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The Witch Sea

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  1,317 ratings  ·  160 reviews
The witch Meriel has spent her entire life in the lighthouse on tiny Bound Island. Upon the distant shore prowls an ancient sea god kept captive by a generations-old spell, a spell that Meriel alone must protect.

Meriel's life has been lonely and unchanging--until the arrival of Nor. Nor's shape is that of a woman, but her heart belongs to the sea. Even though Nor is also h
Kindle Edition, 28 pages
Published March 3rd 2012
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3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,317 ratings  ·  160 reviews

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Anna (Bananas)
The Witch Sea is a beautiful, evocative story that wraps itself around you with its simple, heartfelt yearning.
The witch Meriel longs for love and freedom, two things she believes she'll never have. The selkie Nor and her people long for their true home. Meriel keeps them from it by weaving a spell every day, a kind of net to hold them from the sea. It's a tradition passed down from her mother and grandmother, something she doesn't question at first.
But every night the sea people stand on the s
✨    jamieson   ✨
The Witch Sea had an interesting Concept, but I feel like this book was too short to really capitalise off of it. The worldbuilding was okay, but the contents was outlandish and so there really needed to be more worldbuilding to not leave me so confused, I think.

But what I loved about this was the tone, it's melancholy and dark and uniquely told from a first person present tense which was interesting. I don't know how I feel about the writing, on one hand it was pretty, but on the other I think
A haunting, beautiful story of the witch Meriel, bound to an island by duty and Nor, a woman that came from the sea but held captive on land by the spell. It reads like a Gothic noir, all misty and moody. The author's style is lyrical yet crisp, and you get caught up by Meriel's helplessness as she ponders the futilty of this curse she must uphold.
Shannon Cate
Feb 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
This story surprised me with the sheer beauty of the writing. It is neither overly florid nor unclear in its descriptions. It is just right. The first-person voice led me right inside the character quickly and made her loneliness and just-below-the-surface bitterness palpable without requiring a lot of explanation. Her incremental shift in attitude towards her self and others was handled with great skill and I entirely believed in this character's growth and change.
I found the back story a bit c
lacy [lacy’s library]
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, 4-stars, d, ebooks, own
This was read as part of the Goodreads Inspired Read-a-thon.
The challenge was pick a book with a title that either fascinates you or you find completely absurd. I picked this book for that challenge because I was fascinated with the title.

What an absolutely beautiful short story! This would make such an excellent full length novel. I hope the author does make this a full length novel. I'm really just surprised that I liked it considering I'm not the biggest fan of short stories. I feel they are
Jan 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Sometimes an erotic story is not an erotic story, at least how we think of as one of ‘those’ stories. This is definitely one of them, no actual peeking under anyone skirts, no actual bow-chicka-wah-wah… This story is reminiscent of elegant and classic Gothic romances. Though labeled as Lesbian Fantasy, it is a story about learning to love and to accept that some people’s truths will never be your own and embracing yours as not only acceptable but truth. It is simply a stunning short story.

Cheyenne Blue
Apr 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Gently written with a Celtic lilt, this beautiful tale of magic and sea creatures and duty that is its own prison was a delight to read.
The Witch Sea is a short and rather sad story of a witch who has inherited a great trust from her mother and her grandmother, who begins to doubt whether she's doing the right thing. Nor, a seal turned into a woman, comes to see her every day with an offer, and she finds herself weakening in her resolve and falling in love.

It's well written, without any flab, and the backstory of it falls together easily: it feels complete, not like there's something missing, which is something I have felt with
Chasia Lloyd
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing

This was a cool, beautiful queer short about the blurry lines of what makes a prisoner and what makes a monster.
Kenya Wright

This was a Dark Fantasy short about love and the price of freedom.

I give it 5 stars.

This short was enchanting and beautiful!

She managed to get me intrigued by a new world, make it mysterious, and show me love as well as question the concept of freedom. . .all in like barely twenty pages.



I knew what she was. 

When she came up the path, feet quiet, deliberate, I knew it from the way she moved, the webbing between her bare toes, h
Jillian -always aspiring-
Mar 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those who enjoy stories based around mood, emotion, and magic
Sarah Diemer just keeps sharpening her craft with each story I read from her. This short story, The Witch Sea, is no exception, for it boasts exquisite writing that rivals even some of the offerings in Diemer's longer works such as The Dark Wife and Sugar Moon. For those who have yet to read Diemer's work, I would say this short story is a great place to start. (If you need any more goading, the romance is between a witch and a selkie maiden... Can't say that isn't a hook in and of itself, right ...more
Skye Kilaen
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 0-genre-fantasy
Gorgeously written novella about a witch who's inherited the lifelong crushing burden of keeping a sea god captive to prevent the destruction of the world, and how she reacts to the woman sent by that god to change her mind. How do you decide when to let go of lifelong beliefs passed down to you by previous generations? When do you decide that your own life is worth more than obligations given to you by others, that you've accepted and worked to meet?

The characterization here is amazing, and so
I didn't realise this was by the author of The Dark Wife until the end. I've been trying to track that book down but it's been unavailable on Book Depository since forever. :(

The Witch Sea is a wonderful f/f short story with a bittersweet ending. It's about a witch who dedicate her life to keeping alive the magic her grandmother and her mother started, until something makes her question whether she should be doing this at all.

I'm too tired to make words happen so this isn't really a good review,
Mar 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful but simple, 'The Witch Sea' carries you along like the gentle ebb and flow of the ocean. I was unaware of how entangled my heart had become until the very last page, the last paragraph, the last sentence, when tears welled up in my eyes.

Sarah Diemer uncovers another pearl, proving to me once again that reading her tales is a spiritual experience.
Lila Lockhart
A quick read, that captured me with it's beautiful writing style, it's enchanting story, and it's heart. I will have to try some more of Diemer's writing.
Dec 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wlw-rep
I don't actually know when I bought this, but I need to catch up on my reading (five books left...) and I decided reading a wlw book would be cool. Turns out this was super short, which is helpful.
About half of the way through, I wrote this:
"What is this story really about? It is about the burdens left by previous generations for the newer generations to deal with, burdens which often get harder. The fact that the main character is a lesbian only amplifies this new-ness, as millennials and gen x
Olivia Chanel's Galaxy of Books
Really cute short story about the sea, magic, girls and choosing who you want to be in the world. One of my favorite quotes is the following,

"You're magic," I told her, and when the words had left my mouth, I knew how true they were, how deeply true. She was magic to me, the sort of spell I could never make, could never understand.

I would really recommend this one to people who want a short f/f fantasy story.
Starry Up
This was a lovely little fairytale, about a girl who lives alone on an Island maintaining a curse in order to stop the world ending. The story explores the idea of keeping up traditions and hatreds without fully understanding why.

I've seen this listed a few times as romance (the genre), which surprised me - the story is romantic, but no more than any fairy tale including a love story.
What a lovely magical story.
Meriel was an outstanding character and despite the short length of the novel, I already feel like I know her very well.
The writing was gorgeous. I was into the story immediately, and the imagery it evoked was beautiful.
Hildred Billings
Jul 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was another short lesbian-themed romance I picked up for free on my Kindle. (Didn't see it free last time, so maybe it's limited time?) The cover was also lovely and the overall plot was fantasy, so I was immediately intrigued.

"The Witch Sea" is the legend of Meriel, a third-generation witch who lives captive on an island, upholding a spell her grandmother put in place decades before against the sea-creature Galo. The legend implies that Galo turned human and went ashore in order to destro
Apr 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Although this is a short story I really enjoyed it. I even found myself crying a time or two, probably because I could sort of relate to the loneliness that the main character, Meriel, felt.

Meriel is a witch, from a long line of witches. When her grandmother (also named Meriel) was a young woman, a sea god by the name of Galo, angered by the treatment of the sea by man, decided to enact revenge on the human race for it. But Meriel's grandmother appeared, cursing Galo, and the other sea creatures
Jul 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: glbt
This story was so beautiful and heartwarming that I’ve caught myself rereading it on more than one occasion. From the language to the setting to the overall theme, there is no doubt in my mind that the characters were developed far beyond what we see in the story itself.

The conflict and resolution are well-balanced, great for someone looking for a story that’s both evocative and a quick read. It deals with a lot of issues from loneliness to familial ties and loyalty, expectations, duty, and what
J. Ellyne
Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved the Witch Sea, a story of magic and enchantment mostly, rather than erotica, but very much a F/F love story. The protagonist (or is she actually the villain?) is a witch and her nemesis is a god of the sea. They are caught in a generation long struggle which comes to a climax when the sea god sends one of his creatures to the witch, in human form, to seduce her. They fall in love slowly. The sea creature wants to go home to the sea but the witch's magic is keeping her, the sea god, and m ...more
"...we were all, in our own way, monsters."

Sapphicathon: Science Fiction/Fantasy

This can be downloaded for free here.

Meriel is a witch living on an island. Her grandmother, also a witch, cursed the sea god Galo and the rest of the shapeshifters to remain on land. Meriel must maintain the curse as her grandmother and mother did, but questions everything she has ever known when she meets the selkie Nor.

It's a quick read, the writing is beautiful and f/f love saves the day, so that was enough to m
Jan 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
OH MAN. This story is so beautiful. The writing is rich, and can be a little bit too much if you try to take it in all at once. But I lay in the dark, reading this on my tablet, and there was nothing at all in the room but this story, and it is written in such a way that I felt like I was there. It was beautiful, and crazy intense.

I like this a LOT MORE than I am liking the Dark Wife. The Dark Wife is kind of boring, and nothing really happens in it. This, however, is fantastic the entire way th
May 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved this short story. My only complaint is that it is a short story. I will be reading more by this author.
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Achingly beautiful story of generational burden and love. Also selkies, a big weakness of mine.
Tammy K.
Fair story.
I like the idea of a seal shapeshifter (Nor)
I would have liked it to be a tad longer but for a short story it is worth a quick read.
CR Daylex
Apr 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Really good short story. Pleasantly surprised because I wasn't expecting it to be so deep when it's only 28 pages.
Louise ✨
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: f-f, lgbtqiap
Sometimes I thought about what it might have been like if I'd been born to another mother, if I had not been raised on an island to nurse a curse that was not my own.

THE WITCH SEA was incredible. It's the first book by Sarah Diemer that I've read and I'm in love with her writing style ! It was very lyrical and full of magic, sadness but hope too.

We follow Meriel. She lives on an island since she was born, and like her mother and her grandmother before her, she has to protect the world from the
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I write about heroic, magical girls who love girls. YA author of Golden Crown Award-winning THE DARK WIFE (the lesbian, YA retelling of the Persephone myth) and TWIXT and co-author, with my amazing wife, author Jennifer Diemer, of Project Unicorn: A Lesbian YA Extravaganza.

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“She was prisoner to an old, forgotten god, kept from her home, probably never to see it again, and yet... the way she sat, poised, calm, clear like a full moon night, she seemed much happier than me, the witch who contained them all, the jailer with the magic key.” 12 likes
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