Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sea Witch by Helen Hollick Review and Giveaway

Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum! Sea Witch is a ripping good tale starring an irresistible pirate hero, Jesamiah Acorne and his true love, the white witch, Tiola Oldstagh set during the golden age of piracy, 1716. It is a genre defying novel; part historical fiction, part adventure novel, part romance, and part fantasy for an all together very gripping and enticing read.

Jesamiah Acorne is a very appealing hero, and is going on my list of favorite fictional heroes. He is overall a pirate and does some despicable things, but he is an attractive man full of adventure with a tortured past. After suffering abuse throughout his childhood by his older brother Phillipe, Jesamiah escapes to a life of sea after the death of his parents and particularly trying period of abuse. He excels at sea under the tutelage of Captain Malachias Taylor and soon finds himself the captain of his own vessel.

Tiola Oldstagh is a young fifteen-year old girl when she first sets eyes on Jesamiah. Tiola is on the ship the Christina Giselle, with her guardian Jenna on her way to Cape Town to escape her past, and the brutal execution of her mother for witchcraft. Unbeknownst to all, Tiola also harbors the gift of “the craft” and is an old soul in a young woman’s body. When she first catches a glimpse of the flowing black hair and blue ribbons of Jesamiah on a pirate ship trying to overtake her ship, she is smitten. When they eventually meet in Cape Town, sparks fly.

Unfortunately Jesamiah has enemies that will tear the two lovers apart. His older evil brother Phillipe is not finished with his revenge, and the wealthy Dutch merchant Stefan van Overstraten is determined to make Tiona’s his wife. Will Jesamiah and Tiola find their way back to each other?

I loved Sea Witch. We’ve been a pirate haven here in the Gerold household the past few months. The boys love Jake and the Neverland Pirates on Disney and have been checking out pirate books from the library, listening to pirate music, and sailing on their pirate ship (swing set). It was nice to read an adult pirate novel in keeping with our pirate theme.

I loved that Sea Witch was a blend of genres. The adventure was non-stop and kept me riveted. I enjoyed Jesamiah’s journeys and near escapes. He is an appealing daredevil hero, but his most redeeming quality is his love for Tiola. I loved that Tiola is a strong heroine and a white witch. I’ve always enjoyed books that have a mystical quality to them. The historical fiction of this novel is also fantastic. The descriptions of the hardships of a pirate’s life were very realistic and descriptive. Helen Hollick has a wonderful note at the end of the book in which she describes certain liberties she took with the historical timeline, which only reaffirmed to me the amount of research that went into this novel.

Most of all, I loved this novel as I had a real sense while I was reading it that the author herself loved her characters and enjoyed the novel itself. It was a joy to read.

Overall, if you are looking for a fun, rollicking, love-story, historical fiction adventure, look no further. Sea Witch is a wonderful book. I can’t wait to see what is next for Jesamiah and Tiola in Pirate Code.

Sea Witch is my fifteenth item in the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2011.

Check out the excellent book trailer on youtube:

Book Source: Advance Review Copy

Giveaway Details
I'll admit, I can't make myself give away my advance review copy of Sea Witch as it was such a wonderful book. I want to read it again and also I know my best friend Jenn would love this book so I'm going to pass it on to her to read also. Instead, I'm going to order a new copy of Sea Witch from for one lucky winner. **UPDATE** Helen Hollick has graciously offered to send a copy to the winner from Amazon along with a bookplate. Thank-you very much Helen!!!

If you would like to win a copy of Sea Witch by Helen Hollick please leave a comment about what intrigues you about the novel.

As part of your comment, you must include an email address. If I can't find a way to contact you I will draw another winner.

For an additional entry, blog about this giveaway or post it on your sidebar. Provide a link to this post in your comment.

For another additional entry, leave a comment (along with your email address) on my interview with author Helen Hollick at this link.

I will be using (or a monte carlo simulation in excel) to pick the winners from the comments.

This contest is only open to US and Canadian residents (Sorry!).

No P.O. Boxes.

The deadline for entry is midnight, Friday July 29th.

Good luck!


  1. I had seen this book on another site as well and it really intrigued me. This is the first book I have heard of that is about pirates and and adult read. I have loved some of the other Hollick books I have read. Why should pirate stories only be for kids - I can see a lot of promise for adventures and romance! Thanks for the review and offering this giveaway. I would love to be entered.


  2. This book looks fascinating and I would love to win a copy -- I am always drawn to stories of pirates at sea, and some of my favorite books have that theme. (Captain Blood, Beauvallet, Voyager, just to name a few.) Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!

  3. Hmm this sounds really good. I like your review.

  4. Well, you said pirate and hero and you put them together and said "pirate hero" and you pretty much had me. So, that's what interests me about the book.

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    erikadlugo AT yahoo DOT com

  5. I must be getting old -- I forgot to tell you my e-mail!


  6. Everything intrigues me about the the book/Voyages series. Jesamiah seems like a very dashing rogue pirate. He is not perfect but that makes him all the more fascinating and having devoted his life to the tumultuous seas I am eager to meet Tiola, the healer who he is drawn to.


  7. Pirates! Enjoyed your review and thanks for the giveaway.

    myra0502 at yahoo dot com

  8. Sounds like a rollicking fun read. I like the idea of the genre-bending. It's awfully generous of you to provide a copy for giveaway - thank you so much!

    geebee.reads AT mail DOT com

  9. I have read the author's books and enjoyed them very much. This book sounds like something different. =)
    tiredwkids at live dot com

  10. I'm intrigued by this book because I know what an excellent writer Helen is and I know her take on pirates will be interesting indeed.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  11. I've enjoyed Helen's other books and my husband is interested in reading this as well.

  12. Yohooooo, what intrigues me?? This book sounds like a perfect combination of genres! Plus i LOVE pirates. I'd really like to read it

    I twitted:!/LzzMrtnz/status/92844998936113152


    Thanks!! =)

  13. What intrigues me the most? I think it would have to be that this book has pirates in it! I love reading books that have pirates in them. Please enter me in this great giveaway!

    lovetoread205 [at] gmail [dot] com

  14. Good luck everyone - what intrigues me is that ask any traditional publishing house and they will say "no one is interested in pirates" Sheesh..... I SO love proving people wrong.... *laugh*

  15. I love Pirate stories! Count me in on this one matey arrrr!


  16. Thanks for this giveaway which sounds thrilling and special. The sea aspect has always enthralled me. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  17. An especially interesting novel. I enjoy this setting greatly and pirates add that extra fun. Many thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  18. This looks great! I'll have to admit it's the cover that draws me in the most. The story sounds good too though. Thanks for the chance to win!

    saz AT chainreader DOT com

  19. Can't get enough pirate stories!! :)

    tnshadylady at