Welcome to my Sunday Book Review. As many of you know, I’ve been on a whirlwind of reading books that are helping me to get through my personal journey of grief. In between these books, I have stuck in a few ‘pleasure’ reads that had me lost in story, which I’m finding is the perfect antidote to engage me as a perfect diversion from the dark abyss I often find myself in since I’ve moved and settled into my solo home. Diana’s book was great medicine for me in that department. The Ferryman and the Sea Witch was a spectacular world build that took me right into the story of Callum – the Ferryman who sailed the deep sea, for a debt he owed to the Sea Witch, which begins the story of good versus evil. A vast array of intricate characters including two warring kingdoms where Callum’s ship crossed waters between both. Only, with every journey came a new threat and Callum’s job to play middle-man between the feuding royals.
The merrow rule the sea. Slender creatures, fair of face, with silver scales and the graceful tails of angelfish. Caught in a Brid Clarion net, the daughter of the sea witch perishes in the sunlit air. Her fingers dangle above the swells.
The queen of the sea bares her sharp teeth and, in a fury of wind and waves, cleanses the brine of ships and men. But she spares a boy for his single act of kindness. Callum becomes the Ferryman, and until Brid Clarion pays its debt with royal blood, only his sails may cross the Deep.
Two warring nations, separated by the merrow’s trench, trade infant hostages in a commitment to peace. Now, the time has come for the heirs to return home. The Ferryman alone can undertake the exchange.
Yet, animosities are far from assuaged. While Brid Clarion’s islands bask in prosperity, Haf Killick, a floating city of derelict ships, rots and rusts and sinks into the reefs. Its ruler has other designs.
And the sea witch crafts dark bargains with all sides.
Callum is caught in the breach, with a long-held bargain of his own which, once discovered, will shatter this life.
My 5 Star Review:
A twisted tale of an evil sea witch who commands the sea at her whim. A fantastic voyage of love, hate, obedience, power struggle, blackmail, revenge, secrets and death. The merrow (half mermaid, half siren) control the waters of the deep for the Sea Witch. In the beginning, the fishermen caught a merrow in their net, and when Callum tried to cut the merrow loose, he was ordered to leave her for dead. But despite his efforts, he couldn’t save her, and that merrow just happened to be the daughter of the vengeful Sea Witch. And that’s where the story begins.
The Sea Witch demanded that the Ferryman (Callum) would have to pay penance by killing a royal and throwing them to the sea as punishment for the death of her daughter. She sank all other ships that crossed the ocean and would allow Callum’s ship to cross between the two kingdoms, but could never again step on land until such time as a royal is killed. Callum would have to dump one prisoner a day into the sea until such time as a royal is drowned to remain able to sail through the deep. The politics of the sea between the two kingdom rulers – the evil Queen Caspia of Haf Killick and King Thayne of Brid Clarion, and the Sea Witch, Panmar, set the story for deceit and foolery.
The action is plentiful, as there are a sea of characters to keep us encapsulated while Callum must deal with the daily antics of Caspia who becomes a threat to his own family. Callum is inundated with requests from both Caspia and Panmar, on a daily basis. Both their edict requests will keep us flipping the pages while the action on the sea keep us gripped as we continue to read and wonder who will win out, the good or the evils?
Stunning world-building – especially the underworld of the sea, well developed characters, deliciously descript, and the tension that will keep you glued in waiting as to who will survive and who will die in this ultimate sea adventure about the battle for power and survival. If you love fantasy with rich world-building, you will want to read this book.