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Monday, September 5, 2011

Review - Helen Hollick's SEA WITCH

This was a win from Velvet of vvb32reads. This is a book which took me out of my comfort zone. This was the world of pirates and a bit of fantasy, a bit of the paranormal, and a lot of rough and tumble. I loved it. I absolutely loved it.

A love story mixed with the actual tale of piracy, privateers (oooh a very small distinction here) which was delectable. Absolutely irresistible Jesamiah (even the name was good!) and the witch Tiola who is a healer and a midwife in real life are drawn together despite overwhelming odds. Enter the Dutchman who has stability, presence, status and money to offer and who is determined to win the hand of Tiola. On the other hand you get the evil Phillip - step brother to Jesamiah, cruel, vicious and vindictive to the last who not only wants to see the end of Jesamiah but also to see that he suffers to the very end. Add to the mix lots of corrupt government officials in every country you visit, plus a handful of good ones, a few bordellos and there you've got your story.

How someone like Jesamiah who does all the things a pirate does - murder, robbery, pillage and destruction, taking of someone else's property without a qualm and still comes out of the story smelling of roses is the author's cleverness. The descriptions of the daily life on a pirate ship were wonderful and kept one at the edge of one's seat. In my case I couldn't sleep till I finished the book. The intermingling of the history of the period and particularly of the places involved - Cape Town and the Caribbean added lustre to the story.

You feel very much with the characters as they go about their life, and you are really cheering for Tiola to rescue Jesamiah in time (and you do know she is going to get there). I would have been devastated if she didn't. To get such a lot of enjoyment from a book is always my guide that the book has been good - for me that is. I felt that the author herself must have immersed herself in writing this book and above all enjoyed the job tremendously.

I will be away for a few days from the blog - going up country where there is no internet. Will be reading though so hopefully can get through a few more books.

10 comments:

Sarah said...

I love this period in history, so I can't wait to get a hold of this.

Have a good trip

vvb32 reads said...

awesome! glad you liked this one too!
have a good trip and happy reading ;-D

Helen said...

Oh my goodness - what an unexpected lovely review! Thank you!

I have to disagree with this bit though:
"How someone like Jesamiah who does all the things a pirate does - murder, robbery, pillage and destruction, taking of someone else's property without a qualm and still comes out of the story smelling of roses is the author's cleverness." ... I can't take the credit, Jesamiah is an absolute charmer, it's all down to his influence! *laugh*
(by the way, you left out mention of his liking for the ladies and rum. Not necessarily in that order :-)

Yes, you are right, I put my heart and soul into writing this book (and the next two in the series - the fourth is being written at the moment) I adore my pirate, and it obviously shows.

You might be interested to know that my ex-agent didn't want me to write this story as it is. She insisted I re-write it for teenage boys, I insisted that it stayed as it was - firmly for adults who wanted a fun adventure. She also wanted me to change Jesamiah's name. I refused to do that as well. Hence ex agent - we parted company.
With reviews like this, am I glad I stuck to my instinct and listened to what Jesamiah was telling me!

Thank you again - I'm thrilled!

Blodeuedd said...

Lol, I know, I really should not have liked Jes but I did :D

Teddyree said...

Awesome review, I loved Helen's Saxon series but don't have this series yet, sounds like I need to get my hands on a copy lol

Yvette said...

Ooooh, this sounds like something I'd definitely like to read. Adding it to my Mt. Everest of TBR books. Well, at least to my list. It's safer. :)

Alyce said...

That would be out of my comfort zone too (especially the paranormal stuff). Enjoy your reading time!

harvee said...

I like fantasy every now and then and a good swashbuckling escape novel!

Julie @ Knitting and Sundries said...

This one is going straight onto my Goodreads list! Thanks so much for the lovely review - your enthusiasm for this title stands out!

Heather said...

I wasn't aware of this book. Thanks. Will have to keep my eyes open for a copy.