About the book:
Sitting side by side on the clifftop, he turns to her solemnly and says, ‘The water witch is real.’ She rolls her eyes and grins, teasing him. ‘Sure. A psycho mermaid. Got it.’ But now he’s gone forever… will she find the truth beneath the waves?
Brittany, France. Ariadne Walker’s fiancé Simon drowned in the stormy Atlantic Ocean doing what he loved: searching for the lost underwater city of Ys. Local legend says it was destroyed centuries ago when the princess of Ys became a water witch, cursing the name of the man who betrayed her.
Ari never believed these tall tales. And the letter Simon sent before he died finishing their relationship is a devastating secret she’ll take to the grave. But arriving in Brittany, Ari encounters a man emerging from the sea in a rocky cove, saltwater dripping from his dark hair. Rafael swears the legends are true: and his ancestor was cursed by the water witch. Now, his own life is in terrible danger. And the secret to breaking the curse lies hidden in the lost city.
When Ari finds a strange engraved mask on the sea bed, and a cryptic map amongst Simon’s things, she has no choice but to believe Rafael’s plea. Can they follow the trail and save Rafael’s life? Poring over the map by candlelight, the flickering flames only add to the heat between them… but will Ari’s fragile heart soon be shattered all over again? And will they ever find Ys and break the curse – or will the water witch demand another sacrifice?
An absolutely addictive romantic fantasy read filled with passion and mystery, that will sweep you away to the wild coast of northern France. Inspired by real myths and legends from this magical place, The Water Witch is perfect for fans of Luanne G. Smith, River of Shadows and Jennifer L. Armentrout.
Ariadne Walker lost her fiancé to the pursuit of the lost city of Ys, a Breton legend of a sunken city off the edge of the world in Brittany. Her brother, Jason, won’t stop looking for evidence in the caves along the Atlantic coast, and he’s managed to drag her back to Sainte Sirene to help him in the search.
There is more to Ys than Ariadne is willing to admit. A curse, dooming the male descendants of the du Lac family to drown at 35, and a handsome man desperate to live. Can Ariadne live up to her namesake and find a way out of the twisted labyrinth that spells doom to Rafael du Lac?
A gentle fantasy romance full of magic, archeology, and the beauty of Brittany.
I enjoyed this beautifully written, quietly magical story of grief and love. The theme of fidelity underpins the whole novel, with the water witch of the title possessing a magical mask that kills her unfaithful lovers. I loved that Thorne named the family that betrayed the water witch du Lac, bringing to mind one of myths great adulterers, Lancelot du Lac.
Ariadne, of course, helped Theseus solve the riddle of the labyrinth (before he abandoned her on an island), and Jason sought the Golden Fleece. Appropriate names for a woman who must break a curse, and her brother who seeks mythological treasure.
There can be no coincidence that Ariadne’s love interest is named after the archangel responsible for protecting pilgrims and leading home the lost.
I wasn’t familiar with the legend of the lost city of Ys before reading this book, but I love that the author used a real Breton myth to build the foundation of her novel. Her love for the region is obvious in the beautiful descriptions of the area and the warm way she depicts the people. I was particular drawn to the Celtic connection between the Irish siblings and their Breton friends, and I had a special interest in the mention of the isle of Tristan, where Tristan and Iseult are said to be buried.
I loved the magical elements of the plot and how well they tied into the theme. Ariadne’s grief and hurt are easy to understand and emphasize with.
The archeological aspects are no less interesting. There is something about finding lost cities and making myth fact that is just as magical as water witches and magic masks.
Overall this is a charming, immersive, emotional book. Be prepared to start planning a trip to Brittany after reading it.
I award The Water Witch…
About the author:
Jessica Thorne saw Star Wars at an impressionable age and life was never the same. She’s loved fantasy, romance and science fiction ever since and spends her time looking for adventure – in the pages of her books.
Sometimes she is Ruth Frances Long and won the European Science Fiction Society Spirit of Dedication Award for Best Author of Children’s Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2015.
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