I have always loved you. Every day. My heart is not mine to give because it is already yours.”Nik, Sea Witch Page 296
Author: Sarah Henning
I have been going for some newer books recently, so when I saw this one was released not even a year ago I was really excited. I had different expectations for this book going in but I still enjoyed it. I failed to understand what the story was actually about before reading it, which is why it didn’t meet those expectations. In retrospect if I would have actually realized what it was about it would have exceeded my expectations of the book. I also probably wouldn’t have read it had I know what it was actually about.
Here is the goodreads summary for you regardless, and then we can talk about the book as usual.
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.
So many things that I could say about this book. Originally I thought this was going to be a retelling of The Little Mermaid. It is not, which at first was slightly disappointing but it was still a really good book. This is actually more of an origin story for Ursula, the Sea Witch. You would have thought I would have figured that out by the title, but clearly I don’t do well with context clues sometimes. Once I realized that is what the book was actually about it blew my expectations. I was expecting some sappy YA love story (which don’t get me wrong this has) but the twist of how the Sea Witch actually comes to be is perfection.
I don’t want to get into too many spoilers so I will just talk in vague terms here as needed. Writing style was decent. I didn’t love the flashback chapters at first because I didn’t see why I should care about what happened to their friend four years before the story was taking place. Let me tell you, DO NOT SKIP OVER THESE PARTS. They end up being very relevant and they give a whole lot of context information that you will want towards the end of the book. Thankfully this book, other than the flashbacks, didn’t try to jump back and forth between a bunch of different points of views like the last few books I have read. (Yes, I am looking at you The Vine Witch).
I had a love hate relationship with Ikar. The prince of a neighboring country and the cousin to prince Niklas. It feels like he kind of toys with Evie at some points in the story and not in others, but the ending it what solidifies that I hate him. He is a traitor and I hate him.
Annemette is also one of those character that I had a love hate relationship with, leaning more towards a hate relationship. She is a mermaid (which is only a slight spoiler, you learn that in about 2 pages of meeting her) who looks like their dead best friend. That was always too convenient for me and I hated that plot line. It has a reason though, but I still hated it. She was a likeable person for like 1/2 of the time she was in the book and then she just turned into a traitor and a bitch. 10/10 my most hated character in the books I have read this year.
Nik, the poor unfortunate soul (see what I did there….yeah bad joke). I actually really loved him, and still do. He was a great character from start to finish and didn’t turn out to be the traitor that his stupid cousin did.
Finally we come to Evie, she has secrets of her own but she falls just right behind Nik in characters that I love in this book. She just always tries to do what is best for Nik, Ikar, and Annemette. She does it without fail and she tries to make up for the mistakes she made in the past.
Moral of this story I would have to say is that you can’t judge a book by its cover, or you know a person. They all trusted each other more than they should have, and they all definitely trusted a person they had just met more than was reasonably acceptable to do. It lead to terrible consequences for all of them. Also a small underlying tone to the book is that you should never do things out of revenge because karma sucks and in the end you are also going to get hurt by doing it.
Overall, I did really enjoy the book. I would recommend it to anyone that likes stories of magic, and also likes a cheesy love story thrown in. This is the first book in a series and the second book is actually the retelling of The Little Mermaid with a twist to it I believe. I will hopefully read that next month once my OWLs are done. Or maybe this month.
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