Sea Witch

Sea Witch

by Sarah Henning

Hardcover

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Overview

Wicked meets "The Little Mermaid" in the captivating origin story of the sea's most iconic villainess, perfect for fans of Heartless and Dorothy Must Die.

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 on the shore, 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 magic isn’t kind, and her new friend harbors secrets of her own. She can’t stay in Havnestad—or on two legs—without Evie’s help. And 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062438775
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 07/31/2018
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 59,278
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Sarah Henning is a recovering journalist who has worked for the Palm Beach Post, the Kansas City Star, and the Associated Press, among others. When not hunched over her computer, she runs ultramarathons, hangs out with her husband, Justin, and goes on absurdly long walks with her two adorable kids. Sarah lives in Lawrence, Kansas, hometown of Langston Hughes, William S. Burroughs, and a really good basketball team. Sea Witch is her first novel and is followed by Sea Witch Rising. You can visit her online at www.sarahhenningwrites.com.

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Sea Witch 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An amazing retelling with a few low points but thrilling high points. There will be some spoilers ahead but I will tell you where they are. What I liked: The flashbacks. One of my big problems with books is the author expects to the reader to feel a connection to something from the character's past without actually describing that past. This book was completely different! We got to see the past, the moment that changed everything. The writing of these moments was especially good in these moments and left me counting down pages till the next flashback. Evie and Nic's relationship: (Small spoilers ahead) Their friendship felt so pure and true to me, they both were there for each other and just had such a dynamic with each other that I just loved! My only wish was that there was more time for development of their romantic relationship. We could see tidbits of it in the past and sweet moments between them that could have led to more shared kisses, but in the end, there had only been two romantic moments for them. Although this made me sad because I did want more kisses between them, these moments were special and sweet and so marvelous! The value of friendship as a key point: Most YA books have friendship as a side note that is cast aside by romance and fantasy, but not in this book. Friendship is one of the most important points in the book, if not THE most important and I really loved that! The sea's description: Although it is a small part, the description of the sea was absolutely breathtaking! From metaphors to imagery, everything the author wrote about the sea was absolute perfection! What I didn't like: The slowness of the middle: In my opinion, the middle of this book just dragged on forever. No new plot developments were added it was just Iker, Nic, Evie and Anne-mette hanging out. There was really just no depth to these parts other than when there was a break for flashbacks. It really just kept me wanting more from the book and from the plot. Iker: To me, Iker always seemed like he had other motives and was just there to get a cheap kiss from Evie, His personality was shallow and undeveloped and every time he and Evie shared a kiss, I found myself rolling my eyes. Also, the beginning of the book with a romance began to quickly. We had just reached around page 20 and we were already having a kiss between to characters that would lead to a romance throughout the majority of the book! It left their romance seeming undeveloped and not realistic. The predictability: This might have just been me, but I guessed the ending from the start. SPOILERS AHEAD: I knew Anne-mette was Anna, I knew she was there for revenge, I even guessed that Iker was going to betray Evie and sentence her to death when he found out she was a witch. It was just was to guessable, but still engaging. The lack of importance of Evie being a witch: Although it came up sometimes, it just didn't seem to affect the plot hardly at all. If she hadn't been a witch, it would have been mostly the same. I just wanted it to be mentioned more and effect Evie more. The epilogue: The description made it seem that Evie herself was pushed over the edge to become some monster, but she wasn't. She died because she committed noble acts and then an octopus like conjoined itself with her and then she become the sea witch. It neither made sense, nor followed the description. Overall: Great writing, great ideas, just follow through on some parts was bad.
Anonymous 3 months ago
I+couldn%27t+put+it+down.++I+wish+I+could+have+given+it+4.5+stars.++It+was+an+excellent+retelling+of+the+Little+Mermaid.++I+would+be+it+up+there+for+fans+of+Sarah+J+Maas.
DarqueDreamer 10 months ago
Sea Witch was such an intriguing read for me! It felt very much like a retelling of The Little Mermaid, but ended up being an origin story, like Heartless was to the Red Queen. It was very faerie tale-eque and, not only involved mermaids and magic, but witches too! Though it wasn’t a perfect read, it did keep my attention enough to get me to read it in one sitting. I loved the setting of the story. It was a little old timey, set in a fishing town, so it really fit with the tale. It was detailed and vivid, and really felt believable, but, at the same time, felt like it was the perfect setting for a faerie tale. The characters were what really made the story though. Each character helped shape Evie in to the villain we all know. We had Iker, the charming playboy, Nik, the protective best friend, Anna, the sad memory, and Annamette, the hope for new friendship and symbol of change. Each played their part. Each were unique, and each affected Evie emotionally. And, I really couldn’t help but grow attached to Evie and the obstacles she had to face during the story. Having to hide being a witch in a town that still yearned for witch hunts, all while missing the best friend she lost must have been so difficult. And, as with most faerie tales, this one definitely held some moral lessons, and magic. It spoke to me about the importance of following your heart, doing what’s right, figuring out who you can trust, and being true to yourself. It was full of enchantment from the little spells Evie taught herself, to the magic of Annamette, the mermaid. Sea Witch felt like a nice mix of the Disney movie and the original tale, all wrapped up in an origin story. It had beauty, darkness, and charm. It was a quick, easy read that had faerie tale written all over it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this take on The Little Mermaid!!! If you like fairy tales, then read this, you won't be disappointed!
BookPrincessReviews More than 1 year ago
3.5 crowns! I think if this book was like it was for the last 29% of the book, this rating would be a total different story. The last two discs of the audiobook brought the fire and I was all for it. Before that, though? It was quite a bit lackluster, and like, I couldn't figure out how this was supposed to be the backstory of the epic and sassy Ursula. This book is a part fairytale retelling, part origin story. I didn't realize the fairytale retelling part was going to play as big of a part, but it was quite a surprise. However, this is a land of magic, mermaids, true love, and royalty. It definitely has the makings of its own fairytale, but it did get a bit lost in translation a few times. I think the issue came with the pacing. It wanted to unfurl much like a fairytale with a few huge twists and turns, but it really just dragged on and on for a while. The last 30% flew by and brought so much greatness, but the first part was quite dry. The characters were a bit bleh. They were well enough, but just meh for most of the time. I never really felt a deep connection with them, and I really can't give you characteristics of them. Evie was a good enough narrator, but I guess I wanted a little bit more from the famed Sea Witch. The rest of the gang were okay from the princes and Anna. The writing was okay as well. I felt like sometimes it was trying a little too hard to be like a fairytale. As I mentioned, pacing was a little off sometimes. I give Henning major props, though, for giving me some major twists at the end that I didn't see coming that did redeem the story for me at least. Also, I will recommend not reading this book as an audiobook. I wasn't personally a fan of how the narrator read certain things, and it's not quite worth it to me. 3.5 crowns and a Jasmine rating!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love
Nitos92 More than 1 year ago
I really loved this book. i couldn't put it down. it's a really good twist on The Little Mermaid and i loved the characters and how the author kept you guessing and it was just a great book. loved every page of it :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Have you ever wondered how the Sea Witch became the Little Mermaid’s most formidable foe? Then you’ll want to check out Sarah Henning’s new novel Sea Witch. Sea Witch is Wicked-esque in that it not only weaves a really interesting origin story for a well-known villain but actually argues that she’s not evil after all. Evie is just sorely misunderstood. She cares deeply for the ones she loves and will stop at nothing to protect them. Does that mean that she makes some misguided decisions sometimes? Sure. Does it also mean that she can be easily tricked or led astray? Sadly, yes. But it’s her fallibility and willingness to own up to her mistakes that makes her a compelling character. Sea Witch is a prequel/retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale and not necessarily of one of Walt Disney’s most beloved films. But what Sea Witch lacks in pure whimsy and singing sea creatures, it more than makes up for with atmosphere and layered relationships. If you’re a fan of character-driven stories, flawed protagonists, or swoon-worthy Danish men, you’ll thoroughly enjoy this novel.
readers_retreat More than 1 year ago
Wow, that's all I can say! Well no that's not true - I have plenty to say. "The Sea Witch" is the first book by debut author Sarah Henning. Sarah used to flex her muscles in the journalistic profession before turning her hand to fiction and updating the Hans Christian Anderson tale of "The Little Mermaid" making it new and current. Being a lover of both Disney and fairy/fantasy tales I was so overjoyed to have the chance to read and review this prior to publication. This is the backstory to the sea witch, the villainess from the original tale, and tells the story from her point-of-view as a twelve year old girl. It explores how she came to be and how she knew how to make a mermaid take on a human form. However, Evie is a totally different character to Ursula and is certainly likeable and affable in this prequel. There are a great many things that I simply loved about this book - the Nordic setting and cultural elements, the writing which is absolutely exquisite, especially the descriptions of the sea, and the ending tied in perfectly with the original tale. I appreciated that the author added various details to make this story her own and I adored reading it. I was very surprised at how creepy, dark and twisted some of the story is but as I read a lot of crime fiction that is similarly dark, this appealed to me. At it's heart though, this is a tale of love, friendship and betrayal. If you are looking to escape to a fantasy world that's immersive and engaging you need to read this! I cannot emphasise enough how glorious Henning's prose was. The characterisation was amazing too - I really cared about the outcomes for each character which is the sign of an exceptional storyteller and I truly loved our protagonist, Evie. With having a difficult time recently, this was the ideal potion to lighten the mood and take me far away from the real world for a while. A superb five-star read! Many thanks to HarperCollinsChildren’sBooks for an ARC. I was not required to post a review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
PattySmith87 More than 1 year ago
My thanks to Edelweiss, Katherine Teigen Books, Harper Collins Canada and Sarah Henning for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are my own and independent of receiving an advanced copy. I fell in love with this story. There is nothing that I look forward to more than a good retelling of an old tale. And is there anything older than sea? This is the prequel to “The Little Mermaid” and tells the story of how the sea witch (dubbed Ursula in the Disney version) came to be. How wonderful, when an author can create an original backstory for a character that has always been one dimensional. How the villain became the villain. We get a chance to see the history of this character and discover what might have made them evil. It’s like looking through history with a different lens, you recognize the events but there is a new perspective. I recently read another one of these retellings about Cinderella’s wicked stepmother, but I enjoyed “Sea Witch” so much more. The story was far more entertaining, the arc more exciting, the characters more enticing and overall it was more delightful. The tale takes place in Denmark, when kings and queens ruled. Setting it in a land far away adds an extra layer of mystery and charm and introduces new customs and traditions to the reader. Told by Evelyn, the story focuses on three best friends who grow up in this small fishing village. Nik is a prince who will one day take over from his father. He is at the age where he must leave his childhood behind and learn to step into his new role. Evelyn comes from a poor family with no title. Her aunt saved the king’s life and that has given her family special status. It has allowed Evelyn to have a close relationship with Nik, despite their social status. This has caused people in town to think Evie is trying to rise above her station. Magic is forbidden and anyone practising witchcraft will be put to death. Evie can feel the magic pulsing in her and has been practising, in secret, testing out her new powers. Anna, a blond eyed beauty and a titled lady, begins to fall in love with Nik. One day while the three are hanging out there is an accident and Anna drowns. Evie feels responsible for Anna’s death and Nik tried to save Anna, but failed. Her death has had a huge impact on their lives. That is the backdrop and I don’t want to reveal any more because it might spoil the tale. Better to experience things as they unfold. There are all the usual tropes you would expect. A parent dies, a prince is in peril, a Queen disapproves, forbidden love, the temptation of magic, townspeople against a misunderstood girl, and mermaids, but in Henning’s hands it feels fresh and new. The suspense is created by sprinkling chapters throughout the main story that start four years prior. Each one of these chapters builds until it catches up in time to the story being told. There are strong female characters, with the men taking a back seat. But know that this is not a romance novel. The love stories are not developed. The entry point is that they are already established and you have to go with it. If you are expecting it to have a romantic build up where you fall in love with the couple as the story is taking place, this is not that story. It didn’t personally bother me but I know other people found this problematic. I just accepted that Evie loved Iker and didn’t really need the “falling in love” narrative. It is about friendship but Anna is dead from the beginning of the st
PattySmith87 More than 1 year ago
My thanks to Edelweiss, Katherine Teigen Books, Harper Collins Canada and Sarah Henning for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are my own and independent of receiving an advanced copy. I fell in love with this story. There is nothing that I look forward to more than a good retelling of an old tale. And is there anything older than sea? This is the prequel to “The Little Mermaid” and tells the story of how the sea witch (dubbed Ursula in the Disney version) came to be. How wonderful, when an author can create an original backstory for a character that has always been one dimensional. How the villain became the villain. We get a chance to see the history of this character and discover what might have made them evil. It’s like looking through history with a different lens, you recognize the events but there is a new perspective. I recently read another one of these retellings about Cinderella’s wicked stepmother, but I enjoyed “Sea Witch” so much more. The story was far more entertaining, the arc more exciting, the characters more enticing and overall it was more delightful. The tale takes place in Denmark, when kings and queens ruled. Setting it in a land far away adds an extra layer of mystery and charm and introduces new customs and traditions to the reader. Told by Evelyn, the story focuses on three best friends who grow up in this small fishing village. Nik is a prince who will one day take over from his father. He is at the age where he must leave his childhood behind and learn to step into his new role. Evelyn comes from a poor family with no title. Her aunt saved the king’s life and that has given her family special status. It has allowed Evelyn to have a close relationship with Nik, despite their social status. This has caused people in town to think Evie is trying to rise above her station. Magic is forbidden and anyone practising witchcraft will be put to death. Evie can feel the magic pulsing in her and has been practising, in secret, testing out her new powers. Anna, a blond eyed beauty and a titled lady, begins to fall in love with Nik. One day while the three are hanging out there is an accident and Anna drowns. Evie feels responsible for Anna’s death and Nik tried to save Anna, but failed. Her death has had a huge impact on their lives. That is the backdrop and I don’t want to reveal any more because it might spoil the tale. Better to experience things as they unfold. There are all the usual tropes you would expect. A parent dies, a prince is in peril, a Queen disapproves, forbidden love, the temptation of magic, townspeople against a misunderstood girl, and mermaids, but in Henning’s hands it feels fresh and new. The suspense is created by sprinkling chapters throughout the main story that start four years prior. Each one of these chapters builds until it catches up in time to the story being told. There are strong female characters, with the men taking a back seat. But know that this is not a romance novel. The love stories are not developed. The entry point is that they are already established and you have to go with it. If you are expecting it to have a romantic build up where you fall in love with the couple as the story is taking place, this is not that story. It didn’t personally bother me but I know other people found this problematic. I just accepted that Evie loved Iker and didn’t really need the “falling in love” narrative. It is about friendship but Anna is dead from the beginning of the st
Disturbia0509 More than 1 year ago
Wow! Okay, I'm not going to lie.. I'm a bit biased because I'm obsessed with everything mermaid! Especially, The Little Mermaid.  Guys, this book cover is gorgeous! This is a story loosely based on The Little Mermaid. Mostly, about the other side of the story, the Sea Witch. We get her background story and how she ends up where she is. What a story it is! At first, I wasn't sure how this was going to go. It took me a little bit to get into it. I was simultaneously worried that I had too high of hopes. After about 30% through (eARC) I could not stop! I got through this book in about 3 hours! Evie has had a hard life but she's had the best of friends to get her through. One happens to be the next crowned prince. One day, things go terribly wrong and their trio turns to two. They help each other grow through the pain until their past comes barreling into their present. There are so many secrets and lies and the consequences are painful and heartbreaking. I think my favorite characer is Nik. He's caring and really the best friend a person could ask for. I really didn't care for Annamette. I feel like the supporting characters were written in a way that makes you kind of not attach to them. Oh, Evie. I felt so bad for her but then realized a lot of the things were completely out of her control. I kept questioning why she was doing and acting a certain way, but it becomes clear later. I'm not sure if I felt this way because I knew what was going to happen. Either way, its intense. The romance was a bit confusing to me. I'm not sure if it's because of the way it was written or because there was a lot more magic involved than I thought. I'm not sure. I wish it was more obvious with Evie. This is my major issue with this book. More clarity would have been great. Overall, I really enjoyed this book! The epilogue was just great. It might be my favorite part of the whole book. It all comes full circle.  Thanks to Henning for taking a villain and showing us her side. It's not always cut and dry. There are two sides to EVERY story. Thanks to Edelweiss for a DRC of this book in exchange for my honest review!