Roberta Writes – Book review: The Ferryman and the Sea Witch by D. Wallace Peach

The Ferryman and the Sea Witch by [D. Wallace Peach]

What Amazon says

The merrow rule the sea. Slender creatures, fair of face, with silver scales and the graceful tails of angelfish. Caught in a Brid Clarion net, the daughter of the sea witch perishes in the sunlit air. Her fingers dangle above the swells.

The queen of the sea bares her sharp teeth and, in a fury of wind and waves, cleanses the brine of ships and men. But she spares a boy for his single act of kindness. Callum becomes the Ferryman, and until Brid Clarion pays its debt with royal blood, only his sails may cross the Deep.

Two warring nations, separated by the merrow’s trench, trade infant hostages in a commitment to peace. Now, the time has come for the heirs to return home. The Ferryman alone can undertake the exchange.

Yet, animosities are far from assuaged. While Brid Clarion’s islands bask in prosperity, Haf Killick, a floating city of derelict ships, rots and rusts and sinks into the reefs. Its ruler has other designs.

And the sea witch crafts dark bargains with all sides.

Callum is caught in the breach, with a long-held bargain of his own which, once discovered, will shatter this life.

My review

The Ferryman and the Sea Witch is a terrific take on the legends of mermaids and sirens, who traditionally are dark and dangerous creatures. The Sea Witch, Panmar, rules the Deep, a significant section of the ocean between two nations of people, namely Bid Clarion ruled by King Thayne, and Haf Killick, under Queen Caspia. The Deep is home to Panmar’s people called merrow who are powerful swimmers and have the power of life or death over drowning sailors. Panmar can also control the weather and the nature of the ocean, conjuring up great and destructive storms at will.

The Ferryman is the only human who is allowed to cross this section of the ocean in his ship, Windwraith. Any other ships are destroyed and the crew drowned by the Sea Witch. The Ferryman, Callum, was on board a ship under the control of King Thayne when the crew captured a merrow, the daughter of Panmar. The crew torment the merrow much to Callum anguish. Panmar wrecks the ship in an effort to save her daughter and Callum finds the courage to cut the net holding the merrow, in an effort to free her. Unfortunately, he is to late and the merrow dies. All the crew of the ship are drowned but Panmar makes a bargain with Callum that he will be the only human who can cross the ocean, but he may never set foot on land again and he has to sacrifice a human on every crossing. The bargain will remain until a human of royal blood is offered as a sacrifice to Panmar in return for the death of her daughter.

Bid Clarion and Haf Killick are dependent on each other for trading, with Haf Killick, a city constructed of ships and other vessels, being particularly reliant on trade for survival. The two leaders hatch a plan to exchange their infant children in order to ensure that neither defaults on the trading arrangements.

The story starts with the daughter of Queen Caspia preparing to return home in exchange for Prince Rylan, the son of King Thayne.

The Ferryman had a terrible job. For twenty years he has been trapped aboard his ship and responsible for personally making the human sacrifices to Panmar. He has become worn down with it, but feels trapped. He is a pawn between the two leaders and a victim of Panmar’s one-sided bargains.

Throughout this story, the Ferryman is a victim, lacking control over his own destiny and unable to make decisions to improve his life. He believes he is unable to escape his destiny. Fundamentally a good man, he tries to protect his crew and family as best he can, but he does make a few mistakes in dealing with people that cause him a great deal of trouble. I felt sorry for the Ferryman, it is always hard to confess to deception and deviousness.

I enjoyed the growth in the Ferryman’s character and the way he overcame his despondency and lack of will and stepped up to the tasks required of him. He is the epitome of the view that brave people are just people who find the courage to take action despite being scared.

The merrow are fabulous. They are exactly as I would have imagined dark mermaids to be, with flawed ideas on right and wrong, manipulative streaks, and an underlying cruelness. Panmar is ruthless and heartless, and has no regard for any humans, even Callum.

The Ferryman and the Sea Witch is an exciting story set in a fantasy world which will capture readers imagination and hearts.

Purchase The Ferryman and the Sea Witch by D. Wallace Peach

Amazon US

D. Wallace Peach Amazon Author Page

122 thoughts on “Roberta Writes – Book review: The Ferryman and the Sea Witch by D. Wallace Peach

    1. HI Sally, thank you, I am glad you enjoyed. I have had a very dramatic week with Michael’s operation yesterday not going well and him spending last night and most of today in ICU. I will write a post about it, but I must say, I have been on an emotional rollercoaster of note.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks so much for the kind comment, Barb, and for the shout out for my trailers. I push PowerPoint to its limit with those. Lol. Robbie wrote a wonderful review and I couldn’t be happier. Have a great weekend and Happy Reading. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I found myself rooting for The Ferryman throughout. Diana has just the right balance of heroes, villains, and victims. Many of her characters fall into more than one role.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I like flawed characters, Pete, even my protagonist. I do want readers to be on his side, so I have to be careful. I’m so glad you enjoyed the cast of characters and the story. Robbie wrote a great review… as you did. Happy Writing, my friend. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m with you regarding flawed characters. It makes them more realistic when they aren’t perfect and have obstacles that get in their way—either external forces or brought about by their choices.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Ooh, you tease! Can’t wait to see what you come out with. Meanwhile, I have a few of your backlist books to tide me over 😊
        Yes, I hope Robbie gets to destress as her son heals. So scary when stuff happens to your loved ones.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Ha ha ha. I had no idea what it was either. He’s a smart kid or he’s paying close attention to the doctors and nurses. I’m delighted to hear that he’s improving. I do hope you get some time to unwind Robbie. It seems that you’ve been under stress for a long time.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks so much for the wonderful review, Robbie. And sorry for being late to the party. I can’t express how happy your review made me. You gave a clear view of a complicated story, and I’m so glad you enjoyed the characters, especially poor Callum. He has it tough. I loved writing those amoral, flawed, manipulative and cruel merrow and I’m delighted that you enjoyed them. Thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

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