Colleen’s #Book #Reviews: “The Ferryman and the Sea Witch, by D. Wallace Peach, @Dwallacepeach

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

From the Author

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 Recommendation

Prepare to immerse yourself in the ancient lore of the Merrow, creatures who are part mermaid and part siren with the ability to control the seas and the weather. Panmar, the Sea Witch, rules the ocean between two lands. Brid Clarion, ruled by King Thayne, is prosperous, while Haf Killick, ruled by Queen Caspia, is in utter decay.

After Panmar’s daughter dies in the nets cast from Brid Clarion, she decides no one will cross the waters between the two kingdoms except the ferryman. However, these crossings require payment as human sacrifices to the Merrow. Callum, the ferryman, has no choice but to abide by the Sea Witch’s rules, leaving him in the middle between the two countries.

When King Thane doesn’t pay with royal blood to satisfy the Sea Witch’s vengeance, hundreds of lives from Brid Clarion and Haf Killick become sacrifices to the Merrow. The king and Queen Caspia plot against each other, which sets up plenty of twists and turns that I never saw coming. Callum’s tale as another hapless victim stuck between the two realms is equally surprising.

D. Wallace Peach is one of my favorite fantasy authors. Her portrayal of the Merrow as the dark creatures of the sea is right in line with the ancient myths about mermaids and sirens. Panmar is deliciously evil and capricious, concerned only about the survival of the Merrow. The rulers of Brid Clarion and Haf Killick are just as ruthless as Panmar, which sets up a dramatic finish to the book.

I read late into the night, unwilling to leave the characters behind. This author crafts exquisitely genuine characters that draw you into the action. You feel as if you are aboard ship, next to Callum, waiting for the Sea Witch to suck you down into the deep brine! Look for the imagery in her words that reads like pure poetry.


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