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Sea Witch

(Sea Witch Chronicles #1)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  263 ratings  ·  67 reviews
The first voyage of Captain Jesamiah Acorne, pirate, scoundrel and charming rogue, from acclaimed historical fiction author Helen Hollick. A meticulously researched, full-blooded adventure full of heart-stopping action, evil villains, treasure and romance. "Everything we want in a grand pirate adventure ... a terrific read" (James L. Nelson, author). ...more
Paperback, 316 pages
Published June 20th 2011 by Silverwood Books (first published 2006)
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Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  263 ratings  ·  67 reviews

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I really enjoyed this fine book by Helen Hollick. Her earlier novels have always been firm favourites of mine so I was intrigued to find this change over to a series of novels set in the early 18th century, about the world of sailing ships, the lifestyle of pirates and the charismatic and romantic character of Jesamiah Acorne, captain of the "Sea Witch" - "the man with the black hair and blue ribbons"

Tiola is the young girl with mysterious powers whom he falls in love with. This book is full of
Judith Starkston
It’s hard not to enjoy a good pirate yarn and Helen Hollick makes it especially easy with Sea Witch. Pirate lore and a large dose of magic from the sea witch of the title (and mystical appearances from Tethys, spirit of the oceans) put this series squarely in the fantastical range, so be sure you enjoy a leap onto the wild side before you pick up this book.

Once you’ve established that, this is a page-turning, entertaining read. Hollick builds in the details of pirate life both on ship and in po
I have to confess that if I hadn’t received the prequel to this series, I likely wouldn’t have read this, even though I’ve read all of Helen’s other books and loved them. I had never really been too interested in pirates beyond generally romanticizing them like everyone else, and enjoying the Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland. It’s not generally the time period I’m into. But she sent me the prequel to review and I LOVED it, and then she sent me this as a gift for some help I gave on her web ...more
Well, this was an interesting read! Interesting because it certaily was not on my radar and I only chose it because I "have to" read a historical adventure title for my upcoming Readers' Advisory meeting. This title was on the list that our chair provided of alternate historical adventure titles and it was one of few that sounded even vaguely interesting to me- but even then I was not expecting very much. ::Opens mouth, inserts foot:: I liked this much more than I expected to. The plot was very ...more
Dec 08, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arrrrrrrr
I read this book (and the two following after it) to write reviews for the magazine No Quarter Given, although I skipped this book in my review because the magazine had covered it before (still gotta read these series in order, though!). This is the first book in a current trilogy (soon to be quartet) of supernatural/fantasy -- and yet well-researched historical -- pirate tales taking place around the tale end of the Golden Age of Piracy. (There are cameos from Henry Jennings, Calico Jack, and a ...more
Blodeuedd Finland
Pirates, oh yes, pirates. This book introduces us to Jesamiah who became a pirate when he was young, because he half-brother was a total ass (trust me, an ass, but then we also learn why during the book. In the end I even understood his madness).

Jesamiah does have standards, no rapes so that makes me like this pirate. Since pirates in the end were not very nice people. But he is a good man and when he falls in love he becomes an ever better man. Even if he loves the sea way too much.

The heroine
Marie Z. Johansen
Jul 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The story of "Sea Witch" is rooted in the 'golden age' of piracy - around 1716 - and the action extends from the infamous 'horn of Africa' to the beaches of the well known pirate haunts in the Caribbean. If you can, for a moment, consider what Johnny Depp would be like if he was 100 per cent more charismatic you would have an idea of how good the main protagonist of the series, Captain Jesamiah Acorn, is. His command of the sailing vessel "Sea Witch" give series it's name. The main female charac ...more
Christy English
Jul 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
To me, the only good pirate has ever been a dead pirate, but Helen Hollick has changed my mind. Jesamiah Acorne is cast off his father’s plantation at a young age, forced to make his way in the world. He takes to the sea, coming to win a ship of his own, the SEA WITCH. Beloved of the white witch Tiola and the sea goddess Tethys, Jesamiah sails into danger with every tide. With romance and swash-buckling joy, Helen Hollick leads us into a world where the oceans are full of magic and where the sta ...more
Jul 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum! Sea Witch is a ripping good tale starring an irresistible pirate hero, Jesamiah Acorne and his true love, the white witch, Tiola Oldstagh set during the golden age of piracy, 1716. It is a genre defying novel; part historical fiction, part adventure novel, part romance, and part fantasy, for all together a very gripping and enticing read.

For the rest of my review, please check out my blog at:
Apr 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Shame on mainstream publishers for rejecting a book of this quality!!!!

I have to admit, I am not generally a fan of nautical adventures. I have never particularly desired to read, for example, Patrick O’Brian’s Master and Commander or Julian Stockwin’s Kydd adventures series (but did, come to think of it, enjoy Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped, hmm…), so I was a rather skeptical of my ability to become engrossed in Sea Witch. However, knowing the author is a writer of enjoyable historical fict
J.G. Harlond
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fine mixture of historical fiction and fantasy, with a touch of a thriller. I raced through this book, but didn't want it to end. The love story at the heart of the novel is at times heart-rending - perhaps because the flawed, but entirely charming Jesamiah Acorne is such a captivating protagonist. Secondary characters feel like real people (many of them are). The sequences set at sea also show the author's considerable knowledge of sailing ships and navigation. All in all a thoroughly good re ...more
Judy & Marianne from Long and Short Reviews
originally posted at http://longandshortreviews.blogspot.c...

He’s too wild and she’s too young, but Tiola knows the day will come when they will be one. Her ageless self that has been since time immemorial knows their souls have touched before and are meant to be together.

Jesamiah Acorne, a pirate wild and free, learned his trade from the best. He loves the danger, challenge, and adrenaline rush of the Chase. In his early twenties, he is already wealthy, but something other than pursuit of weal
Feb 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookbzz-com
Helen Hollick is a "serious" Historical Fiction writer of some note in receipt of high critical praise for the "Pendragon's Banner" trilogy, a largely historic take on the Arthurian legend, and her epic "Saxon" series ("The Lost Kingdom" - UK, known as "1066" in the US).

In Sea Witch, the first book of Hollick's Sea Witch Series now running to four novels, one suspects Hollick unbuttoned her historical stays and let loose a story combining Historical and Pirate Fantasy which is packed with thrill
Aug 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Helen Hollick's novels about Jesamiah Acorne have long been on my radar, self-published or no. The reason for this is that I read all of the historical novels that she wrote and released through a traditional publisher when I was younger - her trilogy about King Arthur, and books about Harold the King. Helen has struggled to get to a point where she was even able to release the Jesamiah books, and eventually decided to self-publish.

And you know what? It is absolutely criminal that her books won'
Rosie Amber
Feb 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sea Witch is a swashbuckler historical fiction tale set in the 1700's around Captain Jesamiah Acorne. He's a notorious pirate who sails the seas around the Caribbean, Southern US states and across to Cape Town in South Africa.

This is a time of Dutch East Indian trade-boats, Spanish galleons laden with Mexican treasure, English traders and privateers. Ships took months to cross the oceans, explorers where sailing around the world and opportunities to become rich were often at the mercy of the se
Debbie Young
Dec 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, what a rollicking read - exciting, romantic, so vividly written that I felt like a stowaway on each of the many ships commandeered by the charming pirate hero Jesamiah Acorne (or Oakwood or whatever other pseudonym he takes to save his own skin along the way).

Helen Hollick has added lots of extra depth to this jolly romp - and I'm not talking fathoms here. Firstly, by weaving in the interesting tale of the girl after whom the eponymous ship is named - the Cornish maid with hidden powers of
3.5 stars

Sea Witch wasn’t a book I expected to enjoy at all, but I did. While it did have its problems, Hollick’s blend of historical details, polished writing and an emotionally compelling plot, coupled with likeable characters made this book a fun, easily enjoyable escape from reality. The fact that Sea Witch seems to play with several different genres will make it incredibly accessible to a broad spectrum of potential readers. This is a self-published book that gives self-publishing a good na
Aug 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This perspective of a pirates life swell written. Not one moment of wishing the story to end. If there really is a white witch the likes of this heroine is snider ought. How weird would that be to have access to knowledge of all time in your head? This 16 year old is certainly adult forger age. Can't imagine any girl today this savvy. Love struck, soul mate what a binding thread, so lucky to know they were meant for each other. This was a good yarn and historical piece worth the rime to read evn ...more
Jul 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Super Swashbuckling fun! I loved it. It runs along the lines of a Jack Sparrow character, but Jes, is so much better than Jack. Be warned, this is an adult book. There is language (duh! Pirates) And sex (duh! Pirates)... but on the whole completely entertaining and well worth the read. I would recommend every book by this author, she has a great way of keeping you entertained and informed at the same time.
Ruth Downie
Apr 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A joyful combination of history, fantasy and romance. I probably wouldn't have picked this up had I not known the author but it turned out to be a guilty pleasure - Jesamiah Acorne is irresistible, partly because his piratical tendencies pale into insignificance beside the awfulness of the real bad guys. ...more
Rima Jean
Oct 05, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a fun read! Ms. Hollick knows her history, and blends fantasy in seamlessly. Jesamiah Acorne is a likeable hero, and the book is filled with magic and witches and evil bad guys. Highly recommended.
Jul 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful start to a trilogy of pirates, sailing and the intertwining stories of Captain Acorne and Tiola.

The rich details and supernatural element make this an entertaining read all the way to the last page.
Julie Rose
Apr 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Super entertaining and, especially toward the end, very hard to put down. I really enjoyed visiting places not normally seen in historical fiction (the Caribbean, Virginia, Cape Town) and loved the mingling of historical fiction and fantasy. Looking forward to reading the next books in the series.
Sara Giacalone
Feb 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was a fun romp - and quite a change for me, more lighthearted than anything I've read in a while - so I flew through it. I have already started the sequel, and suspect it will be more of the same, a very good thing indeed. ...more
Oct 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nautical_fiction, bhm
Carla Nayland
A rollicking swashbuckler on the high seas, part romance, part pirate adventure, part historical and part fantasy.
Sep 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pirates, pirates, and more pirates!
gj indieBRAG
We are proud to announce that this book has been honored with a 2012 B.R.A.G.Medallion - telling you that this book is well worth your time and money!
Wendy Unsworth
Oct 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to confess that lately I have developed a little soft spot for pirates. It actually started a few years ago when I spent some time in the Caribbean and Central America. That area of the world abounds with stories about pirates. Then came the absolutely wonderful TV series Black Sails and its references to the great novel, Treasure Island…

So when I came across this series of pirate tales, I had to give it a try.

Sea Witch is the first book about the adventures of Captain Jesemiah Acorne and
Oct 06, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I made it until the romance between the main characters first started to bloom, which doesn't happen until late in the book... I appreciate that the geography and language were so well researched but lord, did it feel dull! I didn't really understand the sudden personality shift in the heroine. It seemed like she was changed from a plucky, brave young girl, to a jaded, cagey damsel that was all of a sudden traumatized by her past for the convenience of having a barrier to the relationship develo ...more
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Helen Hollick's Historical Novels - Reviews? 2 10 Apr 04, 2013 06:06PM  

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I escaped London in January 2013 to live in North Devon - but was born in Walthamstow, North East London in 1953 I began writing at the age of 13. Desperately wanting a pony of my own, but not being able to afford one, I invented an imaginary pony instead, writing stories about our adventures together at every spare opportunity. In the seventies I turned to science fiction - this was the age of Dr ...more

Other books in the series

Sea Witch Chronicles (5 books)
  • Pirate Code (Sea Witch Voyages, #2)
  • Bring It Close (Sea Witch Voyages, #3)
  • Ripples in the Sand
  • On The Account (Sea Witch Voyages #5)

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