Title: Rise of the Sea Witch
Author: Stacey Rourke
Genre: YA Fantasy/ Fairy Tale and Folklore
Cover Designer: Najla Qamber Designs
Publisher: Anchor Group Publishing
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Details of the sea witch’s banishment have been exaggerated. The body count that preempted it was not. Once an illustrious princess, her hands and tentacles were stained with the blood of thousands. No one could comprehend how the hooks of madness dragged her down from her life of privilege.
Born Princess Vanessa of Atlantica, the ambitious young royal was one of two children born to the great King Poseidon. She and her brother, Triton, were groomed from birth to rule. Yet only one would ascend that coveted throne. While carefree Triton flits through his training with a cavalier demeanor and beguiling charm, Vanessa’s hunger for her father’s acceptance drives her to push herself to the limits of magic, and combat to become a leader worthy of her people.
When war against the humans ravages their once regal kingdom, political sides are chosen. Factions from the seven seas challenge the existing leadership, pitting Vanessa against her brother in a vicious battle for the crown. Traitors are exposed, dark family secrets revealed, and a once strong sibling bond is strained to its breaking point.
Only when the ink black waters from the ultimate betrayal rescind, will the truth be known of how the villainous sea witch rose with one name on her vengeful lips--Triton.
4 out of 5 Stars
I have to admit that before I came across this book, I never gave much thought to Ursala’s backstory. I think I just made the assumption that she was born evil, and therefore always was. Although, I haven’t come across any evil babies in my lifetime, so maybe I should’ve given that a little more thought. I’m really glad that although I didn’t, this author did. The way this story went? I’m surprised she didn’t become evil MUCH sooner. In fact, this is what really made this story a sad one, in my opinion.
According to this story, before she was Ursula, Vanessa was a very kind-hearted, good, hard working person. She was this way from a very young age. She was determined, as the eldest, to become the best future queen she could possibly be – even though she always knew the cards were stacked against her, and it was almost assuredly Triton that would get the crown. Even though he didn’t want it.
Time and time again, Vanessa was used, tricked, hurt by those she trusted, and always made to feel like second place, and she still kept her good heart. I was truly shocked throughout the book, thinking, “This is it. This is when she loses it.” But she doesn’t. She keeps going. Her love for Atlantica and its people keeping her going.
When she finally does become the Ursula we know from the stories, I found myself feeling more like it was about time, rather than being sad that she became “the bad guy”. Because really, I would’ve felt like the bad guy LONG before she did. Not only that, but even though she became Ursula, there was still just enough of Vanessa left in her that made your heart break for her yet again.
Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012
Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013
Stacey Rourke is the author of the award winning YA Gryphon Series, the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga, and the romantic comedy Adapted for Film. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head.
Visit her at www.staceyrourke.com
Facebook at www.facebook.com/staceyrourkeauthor
or on Twitter or instagram at Rourkewrites.