Book Review & Blog Tour: Sea Witch Rising by Sarah Henning (eARC)

Hello fellow book lovers! I am super excited for today’s post because it is my tour stop for Sea Witch Rising by Sarah Henning, which is being hosted by Fantastic Flying Book Club. I have been anxiously been awaiting this sequel since I read Sea Witch last year! Be sure to check out the other amazing bloggers that are taking part in this tour. The tour schedule can be found here. Also, be sure to enter the giveaway below!!

Sea Witch Rising

Author: Sarah Henning

Publication Date: 06 August 2019

Genre: YA Fantasy

Pages: 416

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books/Harper Collins

“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.

Sea Witch Rising picks up right where we left off from Sea Witch. Evie is tethered to her cave of darkness and avoided by the merpeople as per the Sea King. Evie craves freedom from her isolation. Princess Alia comes to Evie to make the forbidden bargain of turning into a human for four days in an attempt to prove that Niklas, the grandson of the original Nik from Sea Witch, loves her. Even though Alia knows that her father would be outraged, she bargains her voice to strike the magical deal.

Your Highness, you should know better than anyone that you can’t control a strong headed woman.

Once Alia’s twin Runa discovers what she has done, Runa refuses to lose her sister through such a naive act for a spoiled prince who is betrothed to someone else. Runa decides to strike her own deal with Evie to ensure that she won’t lose her sister, her other half. However, the price associated with her deal is much steeper than that of Alia’s, and even after the deal is struck, she’s unsure if it will be enough to keep Alia.

Able to only use her smile, her shining eyes, her graceful dancing, to get what she needs. She’s done well for herself to get this far, but it’s…so superficial. Not to mention, he’s about to be married.

I really enjoyed this sequel because both Runa and Evie are incredible characters. This story focuses on love. Not the romantic kind though. Runa and Alia are two halves to one whole, and Runa will do anything to save her sister. It’s so hard not to love Evie because you realize that she’s become the witch she is for some many heartbreaking reasons. We learn how she became chained to her lair by the power hungry Sea King, and the decisions that led her to her confinement.

Because I believed her love was worth it. Because I saw myself in her. And his grandfather in him. Because I still believe in happy endings, even when I’m a nightmare.

As far as retellings go, I enjoyed that this retelling adds layers of depth that were missing from the original story. The Sea King is quite literally a mad dictator that uses his daughters for their magical abilities. This is during the time point of WWI, so we are exposed to the warfare that took place on both land and sea. There was action, love, betrayal, and heartbreak. Everything that I definitely wanted in a sequel.

Thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club for the blog tour invitation and eARC. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

Pre-order your copy of Sea Witch Rising below:

Indie Bound | Harper Collins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Add to Goodreads

Sarah Henning is a recovering journalist who has worked for The Palm Beach Post, Kansas City Star and Associated Press, among others. 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, hometown of Langston Hughes, William S. Burroughs and a really good basketball team. 

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