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The Witch from the Sea by Philippa Carr
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The Witch from the Sea (1975)

by Philippa Carr

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1172103,116 (3.67)8

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I found "The Witch from the Sea" better than the first book in the series but not as good as the second one. The pace is fast in this novel, sometimes too much so, as suddenly a character I thought was, for example, aged four is now described as a 10-year-old. But this is preferable to a story that drags its feet.

I admire how the author manages to keep the narrative flow active despite a change of first-person narrator at about the halfway point. This sort of thing doesn't always work, owing to the reader having identified with the main character for most of the book, only to have what had been a lesser character thrust into the spotlight.

Must admit to liking the original narrating character (Linnet) better than the second one (Tamsyn), plus I enjoyed the first half of the story much more than the final part. That's not to say I felt it went downhill, but rather it lost some appeal to me.

Whether this author is writing as Carr, Plaidy, or Holt, she's always good at creating suspense and mystery. What invariably lets her down in my mind is that, after creating an engaging build-up, her delivery of the climax or of a/the final or fatal confrontation tends to fall flat or is underplayed/underdeveloped in some way.

This happens a couple of times in "The Witch from the Sea". I won't state exactly the parts I mean in case I create ant spoilers, so will just mention that in the second part of the book Tamsyn is in fear of her life. The author builds-up Tamsyn's anxiety superbly, leading up to what *should've* been a dramatic confrontation, yet when the moment arrives with all it's potential, it falls flat as a pancake. It left me thinking, "Is that it?" Another scene near the end also has great potential for being better than it turns out.

Because of the above points I have to rate this otherwise enjoyable tale four stars instead of five. ( )
  PhilSyphe | Mar 27, 2016 |
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Book description
THE BRIDE OF CASTLE PALING.
With the defeat of the Spanish Armada, gentle Linnet Pennlyon imagines her life will be both secure and peaceful. But her quiet beauty attracts the roving eye of Colum Casvellyn, the powerful lord of Castle Paling. When he seduces her, marriage is inevitable. And gradually Linnet accepts her life at Castle Paling -- and the violent, passionate man she married so reluctantly. Then Maria arrives -- and the woman they call `The Witch from the Sea' will bring terrible danger to Linnet and her children .. .
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A young bride saves a Spanish woman from the sea, but the act brings tragedy to her life.

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