Review: Sea Witch Rising (Sea Witch #2)
Title: Sea Witch Rising
Author: Sarah Henning
Published: 6 August 2019
Format: Hardback, Library Book
Memorable Quote: “Burn us at the stake, will you?” I say. “What if we don’t burn?”
Synopsis (from Goodreads): “Runa will not let her twin sister die. Alia traded her voice to the Sea Witch for a shot at happiness with a prince who doesn’t love her. And his rejection will literally kill her—unless Runa intervenes.
Under the sea, Evie craves her own freedom—but liberation from her role as Sea Witch will require an exchange she may not be willing to make. With their hearts’ desires at odds, what will Runa and Evie be willing to sacrifice to save their worlds?
Told from alternating perspectives, this epic fairy tale retelling is a romantic and heart-wrenching story about the complications of sisterhood, the uncompromising nature of magic, and the cost of redemption.”
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Have you read Sea Witch yet? If not, then beware of possible spoilers because Sea Witch Rising takes place 50 years after the first book!
Check out my review of Sea Witch here .
Anyway, Sea Witch Rising is all about love and sacrifice. Two themes that were important during the first book, but in the sequel, the themes are more about family and what we would do and give up just for them.
Runa loves her twin so much, she is willing to become a human to save her, which is saying a lot because Runa detests the thought of life on the land. With the first world war brewing, there are several risks on land that could cause her to fail her sister, but under the sea, there are explosive mines and U-boats.
While this book is definitely a retelling of The Little Mermaid, one of the things I loved about it was how it tied in to world history – specifically World War I. While the specific details of the war were not really discussed, it was interesting to see how the threat of war was impacting one country, and how each of the characters reacted to it. Some readers might not find the historical points as fascinating, but they were really my favorite parts of the book.
While I enjoyed Evie in the first book, Runa was a character all on her own. She was driven by the love she had for her sister, making romance something she was not overly concerned with. So, for those who are curious, romance is a small subplot and does not take up much space in the story at all – aside from Alia’s feelings towards King Niklas.
Henning’s writing is distinct to me. She doesn’t much through details, nor does she smother readers with overly poetic prose. She shows us what we need to know through well-worded imagery and thoughtful dialogue between characters. Everything has such a purpose, which is why I enjoy her writing so much. Some might find her writing to be a bit slow, but I think it moves at a great pace and allows readers to really appreciate every word on the page.
History threatens to repeat itself, but Runa takes on each challenge that is thrown at her – and there are too many to count. She’s determined, unafraid of Sea Witch Evie, and a leader in the face of impending war and destruction on both the land and sea.
I can’t wait to read more books by Sarah Henning. I typically don’t enjoy YA mermaid books, but Henning can keep writing them (if she wants!). I think hers are fantastic and I am here for it!
Thanks for reading!