Published by Katherine Tegen Books on July 31, 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Retellings
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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.
Sea Witch by Sarah Henning gives a backstory to the famous villain – Ursula, the Sea Witch. However, the majority of the book isn’t that. It’s a story of friendship, love and betrayal.
Nik and Evie are the best of friends even if there is an enormous gap between their social status for Evie is just a daughter of a fisherman while Nik is the crown prince. However, it wasn’t just the two of them since the beginning. They had another friend- Anna. They lost Anna four years ago when Anna drowned. Four years after the tragedy, a mermaid gave up everything to walk on land to make Nik fall in love with her. This mermaid looks exactly like Anna… and yet claims that she is not.
For me, the book is really good. It was well-written and the plot offers a great twist to a story almost all of us knows. I also really liked the complexities of the characters and how the characters are connected. However, even if I really liked the book, I understand the reason behind the negative reviews. I don’t completely agree with them though.
I’ve read lots of reviews that says that the story in Sea Witch is slow, boring and just full of fillers. I think that’s both true and false. Yes, the story unfolds slowly and there are uneventful parts and yes, there’s lots of fillers but at the same time, I think that those fillers are actually important, in a way. Throughout the book, we see a lot of moments in a festival. Nothing special is really happening. I guess a lot of people didn’t like these moments because a lot of people started to read this book to read the Sea Witch’s story, not friends competing in parlor games. However, after finishing the book, I realized that those moments are important. Those moments show us the interaction between characters. It lays the foundation to what’s to come. We had to see Nick and Evie and how their friendship is. We had to see a friendship bloom Evie and Annemette. We had to see the possibility of romance between Evie and Iker. We needed to see those moments for the last few parts of the book to hurt. We need to feel the betrayal too.
Another proof that everything in the book builds up to the end is the first part of the book. We see Evie’s mother perform a spell to save Evie’s life. I was confused as hell with that beginning but it made sense towards the end. The spell is a bargain and that is actually very important to the plot.
Anyways, I really think that this book is a very well-made retelling of the character of Ursula.
Don’t read beyond this point if you haven’t read the book yet because spoilers ahead.
Upon finishing the book, I actually understood the Sea Witch’s actions. The Sea Witch is feared, not really because she’s evil, but because she accidentally caused death in ocean life when a spell of hers failed. She’s also feared because of the greatness of her magic. Also, I understand why she made a deal with the little mermaid in exchange of the little mermaid’s voice. I also understand why she tried to sabotage the little mermaid’s success.
If the little mermaid does not succeed, the little mermaid will die and become nothing more but a sea foam. The Sea Witch didn’t really want that, what she wants is to die. The Sea Witch knows that the Sea King will intervene and kill her. With the loneliness in her cove under the sea, the Sea Witch planned to die.
So, overall, I think this book is pretty awesome. It is indeed slow but it had a great impact one me towards the end. If you could get through the dull parts, the book gets really good towards the end. I really recommend this to lovers of fairy tales and retellings. I would also recommend to people like me who are fans of The Little Mermaid. It’s really fun to look at the story from a different perspective.