All Hanna Euli wants is to become a proper witch – but unfortunately, she’s stuck as an apprentice to a grumpy fisherman. When their boat gets caught up in a mysterious storm and blown wildly off course, Hanna finds herself further away from home than she’s ever been before.
As she tries to get back, she learns there may be more to her apprentice master than she realized, especially when a mysterious, beautiful, and very non-human boy begins following her through the ocean, claiming that he needs Hanna’s help. – Goodreads
This duo of books is a companion series (a sequel of sorts) to the Assassin’s Curse series. Hanna is named after Ananna, but due to northern accents, no one can pronounce her true name, rendering it Hanna instead. Hanna’s mother is a former pirate, her father is a fisherman, and Hanna’s dream is to train as a witch, though for now, she’s apprenticed to a thoroughly boring fisherman named Kolur. Or she thinks it’s boring anyway, until Kolur takes her on a trip far out of her comfort zone. He is also extremely reticent, telling Hanna next to nothing about their journey, neither purpose nor destination. One night, Hanna meets Isolfr, a strange, otherworldly creature human in shape, but able to swim in the frigid waters of the north. Isolfr needs her help, and Hanna’s loyalties are to be tested.
Hanna can be pretty obnoxious, but she has some reason to be, considering she’s been lied to and almost killed on this trip. All she wants to do is go home. So when their ship gets blown off course, way off course, Hanna decides to leave Kolur and Frida and strike out on her own. She is working on a fishing boat, saving money to go home, making friends with the couple renting the houseboat next to her’s, when something terrible happens. Hanna realizes that she is not going to be able to escape this mission she’s been forced to go on, but she still insists on doing it her own way.
I found this book slow and boring. I liked the world and the magic and the people, but nothing happens for so much of it. Just Hanna slogging along, Hanna being lonely, Hanna being surly, Hanna eating fish with her neighbors. Not much happens. It’s like this book suffers from second book syndrome somehow, even though it’s the first. It took me forever to finish this one. I’m so sad that Strange Chemistry shut down and I won’t be able to read the next one though. That is a real shame.