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Sunday, January 28, 2018

Rise of the Sea Witch by Stacey Rourke - Book Review & Interview

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Review by Suze

Princess Vanessa of Atlantica has all the right talents to be her father's successor. King Poseidon has two children and her brother Triton isn't as intelligent or magically talented as she is. Vanessa is the ideal candidate, but her father seems to prefer Triton. Whatever she achieves, it's never enough for her critical and demanding father, while Triton can do whatever he wants. Vanessa regularly meets resistance and when she messes up punishment is severe.

The kingdom has been at war with humans for a long time. The situation is getting worse and this is a chance for Vanessa to prove herself. The kingdom needs Vanessa's magic, but complex family relationships and dark secrets are making it difficult for Vanessa to succeed. The bond she has with Triton is constantly under pressure. How much can it withstand before it breaks and what will Vanessa do when she discovers she has fewer allies than she once thought?

Rise of the Sea Witch is a fantastic fairytale. I was instantly impressed by Vanessa. She's strong, talented, capable and she cares deeply, but she's being treated unfairly. She hardly has any support and she repeatedly has to fight battles against those who should protect her. I loved her determination and resilience. She's going through so much, but she never gives up, even if her heart is being shattered and those who should stand by her betray her in the worst possible way. I was fascinated by her personality and her journey from beginning to end.

Stacey Rourke has a wonderful enchanting writing style that perfectly suits the kind of stories she writes. I was spellbound by her beautiful descriptions of the sea and her fabulous world building. I also liked the way she writes about magic, she describes it as something dark and twisted with consequences in an amazing colorful way. I love reading underwater stories and Rise of the Sea Witch is definitely a good one. It's a terrific captivating book filled with surprising twists and turns and plenty of fantastic action.


If you love underwater fairytales you don't want to miss Rise of the Sea Witch.

About Stacey Rourke

Stacey Rourke is the award winning author of works that span genres, but possess the same flare for action and snarky humor. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. Stacey 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.


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1) Can you tell a bit about yourself?

Gladly! I'm an author of works that span genres, but share the same flare of snarky humor. I live in Michigan with my husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. I love to travel, have an unhealthy shoe addiction, and consider myself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in my head.

2) What do you like the most about stories set in the sea?

That the rules of the land don't apply down there. It's a free form world where I got to come up with my own ideas of how everything from their meals to the weapons of their army are completely open to interpretation. That was a lot of fun to create.

3) Can you describe the main characters of Rise of the Sea Witch in seven words each?

Vanessa- strong, beautiful, misunderstood, driven, needing of acceptance Triton- carefree, handsome, loved, exalted, thrust into power Amprhite - Not. To. Be. Trusted. Alastor- kind, sweet, funny, driven by love, HOT Poseidon- believes is own demi-god hype.

4) What inspired you to write Vanessa’s story?

First, I'm a huge Disney fan. In the movie The Little Mermaid, Ursula mentions she was banished from the kingdom, but they never say why. I wanted to explore that and how she became who she is. No villain is ever born bad, they undergo a journey just like the rest of us.

5) Inequality is an important part of her story, can you tell a bit more about this?

Vanessa is the more powerful and driven of the candidates for the throne, yet many dismiss her simply because she's female. Sounds quite a bit like what women are marching for in our own society, doesn't it? It's an issue we need to bring to light until it's eradicated.

6) What do you like the most about fantasy?

The lack of rules, and the sense of escape. I read primarily in the fantasy genre for those very same reasons.

7) You love to travel, what’s the most impressive experience you’ve had?

Recently my family took a trip to Hawaii. We didn't do the touristy spas and shopping, though. We took time to really explore the island. We went on hikes, drove around the perimeter and stopped at every beach we could find, and really took in the culture. It was amazing. The trip of a lifetime, and I am so ready to go back.

8) You like shoes, can you tell a bit more about this passion?

A pretty pair of shoes will call to me. No joke. Ask my family. We can be walking through a store, talking and they will completely lose me when a sexy pair of strappy sandals starts whispering sweet nothings to me.

9) How did your writing career start and how was it to win several prizes for your books?

I never really thought about being an author, but I always wrote. It was part of who I was. After my kids were born, I wrote my first book as an escape from nap times and diapers changes. With that finished manuscript in my hands, I felt like a light went on in my head. I finally knew what I was supposed to be doing. I've tried on a lot of different hats career-wise, but finally felt I had direction. Winning those awards was such an honor. It validated my dream, and that meant more to me than words can say.

10) What are your plans for the future?

*Sung to the tune of Just Keep Swimming from Finding Nemo* Just keep writing, just keep writing, just keep writing, writing, writing. What do we do? We write, write, write. (Told you I was a Disney geek.)


  1. would be an interesting take/ rewrite of Ursula's story

  2. OHH, I loved her earlier books and this one also sounds really great!

  3. Added to my TBR I love retellings and all things underwater!

  4. The world-building sounds amazing!


  5. I love reading Stacey Rourke! I appreciated reading your honest review. I cannot wait to read Rise of the Sea Witch.

  6. I love fantasy books! It sounds like an awesome tale.

  7. It sounds like this one has an interesting & unique setting.

  8. I've heard of this book before. I hope I get a chance to read it soon.

  9. Thank you for the lovely review and interview :)

  10. I know exactly what Stacey means when things 'call' out your name. In my case it's jackets. I just love them!