By Alison Highland
Water Witch by Alison Highland is an exceptionally written tale of the life of a woman who belonged to the sea-in more ways than one. Highland takes us on a journey filled with pirates, privateer and naval sailors, and the superstitions that rule the sea.
Captain Marra Wend grew up on a sloop with her father at the helm. There was never any question that her mother, who died when she was young, was a witch – which caused Marra to have powers as well. However, this was not something shared with the crew of the Broadsword due to the deep seeded superstitions attached to witches’ spells and such related to the sea. Not a ship one wanted to have a witch cast a charm on their ship. After the death of Marra’s father she takes over as captain of the Broadsword, reluctant to settle for the life of a proper lady despite the perfect suitor.
Marra is on a journey of discovery. She's trying to discover: where she comes from; who she's been; who she is now; and where she wants to be in the future. The journey takes her through some exciting adventures on the sea as well as on land. As an uncontrollable whirlpool disrupts the waters and swallows up ship after ship, Marra teams up with the least likely ally to figure out a way to make it go away, which begins by finding the witch that cast the charm. What an adventure that becomes!
There was no doubt to me that Highland knows her way around a ship. I found myself searching the internet for pictures of the parts of the ship and the types of ships she described. I felt like I was walking on the deck of a ship at times.
My only complaint would be that between Marra and another of the main characters, Nat, I felt there was a secret only the two of them knew and, as a reader, I had been left out of it,. It just made some exchanges between them difficult to understand. But perhaps that is the way it was intended.
My hope is that Highland will continue this series – since the title seems to imply there will be more than one book. Her writing is exceptional and the editing is very well done. I would definitely read the next in the series and I hope my readers will too!