Sunday 24 July 2011

Review. Sea Witch - Helen Hollick

Series: Sea Witch Chronicles 1
Genre: Historical fiction
Pages: 316
Published: June 2011 SilverWood Books (2006)

The time: the golden age of piracy - 1716
The Place: the Pirate Round - from South Africa to the Islands of the Caribbean.

From the age of fifteen Jesamiah Acorne has been a pirate, with only two loves - his ship and his freedom. But his life is to change when he and his crew unsuccessfully attack a merchant ship off the coast of South Africa. He is to meet Tiola Oldstagh, an insignificant girl or so he thinks. Then he discovers what she really is; a healer and a midwife - and a white witch. Jesamiah and Tiola become lovers, despite her guardian's disapproval, but Stefan van Overstratten a Cape Town Dutchman, also wants Tiola as his wife, and Jesamiah's half brother Phillipe Mereno, is determined to seek revenge for a stolen ship and the insult of being cuckolded. When the call of the sea and an opportunity to commandeer a beautiful ship - Sea Witch - is put in Jesamiah's path, he must make a choice between his life as a pirate or his love for Tiola; he wants both - but Mereno and Von Overstratten want him dead.

My thoughts:
Pirates, oh yes, pirates. This book introduces us to Jesamiah who became a pirate when he was young, because he half-brother was a total ass (trust me, an ass, but then we also learn why during the book. In the end I even understood his madness).

Jesamiah does have standards, no rapes so that makes me like this pirate. Since pirates in the end were not very nice people. But he is a good man and when he falls in love he becomes an ever better man. Even if he loves the sea way too much.

The heroine of this book is Tiola, a white witch who escaped England so no one would find out what she is. A pirate is bad, but a witch is worse. She is really sweet and wants to help everyone from puppies to a certain wounded pirate. I am sure her witch powers will come back and bite her in the behind one day but for now I admire her strength. As for the love story, she knows they are meant to be from the moment she sees him.

This book is all about Jesamiah being out to sea, loosing ships, getting new ships and taking over other ships. He loves what he does. But after these two fall in love the book becomes more. Someone else wants her and he has power to see it happen. Then there is Jesamiah's evil brother too, oh and do not forget everyone else who do not like pirates (that is a lot of people.)

This book has a lot of adventure and romance and truth be told I have not read that many pirate novels. Ok sure harlequin ones but they are always so pretty while this one is real. Life is hard, especially for a pirate. 

A good historical fiction book with lot to offer. Hollick knows her history and there is also a list of words at the end for those of us who has no idea what anything on a ship is called.

And more will come tomorrow, and the day after. I sure hope for a happy ending.


  1. A witch and a pirate? I like! It's good that Jesamiah (great name!) had manners, even as a pirate.

  2. I have been seeing this book on so many blogs. It really makes me want to get hold of the book immediately. I have never read a book involving pirates, but I really want to. Adventure and romance are a great combination.

  3. Well Jesamiah has his moments when he forgets his manners - especially if there's some rum, treasure, or a woman around... but then, he is a pirate!

    Thank you for the smashing review! I'm hoping you like the next two in the series now (*bites nails*)

  4. Lol, an author should be as hard as nails, not bite them!

    Let's see...there were some decent pirates in the history especially taking into account the fact that the definition of a pirate was rather fluid - in your own country you could be a hero, in another country, a lawless pirate, good for hanging. Allegedly Sir Francis Drake didn't allow even swearing on his ships, let alone rapes and such. I don't know, I might be tempted if only this fluffy romance was er...less fluffy and pink?

    Great review!

  5. I've not read a lot of pirate books but mix it with a witch and I'm interested!

  6. I don't think I've ever read a pirate book but I've been wanting to read this since it's Hollick's.

  7. This sounds really good! I'm a fan of this author.

  8. I don't think I've ever read a book with pirates. A lot of people love Hollick's work, so I'd be willing to give this one a try.

  9. There is no doubt in my mind that Jesamiah is going to be quite a pirate. He'll posess both the good and bad traits! Who I am just as intrigued by is Tiola. She's a healer and midwife, I wonder how significant her skills will come into the play in the series.

  10. There seems to be low standards when it comes to pirates - if they don't rape women then they must be good! :)

  11. Helen
    Lol, he certainly does ;) But he is a pirate after all so I can't be too hard on him

    I will keep you biting those nails a bit longer, ok, until tomorrow evening...and the day after.

  12. @Diana
    Well, some manners ;) I am not saying he was a gentleman, he was just a pirate who was sort of nice

    I have only read those HQ books like I said and I hated one with a vengeance. It was one of those 80s rape books where the heroine falls for the rapist.

    True true. He even mentions that you know, damn you two think alike ;) Aha, maybe Helen felt inspired by Drake. Good man.

    It was not fluffy and pink, trust me. He leaves her after all. Sure they love each other but it is never lovey dovey. It's more real and shitty in a way, oh how romantic I am ;) Anyway since I am gonna review book two tomorrow I can just tell you, she married the rich guy.

  13. Now there are pirate songs stuck in my head.

  14. A pirate read. Oooo, sounds really good. :) I don't think I've read many. Thanks!

  15. I have not read anything with pirates! sounds good.

  16. I love Helen Hollick's writing so I'm keen to read the Sea Witch series. Adventure, romance and history what a great combination; very glad you enjoyed :)

  17. the first thing that came to mind at the mention of 'Pirates' was 'of the Caribbean', it being the only movie of Pirates I've ever watched.

    I do enjoy your reviews and it fills one genre of books I hardly do read on my own.

  18. @Mel
    It sure was an interesting mix :)

    She is good :D And it seems that few have actually read pirate books, strange

    I am too. Loved her Emma book

    I do love her book about queen Emma. But then Emma always did fascinate me

    Lol ;)

  19. @Na
    Hi :D
    She is very good at what she does and at that time women sure need a midwife and healer since most had no idea about certain things

    Lol, well yes, they were filthy brutes so anything good must be a big plus

    I have no pirate songs :/

  20. I like the pretty ones. ;) However this one does sound very interesting. Bloody Pirates! :)

  21. Melissa
    Me neither and by the look of it, not many here have for some reason

    Then you are not alone :=D

    I hope you enjoy them too!

    That did come to mind for me too, I actually want to watch it again now :D

    Aww thanks!

    Bloody pirates indeed! I would certainly not mix with one

  22. This sounds right up my alley!! Love it!

  23. Aww a pirate who doesn't rape and a good witch...I think they would make a good pair too.

  24. Hi, where did my post go! :(

    Thanks Chris for the songs

    I am glad to hear that

    It is good that there were some nice pirates too :)

  25. I really like the premises of this book - pirates are a fairly unexplored genre and I would love to read about them!

  26. A nice series filled with adventure! I totally loved the C.S. Forester series about Hornblower.

  27. Dolley
    Then I am sure you would like it cos you are so right, now many pirates around

    I did too! :D damn that was a good show



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