Review of ‘Sea Witch’ by Helen Hollick (May 2015):
Sea Witch is the first book in Helen Hollick’s Sea Witch Voyages fantasy pirate adventure series. Hollick’s Captain Jesamiah Acorne, offers much more than a simple swashbuckling conqueror of women in every port. He’s a complicated rogue whose code of ethics allows him to kill the crew of a chase that puts up a fight, but won’t let him stand by when a young girl is bullied. Of course the young girl he rescues, Tiola Oldstagh, is more than she seems. She’s a white witch with a gift of healing and the power of suggestion. She’s also Acorne’s soulmate.
Hollick imbeds her “luvvers” tale with historical figures and events from the early 18th century. On top of that solid base she skillfully weaves nautical terminology, pirate customs, and superstitions to ease the reader’s acceptance of the supernatural elements of her story. Magic is an important factor, but it never overshadows the torturously entangled love affair of Jesamiah and Tiola. Filled with unseen twists and turns, Hollick takes her “luvvers” on a fantastic journey through hurricane level storms both at sea and in their hearts.
Is their love strong enough to overcome the hatred of Jesamiah’s half-brother, the dangers of his pirate life-style, not to mention the attention of the opposite side of Tiola’s white witch powers?
Sea Witch features many action sequences, a fair number of deaths and quite a few descriptions of lusty encounters. While Hollick handles all of them with respect, this book is an adult novel. Appropriate for more mature YAs, but not for middle graders or tweens. If it was a movie its mild (but appropriate) language, descriptions of violence, and sexual content would earn Sea Witch an edgy PG-13 or even an R rating. If you’re comfortable with that, I highly recommend Sea Witch.
Amazon link for Sea Witch