Oct 30, 2018

Review--Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

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.

One of my most anticipated reads of the summer was Sarah Henning’s Sea Witch, an origin story that tells us of the sea witch and how she came to be from Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid. It was truly a remarkable story that kept me guessing long until its end! It continued to surprise me throughout and I wasn’t truly expecting the ending that we got, even though I sort of knew the grand scheme of it all!

Evie is a teenager who continues to mourn the loss of her best friend, Anna. Four years ago, she drowned and Evie, along with their friend, Nik, a prince to boot, were unable to rescue her despite trying. Now life moves on. Nik is close to becoming king and must start thinking of marriage proposals. Evie though, has always had her eyes set on Iker, Nik’s cousin.

I’ll admit, the beginning part was a tad slow. It sort of sets the scene and it’s not until one night when Evie and her friends were on a ship, having a good time in celebration that a storm hits and Nik is sent overboard. The next morning Evie finds him on shore and just catches a glimpse of someone who looks very much like her best friend, Anna.

And then it’s not long after before the heroine is revealed, Annemette is a new girl in town who is deeply in love with Nik, but she has a secret too, one we learn fairly quickly, she’s a mermaid! She was able to use a spell to turn her into a mermaid and has four days to earn Nik’s love so that she can stay human forever. But winning over Nik will be a challenge itself, for who falls in love in a matter of days? Lol. This is when things start to pick up! Evie can’t get over how much Annemette resembles Anna, she longs for her to be her best friend newly returned. Despite that, a friendship grows between them.

Every so often we would get chapters from the past. Ones that shed light onto the event that happened four years ago when Anna drowned. I wasn’t too sure of their purpose at times as they seemed somewhat random in some moments. But then a bigger picture started to form and their purpose became all too clear.

One little thing I really enjoyed was how Sarah included aspects of Hans’ original tale within the story. Little details like spells being woven, a time limit of four days, how her feet ache after walking for just a day—in the original story, I believe the poor mermaid suffered what felt like walking on glass shards every time she walked. It’s been a few years since I read that one, but the memories of some details are still pretty clear.

I thought I had a clear idea of who would eventually be our sea witch that presents the famed deal she makes with one little mermaid. Also, keep in mind when things get mentioned or referenced to The Little Mermaid, it’s to the fairy tale and not the Disney movie. The fairy tale ended in an entirely different kind of way! But anyway, I was sure I knew which of our characters would turn into the sea witch in whatever manner, but I was proven wrong, then right, then wrong, then right again! Lol! Yes, it was that confusing for me too! But I honestly loved that Sarah kept me guessing until the very end!

As far as romance goes, there was a little bit in here. Not as much as it seemed like a focal point of this story was based on friendship. All the trials and tribulations of friendship; its ups and downs and what can happen when tragedy strikes.

This book moved me far more than I thought it would. It really makes you want to look at the sea witch differently in the beloved tale. They say there’s two sides to every story, and those words are true. This story belongs to the sea witch and you will forever look at her differently when returning to the classic tale.

Sea Witch was a surprising read in some ways! It wasn’t the story I was expecting but I still ended up really enjoying this one! It ends in just the right way too, one that brings about a conclusion to her story, though I did always wonder what happened to her at the end of The Little Mermaid…perhaps that could be a possible sequel idea for Sarah, but in truth, I think this book stands perfectly and wonderfully on its own! This is a must read for all fairy tale fans who love a good villain origin story!

Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars



  1. I have this one in my audiobook library queue because I've heard great things about it. Glad you loved it too! Now I'm even more excited to listen.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  2. I really enjoyed this one too! The end kinda broke my heart. Great review!


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