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. The rise of Hans Christian Andersen’s iconic villainess is a heart-wrenching story of friendship, betrayal, and a girl pushed beyond her limits—to become a monster.

Sea Witch Details

TitleSea Witch
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 31st, 2018
PublisherKatherine Tegen Books
ISBN-139780062438775
Rating
GenreFantasy, Retellings, Young Adult, Mythology, Mermaids

Sea Witch Review

  • Emily May
    January 1, 1970
    The sea is a fickle witch. She is just as likely to bestow a kiss as to steal the breath from your lips. 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.It's really a question of how much patience you have. And how easily you can sit through maritime chapters without falling asle The sea is a fickle witch. She is just as likely to bestow a kiss as to steal the breath from your lips. 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.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.Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube
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  • Korrina (OwlCrate)
    January 1, 1970
    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!
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  • Hamad
    January 1, 1970
    You can find this review and other non-spoilery reviews @ The Book PrescriptionActual 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 You can find this review and other non-spoilery reviews @ The Book PrescriptionActual 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
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  • Mikee Andrea (ReadWithMikee)
    January 1, 1970
    I was really torn about this book. I didn’t LOVE it but it kept me entertained and intrigued enough to push through until the end. It was the last hundred pages or so that really made this book great. Besides that, it probably would’ve been a solid 2/5 stars for me.I am a HUGE mermaid fan. I love everything and anything mermaid and The Little Mermaid is and always will be my favorite fairytale. That being said, my expectations were very high considering I haven’t actually read a mermaid book tha I was really torn about this book. I didn’t LOVE it but it kept me entertained and intrigued enough to push through until the end. It was the last hundred pages or so that really made this book great. Besides that, it probably would’ve been a solid 2/5 stars for me.I am a HUGE mermaid fan. I love everything and anything mermaid and The Little Mermaid is and always will be my favorite fairytale. That being said, my expectations were very high considering I haven’t actually read a mermaid book that I loved and The Little Mermaid deserved a retelling nothing short of perfection. Though Sea Witch didn’t reach those expectations, I did find myself enjoying this origin story of the infamous Ursula.The overall story itself moved a bit slow and I never really connected with the characters. To be completely honest, I didn’t really like the book at all until we got to the last hundred pages because that’s where everything started to click together. Once we got to those last few chapters, I couldn’t put the book down and I was on my toes the whole time just speed reading to see what would happen next. Though I was never attached to the characters, the epilogue did tug on my heartstrings and my heart ached for the characters. It is an Ursula retelling so you can only imagine how the story ends and if it ends in a happily ever after. 😌All in all, I didn’t love this book too much but it was definitely a creative retelling of Ursula’s origins. The book wasn’t my cup of tea but I can see many readers enjoying this one especially if you love a good sea tale (or should I say TAIL) like me. 😊
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  • Lea (drumsofautumn)
    January 1, 1970
    ♦ Video Review ♦Sea Witch is one of those books that grew on me more and more with every page that I read.I started it with excitement because I love The Little Mermaid and Ursula as a villain but also some hesitation because villain origin stories can be repetitive and unoriginal. But what I got out of Sea Witch was incredibly special! "I could tell her that it's like the tang of summer wine and the sound of arrival bells as a new ship docks. Like the scent of salt and limes and the tinkle of ♦ Video Review ♦Sea Witch is one of those books that grew on me more and more with every page that I read.I started it with excitement because I love The Little Mermaid and Ursula as a villain but also some hesitation because villain origin stories can be repetitive and unoriginal. But what I got out of Sea Witch was incredibly special! "I could tell her that it's like the tang of summer wine and the sound of arrival bells as a new ship docks. Like the scent of salt and limes and the tinkle of a boy's eyes just before a kiss in the moonlight." This is also one of those books that I have a super hard time doing a review for because it's one that just took my heart by storm. I have a huge emotional connection to it that is hard to put into words.Not just that, it did exactly what I wanted from a villain origin story. It had some twists and turns and unexpected revelations and in general felt very original. In my personal opinion it didn't go the well-known paths that millions of authors have gone before.But obviously with retellings or villain origin stories it always depends a little bit on the picture you have of the fairytale or villain. These can be hit or miss solely on the fact that this author's portrayal of a character simply doesn't fit what you imagine that character to be. So it's hard for me to wholeheartedly recommend this, I just know that I truly loved this and I keep thinking about this story and its characters, days after finishing.It's also hard to talk about my expectations and how well they were fulfilled without going into spoiler territory or ruining your reading experience. As I said, I was impressed by this because I thought it went a different route than one might expect from an origin story like this. I think it is an amazing ability to write a story where everybody already knows the ending but constantly have you question how we will get there and what will tip this story over. I had huge hopes for how this would turn out but I was still questioning everything until the very end. "I return to my lair, the new silence ringing in my ears. Somehow, it's more painful than before. As if hearing a new voice, regaining the shortest moment of humanity, has torn open the wound that is my loneliness." But as I said, not only did it completely meet my expectations, it was first and foremost a book that I was emotionally invested in from the very beginning. And it broke my heart. I could already tell after the first third that this would shatter my heart into pieces, long before I knew how. And there's not a lot of books that can do that so effortlessly.I know this is not my most conclusive review but it's probably one of the most sincere ones I've ever written. Because while I like all the aspect of this book and I could tell you how great the characters are or how much I liked the setting, I simply fell in love with this book. And there's not always a way to explain why.I received an ARC of this through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review!♦ Booktube Channel ♦ Twitter ♦
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  • Natalie Monroe
    January 1, 1970
    “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 un “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
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  • Alana • thebookishchick
    January 1, 1970
    Hello friends. I need thisThat is all.
  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The Sea Witch follows the story of Evie, a twelve year old girl drawn to the dark powers of the sea after the tragic drowning of her best friend Anna. We follow Evie on her journey from girl to young woman, wrapped up in the exploits of her two love interests, as she meets a mysterious young woman by the shore who looks just like her former best friend, and becomes determined to make amends for the past. There’s no denying this is I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The Sea Witch follows the story of Evie, a twelve year old girl drawn to the dark powers of the sea after the tragic drowning of her best friend Anna. We follow Evie on her journey from girl to young woman, wrapped up in the exploits of her two love interests, as she meets a mysterious young woman by the shore who looks just like her former best friend, and becomes determined to make amends for the past. There’s no denying this is a clever book for the right audience. Unfortunately this wasn’t for me, and I’m torn between a two and three star rating because it’s rather difficult to pinpoint what exactly I didn’t really enjoy. I think it was mainly that my expectations going in weren't really met. I wanted a magical fantasy retelling, filled with mermaids, but instead I got a lot of maritime history, dotted with historical atttudes towards witches in a Dutch setting and instalove. It’s a very slow paced plot and I really struggled to get past the more mundane descriptions with little to no plot development. It’s only really in the last chapters that things really start to ramp up and get suitably dark and intense. If I went in beforehand knowing this, I might have enjoyed it more as generally I do like historical novels, and usually don’t mind a slower pace if things develop well over time. I also didn’t enjoy the love interests at all. Aside from the opening chapter which briefly explores their initial relationship, we’re given no real insight into why Nik in particular is so obsessed with Evie. He sometimes borders on overly simpering, and I did find it a little irritating - especially as it clashed with Evie and Anna’s more assertive personalities. In fact, for most of the novel, both male characters feel more like filler than actively adding anything to the plot. In comparison, I found Evie and ‘Anna’ both dynamic and interesting characters and would have loved to have seen some more in-depth character development on them both as their potential to really shine here was evident. Evie and her powers, inherited from her mother, really stand out in particular as a strong point. I just wish she wasn’t so infatuated with Iker and Nik. I also found the writing style a little convoluted at times, with too many descriptions that made the story hard to follow easily. It was hard to keep my attention at times. I really do feel that if I’d gone into this knowing what I was expecting, I would have liked this more. I think it would have been better marketed as more of a historical novel with some magical elements later on as opposed to a YA fantasy. I hope it finds the right readers who can really appreciate the historical details that have obvious been added with great care and research.
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  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    Never wanted Netgalley to approve an ARC so much :))Probably won't because I have a million other books, but I'm requesting it.May the odds be ever in my favour! #prayforbethtogetanarc
  • Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader
    January 1, 1970
    When I saw that this was Ursula's story before The Little Mermaid, I knew I had to request it (I also ordered a book box with it).  I love anything with mermaids and The Little Mermaid is a favorite.This book really surprised me.  I'm not sure what I really expected, but I really liked this one a lot.Evie is a poor girl with two best friends above her class.  Anna and Nik.  Nik is a prince and really shouldn't be playing with Evie, but his father made an exception because Evie's aunt has healed When I saw that this was Ursula's story before The Little Mermaid, I knew I had to request it (I also ordered a book box with it).  I love anything with mermaids and The Little Mermaid is a favorite.This book really surprised me.  I'm not sure what I really expected, but I really liked this one a lot.Evie is a poor girl with two best friends above her class.  Anna and Nik.  Nik is a prince and really shouldn't be playing with Evie, but his father made an exception because Evie's aunt has healed him multiple times.  Evie and Anna race in the water one day and both start to drown.  Nik goes into the water and saves Evie, but Anna doesn't survive.Evie is a witch and she tried to cast a spell for Anna.  She had to hide it because magic isn't used.  Witches are killed, so she and her aunt hide their powers.  Evie has a hard time after Anna's death, but she finally starts enjoying life again.  She still hangs out with Nik and is also somewhat in love with his cousin, Iker.  Evie uses her magic for the fisherman's boats so that they have good catches.  But she doesn't have a lot of understanding of her magic.  While out on a boat celebrating Nik's birthday, there is a storm and Nik goes overboard.  Evie finds him washed up on the shore with a girl singing to him.  She sees Evie and leaves, but not before Evie sees her tail.  Mermaids were supposed to be myths.  Their stories were used to scare children.  None of the tales were positive except that they sometimes helped save men in the sea.  Other than that, they were considered evil.The girl appears later with legs.  This girl looks exactly like Anna, but says her name is Annemette.  Annemette has powerful magic and admits to Evie that she's a mermaid, but not her lost friend, Anna.  Annemette fell in love with Nik and has four days to get him to love her back.Throughout the story, we get chapters from the past.  They start with the accident and then the story continues to now.   These are the parts that we learn more about what happened to Anna and also how Annemette came to land.This story did have the mermaid and magic, but it really focused on friendship, love, and revenge.  I knew things wouldn't have a happy ending, but it didn't stop me from hoping while the story unfolded.  I enjoyed the writing, too.  It was a little slow at times, but I couldn't put it down for the last third of the book.I gave this one 4  1/2 stars (rounded up to 5).  Thank you to Edelweiss and the publishers for giving me a copy for review.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    An origin story for The Little Mermaid’s villain Ursula? Yes, please! I can’t help but have a special place in my heart for Ursula because that’s what I was almost named. Of course, the famous Disney movie came out in ‘89, and in the classic tale, the sea witch did not have a name. So the urge to name me Ursula was purely a German thing and thankfully it wasn’t my name because in elementary school, kids would’ve had a field day with this. Anyway..the name Ursula isn’t actually present in the sto An origin story for The Little Mermaid’s villain Ursula? Yes, please! I can’t help but have a special place in my heart for Ursula because that’s what I was almost named. Of course, the famous Disney movie came out in ‘89, and in the classic tale, the sea witch did not have a name. So the urge to name me Ursula was purely a German thing and thankfully it wasn’t my name because in elementary school, kids would’ve had a field day with this. Anyway..the name Ursula isn’t actually present in the story, but it is her origin story.At times the story feels soooo slow, while at others it’s enchanting. What’s brilliant about the book is the real life Danish history blended into the story. This isn’t something I expected and it even went over my head at first while I was reading. The second I realized what was happening, I had google up and couldn’t stop.Evie, Nik, and Anna are best friends. Evie is poor, while Nik is prince and Anna is a baron’s daughter. One day while playing by the water, Anna drowns. It’s been four years. Evie is an outcast who still struggles with the loss of Anna. She also is a human witch with magic she doesn’t understand. She still hangs out with Nik and is in love with his cousin Iker. One day, a girl rescues Nik from drowning after he falls off his boat. Evie sees her on the shore with Nik and notices a tail. A few days later, a mysterious girl shows up with a striking resemblance to both the girl Evie saw on the shore the other day…and her friend she lost four years ago, Anna. This girl has legs and is called Annemette. Who is she and why is she here? What secrets is she keeping?The beginning of the book is very slow. The pace picks up closer to the end. The romance is off-putting for me, but only because of where things went at the end. We’re led to believe one thing that goes a completely different way and it just confuses me? Other than that, it was fine throughout the story. It works in this plot up to a certain point.This one could’ve been better, but it was a solid origin story for the sea witch. I just wish it hadn’t been so slow at times.
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  • Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura)
    January 1, 1970
    Actual Rating: 3.5 Thank you Edelweiss and Katherine Tegen books for sending me a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. "The sea is a fickle witch. She is just as likely to bestow a kiss as to steal the breath from your lips." Urusla is possibly one of my favorite villains, and finding out that this was a Little Mermaid/Ursula retelling just got me extra excited to get my hands on this book.The start of this book seemed interesting. I’m not the kind of person who gets bored Actual Rating: 3.5 Thank you Edelweiss and Katherine Tegen books for sending me a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. "The sea is a fickle witch. She is just as likely to bestow a kiss as to steal the breath from your lips." Urusla is possibly one of my favorite villains, and finding out that this was a Little Mermaid/Ursula retelling just got me extra excited to get my hands on this book.The start of this book seemed interesting. I’m not the kind of person who gets bored easily when it comes to books even if the beginning is boring. There were ofcourse interesting bits in between, but it felt quite dragged.I felt like the excitement showed up after going through 70% of the book. I guessed a few things while reading, and being right actually made me a bit upset because I really wanted to love the book. I thought that would be the end of the plot twists, but I was happy to find out that I hadn't guessed them all. The last few chapters were pretty good. I was surprised with what happened at the end, and I admit that it kept me thinking even after I finished the book. “My father, the sea king, says that when everything is as you hoped, you are blind to the imperfections.” Overall, I really liked this book. I felt that the story was unique and that it was nicely written. A new and different twist to a beloved story.|| Blog || Instagram ||
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  • Giselle (Book Nerd Canada)
    January 1, 1970
    So this is from Ursula's POV, but who cares?! Villains are so much more interesting than heroes anyway.. Kidding :P
  • Camila Roy ••RoyIsReading••
    January 1, 1970
    RATING: 2/5e-ARC provided by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest reviewDNF-ed at 37% :(Ever since her best friend, Anna, died, Evie has been an outcast in her small fishing town. Hiding her talents, mourning her loss, drowning in her guilt. Then a girl with an uncanny resemblance to Anna appears offshore, and the two girls catch the eyes of two charming princes. Suddenly, Evie feels like she might finally have a chance at her own happily ever after. But her new friend harbors secrets of her own. RATING: 2/5e-ARC provided by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest reviewDNF-ed at 37% :(Ever since her best friend, Anna, died, Evie has been an outcast in her small fishing town. Hiding her talents, mourning her loss, drowning in her guilt. Then a girl with an uncanny resemblance to Anna appears offshore, and the two girls catch the eyes of two charming princes. Suddenly, Evie feels like she might finally have a chance at her own happily ever after. But her new friend harbors secrets of her own. She can’t stay in Havnestad, or on two legs, without Evie’s help. But when Evie reaches deep into the power of her magic to save her friend’s humanity—and her prince’s heart—she discovers, too late, what she’s bargained away.I detest DNF-ing books but sometimes it is the only way to go. I was at risk of entering a reading slump if I continued. The beginning was okay but after the initial impression, time seemed to stop. The pacing was very slow, to the point where I lost interest. After several days of trying to engage with the world and the characters, I realized the book wasn't worth the stress. I didn't care enough to pull through, so I decided to quit.It seems pointless to try to review only a third part of the book. All I'm going to say is that, even though I didn't enjoy it, others might. The premise sounds promising and, in another time, I would have managed to make it to the end and appreciate the story to the fullest extent.
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  • Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔
    January 1, 1970
    OMFG, that synopsis!!! I haven't even read the book yet and I can already feel the heartbreak to come. And though I am never a fan of cover/character models, I don't terribly mind this one. I think it fits well. But anyways back to the synopsis, I'm crying already. ---October 2017 --> May 2018 --> July 2018 Ugh...---Wait, this went from October 2017 to May 2018? OMG why!!!?---While I am happy the title is no longer Heartless (so as not to be confused with the Marissa Meyer book coming out OMFG, that synopsis!!! I haven't even read the book yet and I can already feel the heartbreak to come. And though I am never a fan of cover/character models, I don't terribly mind this one. I think it fits well. But anyways back to the synopsis, I'm crying already. ---October 2017 --> May 2018 --> July 2018 Ugh...---Wait, this went from October 2017 to May 2018? OMG why!!!?---While I am happy the title is no longer Heartless (so as not to be confused with the Marissa Meyer book coming out this year), I feel the title Sea Witch is just a bit...lackluster? On the nose? Idk but I hope the official title gets changed again prior to publication
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  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    OMG A VILLAIN ORIGIN STORY ABOUT URSULA!! **I received an ARC from HarperCollins Canada in exchange for honest review**First things first, Ursula is one of my fave Disney villains so I knew I needed this book in my life! This is a unique take on the little mermaid with a rich story of loss,friendship, love and of course revenge. I found the beginning a bit slow but after the first half the pace really picks up. I am a big fan of morally grey characters and that is one of the reasons I love villa OMG A VILLAIN ORIGIN STORY ABOUT URSULA!! **I received an ARC from HarperCollins Canada in exchange for honest review**First things first, Ursula is one of my fave Disney villains so I knew I needed this book in my life! This is a unique take on the little mermaid with a rich story of loss,friendship, love and of course revenge. I found the beginning a bit slow but after the first half the pace really picks up. I am a big fan of morally grey characters and that is one of the reasons I love villain origin stories so much and I thought it was very interesting to see how this normal, level-headed girl could become the villain of the story! I have a video review up on my Booktube channel for those interested ! ( https://youtu.be/S8Q1d-VuytI )
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  • Daughter of the Book City
    January 1, 1970
    Buddy Read with the loveliest Hamad.-----------------------------------------DNF @ 39%Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for providing an advanced reader's copy of Sea Witch by Sarah Henning. All opinions are my own and as honest as they can be."The sea is a fickle witch. She is just as likely to bestow a kiss as to steal the breath from your lips."This book is just a whole mess. I have been anticipating to read it since it was announced, and I just had to have it because it was a Little Merm Buddy Read with the loveliest Hamad.-----------------------------------------DNF @ 39%Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for providing an advanced reader's copy of Sea Witch by Sarah Henning. All opinions are my own and as honest as they can be."The sea is a fickle witch. She is just as likely to bestow a kiss as to steal the breath from your lips."This book is just a whole mess. I have been anticipating to read it since it was announced, and I just had to have it because it was a Little Mermaid retelling. Well, guess what? The only things that are close to it are that this book is set in Denmark and it has sea involved in it. First off, let's start with the characters. I found there were little-to-no evolving characters right at this point and if it kept going I could swear there is no evolution in them. They were so plain to the point where none of them were either relatable or even realistic.The plot was just a mess. I didn't get any of it. I thought it was just a disordered series of events that happened to the characters instead of one whole arc. The timeline was just weird and the whole thing in general just confused me. One of the really few things that I actually like was the writing style, I feel like it wrapped around you. But it wasn't enough to get me into the magic of the actual plot and book.All in all, I wouldn't really recommend this book going with too many expectations, especially if you think you're getting into a Little Mermaid retelling. I look forward, however, to whatever book Sarah Henning writes in the next years. I think if she can actually learn from some of her mistakes, she will make a fantastic novel. Her writing style, as mentioned above, is magnificent and I can't wait to see what's next.
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  • Anissa (FairyLoot)
    January 1, 1970
    What a great read! I really enjoyed this.
  • Ellen Gail
    January 1, 1970
    "That little witch will be the death of you if you're not careful." First 2/3: 1.5 starsLast 1/3: 4 starsA very, VERY slow start to what is eventually a good book.Sea Witch was not what I was expecting. And chances are it's not what you're expecting either. The synopsis promises an Ursula retelling / origin story / mermaid tale, and it's not wrong. But at the same time it's a rich historical tale, focusing on love, friendship, secrets, the ocean, and some magic. You'll technically get mermaids, "That little witch will be the death of you if you're not careful." First 2/3: 1.5 starsLast 1/3: 4 starsA very, VERY slow start to what is eventually a good book.Sea Witch was not what I was expecting. And chances are it's not what you're expecting either. The synopsis promises an Ursula retelling / origin story / mermaid tale, and it's not wrong. But at the same time it's a rich historical tale, focusing on love, friendship, secrets, the ocean, and some magic. You'll technically get mermaids, but if you are expecting to spend 100% of the book under the sea, you'll be bummed for sure.So, speaking of history I'd argue that one of Sea Witch's strongest attributes is the great job it does with Danish history! Granted, I know exactly a thimbles worth about Denmark, but it all feels authentic and well thought out. Especially the fishing community and the importance of the sea to the people of Havnestad. "No magic can trick her. No words can ply her. No will can sway her. She is queen, and we are simply her subjects." And the sea is basically another character, as well as the sea goddess Urda. You have the shy prince Nik, the mysterious mermaid Annemette, the playboy Iker, and the outcast witch Evie. But they are all nothing without the constant presence of the sea to tie them together.The characters are sort of a mixed bag. It's clear from the very beginning that Annemette is lying. The who and what and why of it is a complicated bag o' spoilers. Some of them are easily sussed out, and some are hidden deep. I liked some of the twists of Evie's character. Her feelings of isolation and ostracization made her relateable, if not especially interesting. Unfortunately, Nik was a snore. I mean, he's a sweetheart, but a boring sweetheart.And speaking of boring - I foresee a LOT of DNFs for this one. The first 2/3 of Sea Witch is desperately slow. And I can't call it bad. But just nothing happens. It's a lot of quiet relationship developing and historical festival mumbo-jumbo. And I can't say it didn't pay off later, because most of it did. But getting there was such a slog. And just because I liked how it all came together, doesn't make me like the previous chapters any better.Then you have the epilogue, which I suspect most people will like. But personally, I found it unnecessary. I'm planning on keeping this review spoiler free, so I'll just keep it vague and say that most of what was included could have been inferred. Ending with the last chapter would have been a stronger final note. She knew they'd be there - always acting like heroes.Except when it came to her. Their bravery had a limit.And she would make them suffer. Sea Witch taps into a rich mythological history to weave a creative tale. An exciting finish makes sure the story goes out with a bang, but unfortunately the story crawls at a snail's pace to get there.Thanks to Edelweiss and Katherine Tegen Books for the drc.Quotations are taken from proof copy and are subject to change prior to publication
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  • noor
    January 1, 1970
    wait- you mean a story about my fAVORITE VILLAIN ON THIS EARTH, URSULA? someone find a pen and sign me the fuck uP (pleasepleaseplease let this be everything I'm hoping for rn)
  • Stuti T
    January 1, 1970
    EDIT: they changed it! Ha, called it. Has no one talked about how this title is probably a bad idea considering Marissa Meyer's Queen of Hearts story is also called Heartless
  • Sabrina The Trash Queen
    January 1, 1970
    COVERRR.🤩🤩I didn’t know Ursula could be pretty. And mermaids/sirens 🧜♀? Sign me in. COVERRR.🤩🤩I didn’t know Ursula could be pretty. And mermaids/sirens 🧜‍♀️? Sign me in.
  • Alyssa
    January 1, 1970
    A retelling about Ursula the sea witch?! YASSS QUEEN!!!
  • The Girl Murdered by Her TBR
    January 1, 1970
    This book's cover is STUNNING...
  • Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 Stars “The sea is a fickle witch. She is just as likely to bestow a kiss as to steal the breath from your lips. Beautiful and cruel, and every glimmering wrinkle in between. Filling our bellies and our coffers when she is generous. Cooly watching as we don black and add tears to her waters when she is wicked. Only the tide follows her moods - giving and taking at the same salty rate. Still, she is more than our witch - she is our queen.” Who doesn’t love villain origins stories? Seeing ho 3.5 Stars “The sea is a fickle witch. She is just as likely to bestow a kiss as to steal the breath from your lips. Beautiful and cruel, and every glimmering wrinkle in between. Filling our bellies and our coffers when she is generous. Cooly watching as we don black and add tears to her waters when she is wicked. Only the tide follows her moods - giving and taking at the same salty rate. Still, she is more than our witch - she is our queen.” Who doesn’t love villain origins stories? Seeing how our favorite villains became who they are today lets us know more about all the characters we love to hate (or secretly root for). Sea Witch follows Evie, deemed an outcast after the death of her best friend Anna 4 years ago. When a girl washes ashore with a remarkable resemblance to Anna, Evie is determined to help them both find their happily ever afters through any means, or magic, necessary. But magic and revenge don’t mix and soon Evie finds that the price of her bargain might be too high. Things I Liked One of my favorite parts of the story surprisingly was the flashbacks to four years ago. We see how Evie became so isolated after the loss of one of her best friends Anna. We see the guilt and pain that Evie and Nik are still trying to overcome after Anna’s drowning. I felt like all the flashback scenes were so appropriately timed and created the perfect mood and transitions within the story.Seeing Evie and Nik’s strong and pure friendship was so great. I loved that they remained friends even after the tragedy of losing Anna and the strains on their relationship because of their different stations. I also really liked seeing Evie and Annamette’s friendship develop through the entire story. It felt genuine and important to both Evie and the story. This was just a great retelling/origin story for Ursula. I can see her point of view and sympathize with her. I love the legend that builds to create this feared monster and seeing her more than humble beginnings. I also liked how magic was weaved through the story. It added an appropriate amount of whimsy. It didn’t feel like she became the notorious sea witch, but it was fate. It was always who she was meant to be and it became realized in this story. Things I Didn’t Like The romances in the story felt either already established, so I missed the build and seeing their chemistry develop, or cliche, almost to the point of me not caring about them as individuals in a relationship. It didn’t really drag the story down at all, it was just something that didn’t add to the story either. Overall I actually really liked this story and the ending was poignant and left me with a bittersweet and almost peacefully feeling that felt so right for the story that it elevated to whole book. Sea Witch is an enjoyable retelling that highlights grief, loss, and the lengths one will go to to help a friend and the dangers of revenge. I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Lisa (Remarkablylisa)
    January 1, 1970
    MY RATING: 3/5 STARS I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.I was super excited to read this book as it was described as a retelling of the popular tale of Little Mermaid from the perspective of Ursula which sounded super cool. It wasn't really a retelling of the Little Mermaid to be honest but a story based on what other reviewers have told me on actual history. From other reviewers, I understood that certain kingdoms or characters actually existed. It's always fu MY RATING: 3/5 STARS I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.I was super excited to read this book as it was described as a retelling of the popular tale of Little Mermaid from the perspective of Ursula which sounded super cool. It wasn't really a retelling of the Little Mermaid to be honest but a story based on what other reviewers have told me on actual history. From other reviewers, I understood that certain kingdoms or characters actually existed. It's always fun when authors take bits of history and blend in within fictional worlds.Now, I was hyped for this book but I hate to say it but I'm disappointed by the book. It just...felt a whole lot like "and then this happened."Let me explain.Written in first perspective, Sea Witches, follow our main character Evie. Evie has two best friends, Anna, and Prince Nik. The story begins with Anna already dead from drowning in the sea. I'm going to get bits of it wrong because it was a blur of events told from past and present but basically the jist is that Evie almost died and Anna actually died. Prince Nik and Evie have moved on from their friend's death and they're embarking on the next exciting part of their lives: Prince Nik becoming the King.  Prince Nik almost dies from drowning and someone mysteriously saves him. It's a mermaid. And shockingly, the mermaid looks like Anna. The mermaid shows up walking on land and Evie doesn't want her to expose her of magical powers so she agrees to help the mermaid fall in love with Prince Nik. Do you see how I kind of felt like "and then this happened?" The mermaid literally bumped into Evie on the street so it's too convenient and easy for the story to be set up. Do you see how I'm saying it's "and then this happened?"I don't want to spoil anything so I'll just spill some facts. I didn't like Evie's romance because it felt cheated. Evie literally was already in love with someone before we start the book and guess what? The guy likes her back too. And I felt none of it. It felt fake and flimsy. Prince Nik was boring. He had no faults and fell quickly in love with people so basically, the man was Romeo from Romeo and Juilet. The story also was not fast paced. It's not angsty. It's slow and not boring but also not action packed. If you think this book is a heavy read with drama, power, action scenes, romance, then this is not that book. MY RECOMMENDATION This book was really up in the air for me. I didn't hate it but I also didn't love it. I also didn't like it. It was a solid 3/5 stars. Kind of sort of right down the middle. Not really. But  almost there.
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  • beth
    January 1, 1970
    Rating - 2.5 stars. Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2018. It sounded similar to ‘To Kill A Kingdom’ which was one of my favourite reads so far this year. However, I really didn’t enjoy this. There was literally no plot until 70% through the book and the ending didn’t make up for that. I’m so disappointed :(Full review to come near to release date.
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  • Sydney Chapters
    January 1, 1970
    This book can't come faster! Time goes by so slow... lol
  • Ellie (faerieontheshelf)
    January 1, 1970
    ↠ 3.5 starsRTC!!I received a copy in exchange for an honest reviewThis review - when it comes lol - will also available on my blog
  • Tracy (Cornerfolds)
    January 1, 1970
    Read more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!I dove headfirst into Sea Witch as soon as I had it in my hands. I LOVE retellings and The Little Mermaid is one of my favorite stories. I knew going in that this was more about, well, the Sea Witch. Still, I went in with not much of an idea about the book itself. I didn't read reviews and I only skimmed the synopsis.The main character of this story is Evie. She's best friends with the prince, Nik, and their mutual friend, Anna, drowned years before. Ev Read more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!I dove headfirst into Sea Witch as soon as I had it in my hands. I LOVE retellings and The Little Mermaid is one of my favorite stories. I knew going in that this was more about, well, the Sea Witch. Still, I went in with not much of an idea about the book itself. I didn't read reviews and I only skimmed the synopsis.The main character of this story is Evie. She's best friends with the prince, Nik, and their mutual friend, Anna, drowned years before. Evie also has magic that is outlawed in her town, meaning she has to hide it or risk being punished for it. I thought Evie was a fun character and I really enjoyed reading her story. I liked her relationships with the prince and his cousin, along with the new girl, Annemette. While reading this book, there was always a feeling that not everyone was being completely honest and I liked trying to figure out what everyone was really thinking.I loved the friendship between Nik and Evie! There was an interesting layer caused by the public's perception of these two together. While Nik is a prince, Evie's family is not nobility. They are friends solely because Evie's grandmother is an amazing healer who the royal family trusts. The rest of the town only believes the worst of Evie, while she has loved Nik (as a friend) since childhood. Enter Annemette, the Little Mermaid character in the story. I thought the way her situation with Nik was handled was just different enough from the story we already know to make it interesting.This is the main issue I have with Sea Witch, actually. The story, while a little different from The Little Mermaid, is also very, very similar. There were bits that kept me guessing, but on the whole it hits all the main points you would expect. It was also a bit slow at times and, honestly, the story was a bit forgettable.There were glimpses of the undersea world, but I would have loved more! The world above did come off as a very generic fairytale kingdom, while the ocean world seemed much more intriguing. I understand that this was about the Sea Witch's origins, but I'd have preferred a lot more of actual Sea Witchery than what we got.I didn't dislike this book by any means! I love villain origin stories, but I just wasn't completely sold on this one. I can't say much more without spoilers, but the more I think about it, the more reasons I find for not loving Sea Witch. If you're looking for a lighter Little Mermaid retelling that's pretty straightforward, this is the one for you. Just don't go into it looking for something super new and unique. Actual Rating: 3.5 stars
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