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Water Witch

3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  280 ratings  ·  20 reviews
At the instigation of her con-artist father, Deza masquerades as a witch who can control the water supply of the desert planet of Mahali, in order to deceive its rulers and become rich, but the deception backfires.
Paperback, 216 pages
Published January 1st 1982 by Ace Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 497)
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Lindsey Duncan
On the planet of Mahali, where the ancient talent for water-witching has been replaced by a computerized system, two characters collide: Deza, daughter of a con artist whose plan has gone horribly awry; and Radi, on a royally appointed mission to deal with the threat of the Tycoon. The story incorporates romance, adventure and intrigue on a river-ride to what seems like a no-win conclusion.

The feel of this story is intriguing: it's either a science fiction story with fantasy trappings, or a fant
SF. For generations, water witches have ruled the desert planet of Mahali, their sensitivity to water allowing them to find and direct the underground river to where it's needed, but the current ruler has no sway over the water and must rely on a computer system to manipulate its flow. That actually sounds like a really interesting premise. Too bad this book chose to focus more on the poorly orchestrated murder attempts and the wandering around in the desert.

I have no idea who Cynthia Felice is
William Leight
Connie Willis's collaborations with Cynthia Felice aren't at the level of her best solo work. In particular, Willis is just not good with villains, and her best books involve heroes struggling against impersonal forces of nature: in "Doomsday Book", the Black Plague; in "To Say Nothing of the Dog", history. Perhaps this is why the villains in "Water Witch" appear more like impersonal forces than actual people. Sheria is power-hungry in the manner of a James Bond villain, someone who seems to pur ...more
Althea Ann
This book, co-written by Cynthia Felice, was Connie Willis' first published novel. (1982).
Unfortunately, although this book is a perfectly acceptable sci-fantasy adventure, it does not show any of the witty, original aspects that have subsequently catapulted Willis to the forefront of her field.
The cover blurb is by Andre Norton, and it reads very much like it was strongly influenced by Norton.
On a desert planet, controlling the underground water supply is of primary importance. Unfortunately, i
Lisa H.
Disappointing, but at least I only paid $.50 for it. I love Connie Willis's other work, but this one didn't do it for me. The setting was interesting enough: the world of Mahali is comprised largely of desert, with the water controlled for generations by "water witches", whose sensitivity to and mastery of the element allowed them to direct available water to specific areas, including changing the course of rivers to drain the underground chambers that now house their capital city. Over time, ho ...more
Darragh Worledge
This is a book whose story has stayed with me down through the years. I recently re-read it and once again thoroughly enjoyed it. The alien environment is well realized and dialogue witty. But how to explain that special quality? If you enjoyed "The Witches of Karres" by James Schmitz, "Citizen of the Galaxy" by Robert Heinlein, "The X Factor" by Andre Norton, "An Accidental Goddess" by Linnea Sinclair or oddly "The Secret Garden" by Francis Hodgson Burnett, you will like this book.
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
As far as I know Water Witch is Connie Willis' earliest work and it's a nice introduction to her world. The book was written thirty years ago but it hasn't aged at all, it feels like it could have been written two years ago. The characters and plot do lack depth compared to other novels by Willis and the story is predictable but the book is an entertaining nonetheless. There is a bit more romance than in other Connie Willis books I've read in the past but I've noticed that this usually happens w ...more
Janice (Janicu)
This is a sci fi story about a desert society where the rulers have an ability to detect water. The ruling princesses are given special cheek implants which further enhance this ability. At this time there is only one princess with this power, and she relies more on technology than any powers to detect and control water. There was a coup many years ago and the original rulers with this ability fled and were said to be dead. This story centers around a con-artist pretending to be the exiled princ ...more
Loved this book when I was younger. Maybe not the best written book I've read but a fun to read escape to a different world.
This book is really by Cynthia Felice AND Connie Willis, despite what Goodreads lists above. Deza is a con artist trying to pass herself off as a water witch, someone with a supernatural ability to detect, control, and communicate through water, which is a big deal on this dry, poisonous planet. But her con isn't going well as her father has just died and his spirit has been transmuted into this goat-like creature that is sending her telepathic messages.

BTW, I liked this book about 100 times mo
1989 grade A-
2003 grade B+

written with Cynthia Felice
It was a unique story by two authors. The main characters are likable and their relationships are complex. I appreciated the blend of writing I'm familiar with (Willis') with another author whose style was new to me (Felice's).
Alexa Steele
Fun read. I'd like to try more Willis books.
One of my favorite old time SFR books. Great early Connie Willis (I actually like her earlier books which were character sketches-her newer books are world building and plot driven masterpieces but nothing comes close to a good character study-for me anyway!)
thanks to the marvels of bookmooch, i got my hands on a copy of this (from iran, of all places). and it was a good, satisfying read, although not as good as Willis on her own, and not nearly as good as Promised Land. then again, not much is.
Obviously one of Willis's early efforts, I still enjoyed the glimpses of creative myths/technologies and their interweavings. This book has a lot of potential to be expanded and elaborated on at some future date.
Maureen E
The worldbuilding was fascinating for this one, but I got hung up on how cliched it felt, despite some interesting twists and characterizations. [March 2010]
This wasn't as fun as "To Say Nothing of the Dog", but I enjoyed it. Will continue to read this author (Willis)
Once you meet all the main characters it is totally predicatable and not eapecially charming.
Obviously early Willis. It's good, but not great. I did enjoy it, though.
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