Sea Witch Rising is one of those books I’ve been looking forward to since the moment I finished Sea Witch. Not only does it bring in elements of the Little Mermaid, but Sea Witch Rising also incorporates elements of historical fiction.
“The Little Mermaid” takes a twisted turn in this thrilling sequel to villainess origin story Sea Witch, as the forces of land and sea clash in an epic battle for freedom, redemption, and true love.
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.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
Sea Witch Rising impresses me with how clever Henning is. Sure, Sea Witch was utterly brilliant, but really Henning outdoes expectations in the sequel. Multiple different re-interpretations of The Little Mermaid, meets a story where the timeline of the first book serves as a legend in the present? So clever! Not only that, but I love that we are given the last pages of the first to jog our memory – book people, please do this more! It’s so helpful!
What I loved about Sea Witch Rising is not only how gorgeous the writing is, but how vulnerable our characters are while also being so strong, brave, and dedicated. Whether it be in our desires for a happy after, for believing that we deserve the chance, or to avert a future of doom and conflict – their ambitions, loves, and quests against sundown are more than emotional. While setting Sea Witch Rising in 1914, Henning introduces a historical flair – raising the stakes for both the mermaids and those on land.
Sea Witch Rising interacts with our memories of the first. With Evie’s timeline, her loss, and her origin story – if you will. It presents echoes of the times lost, of sacrifices, and quests for love that stretch throughout the years. With any re-telling you have to wonder how much the book with abide by the story we know, or depart from it, and Henning maintains this amazing balance between a story we know, and introducing surprise elements.
Sea Witch Rising is inventive, stunning, and a fabulous sequel. There are mirrors between both books – introducing our universal fight for love, our quest to be seen, and the responsibilities and duties that tie us down. All while introducing a unique twist by illustrating the relationships the humans and mermaids have on each other, sometimes without even knowing it.
About the Author
Sarah Henning is a recovering journalist who has worked for the Palm Beach Post, Kansas City Star and Associated Press, among others. While in South Florida, Sarah lived and worked through five hurricanes, which gave her an extreme respect for the ocean. When not writing, she runs ultramarathons, hits the playground with her two kids and hangs out with her husband Justin, who doubles as her long-suffering IT department. Sarah lives in Lawrence, Kansas, which, despite being extremely far from the beach, happens to be pretty cool.
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