends try to rescue her. A man is speared through the chest. A boy and later a young woman are injured in the water. Violent storms threaten the lives of those at sea.

Drug Content
References to drinking alcohol at a festival.

Sea Witch on Goodreads

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

4 Responses to Review: Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

  1. I really enjoyed this! It was my first read of 2019. 🙂

  2. Beth says:

    Aaaaaand going on my TBR list.