Sea Witch (Voyages of Captain Jesamiah Acorn) (BOOK1) Paperback – May 17, 2019
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Hollick's enormous cast and meticulous research combine to create a convincing account of the destructive reign of the hapless Edward and the internecine warfare that weakens England as William prepares to invade. Thanks to Hollick's masterful storytelling, Harold's nobility and heroism enthral to the point of engendering hope for a different ending to the famous battle of 1066.--Publisher's Weekly
Don't miss Helen Hollick's colourful recreation of the events leading up to the Norman Conquest in Harold the King.--Daily Mail
An epic retelling of the Norman Conquest
If only all historical fiction could be this good
--Historical Novels Review
Hollick juggles a cast of characters and a bloody, tangled plot with great skill.--Publishers Weekly
- Item Weight : 1.46 pounds
- Paperback : 456 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-1950586035
- Product dimensions : 6 x 1.02 x 9 inches
- Publisher : Penmore Press LLC (May 17, 2019)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,927,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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It would have been easy to build the entire novel around this wonderful vibrant character, but Ms Hollick is too generous (and accomplished) a writer to do so, and instead the reader is taken on a delightful - and at times overly exciting - adventure that criss crosses the seas as Jesamiah finally faces his demons. Fortunately for him, he has the equally strong and vibrant Teolia to support him through his travails. For a reader who is as much a sucker for romance as I am, it is a delight to follow the beautifully depicted love story between my favourité pirate Jesamiah and his mystery lady Teolia. All in all, this is a multilayered, wonderful read.
He's a pirate.
She is young and lovely, and learning the extent of the power of her Craft, and he is flamboyantly handsome, with blue ribbons braided into his long black hair, and a golden acorn in one ear.
What more could the reader in search of romance, adventure and excitement expect?
But wait. There's more. There's a wonderful creation called the Tethys, a supernatural sea-creature who rules "her water realm with unchallenged power and a terrible omnipotence." In Maori myth she would be known as a Taniwha -- a mighty Taniwha, a taniwha nui.
The three powerful spirits clash and intertwine right from the start of this rousing adventure. The witch, young Tiola, has taken passage on a Cape Town-bound ship, fleeing from the Cornwall mob that would have hanged and burned her. The pirate, Jesamiah Acorne, is in hot pursuit of that same ship, determined to seize it, ransack the holds, rob the passengers, and vanish like smoke into the far horizon. In the midst of the frenzy of action that accompanies this, their souls link and cry out to each other, a spiritual questioning that Tethys, the taniwha asleep in the depths below, overhears, rousing her to dangerous awareness.
And so the complicated story begins. There is conflict, there are battles, there are remarkably well described love scenes, marriages of convenience, vendettas, and vivid characters, many of them evil. Real historical figures appear on the same page as the supernatural, and of course there is plenty of rum. It is Pirates of the Caribbean with a twist.
Helen Hollick's forte is her ebulliant imagination. Everything is original, from her writing, which is vivid and yet as economical as conversational French, where unnecessary words ("the", "and") are dropped for fluency. Notable is the lavish use of the color blue, so expensive and cherished at the time, that the cheeky blue of Jesamiah's ribbons is almost eclipsed by the sheer arrogance of painting his ship -- Sea Witch -- the same blue that was the prerogative of monarchs and prelates! And there are wonderful jokes, snitched from real history, such as the raid of a merchant ship by a crew of pirates who merely needed a haul of hats for their heads.
This book is strongly recommended for young adults who want a rousing story, and also for those who want a thought-provoking new approach to the traditional pirate yarn.
So at first, I was a bit disappointed - it felt forced. But I found the second half much better than the first and the last quarter of it in particular I couldn't put down. The characters have good back stories and it has an interesting plot, although I didn't really get into until the second half. This isn't Hollick's best work and I don't think I'll read the rest of the series (at least not right now) but it wasn't bad.
Top reviews from other countries
So when I came across this series of pirate tales, I had to give it a try.
Sea Witch is the first book about the adventures of Captain Jesemiah Acorne and adventures they are. Reading this book took me back to my early love of swashbuckling films and of stories such as he prisoner of Zenda and Man in the Iron Mask. It’s an exhilarating tale of love, off and on the high seas.
In the author’s notes she states that she has taken some small liberties with details and dates but the narrative feels very well researched with nautical terms and references freely being used. Very cleverly, these terms enhance the story and never feel forced or clumsy.
This first in the series shows the reader how Jesemiah became a pirate and gives a real flavour of what dangers were faced by such a lifestyle. It also illustrates the hardships for everyone living in the far outposts of the world as it was in the 1700’s.
There is a ‘mystical’ element to the story which, just through personal preference, would usually put me off but actually in this case the magic is woven well into the main story and didn’t distract.
Sea Witch is good tale, well told and a thoroughly enjoyable read.
You may not know all the nautical terms, but you can smell and taste sea, and the danger and precariousness of life in what to us now seem flimsy ships in extremely dangerous times.
Peopled with a mix of characters – good, bad and a mix of both – this is an exciting pirate adventure, but with true human dilemma adding deeper layers. An enthralling read, the opener to a series of many more. Highly recommended.
The level of research the author has included is inspiring and the inclusion of a diagram of a typical vessel from this period along with a glossary of terms is a lovely touch.
The story itself was surprisingly original. A work like this is always going to draw the inevitable comparisons with Jack Sparrow's big screen adventures, but this is exceedingly more down to earth and possesses far more soul and charm. The two main characters were fresh and endearing, especially Tiola and their relationship and struggles leant real weight to this exciting tale. I'm quite thrilled about having several more of their stories to explore in the future.
If your idea of swashbuckling pirates is Johnny Depp, I think you'd be disappointed in Captain Acorne. He's far less of a pantomime: far darker. No, Acorne is more Errol Flynn - it's a wonderful Sunday-afternoon of a read, with love and adventure and friendship and revenge and just a little chill of the supernatural.
It's old-fashioned, in the nicest sense of the word: it has that sense of derring-do of the old flashing blades of vintage Hollywood. Hugely entertaining, exciting, and uncomplicated FUN.