The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea

Content Overview

Overall Content



Alcohol, Drugs, Smoking


Intimacy, Sex, Immodesty


Violence, Weapons, Blood, Crime


Potentially Intense Themes


**As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 

My Opinion

3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5) Isn’t that a beautiful cover? It has so many details that I love it. This book has a strong start. It’s full of pirates, adventure, love and betrayal. You are introduced to a lady being sent off to be wed and orphans that grew up on a ship. Everyone is a bit morally gray and for the most part I liked that. Nobody was perfect, everyone made mistakes and most tried to be better. However, when these three meet, it takes a different turn and you find them helping each other and putting others first.

The romance in this book seemed to go from interested to in love very quickly. I had a hard time grasping that.  I wanted another chapter or two for it to develop before I could root for them. One character was a teen girl who would dress as a man for life on a ship. When she entered into a relationship, I was confused if she was now identifying as a man or a woman or what she even preferred. It wasn’t a huge part of the story but left me wondering multiple times.

One part of the story dragged a bit for me and I struggled to connect with the characters but overall I was entertained. It ended well and almost didn’t need the last two chapters or so. I loved the sea as a character, that was my favorite part. At the beginning, I got thrown off quite a bit when the chapters would change from first person to third person. They were different characters so I see the reasoning behind it but it took a bit to get used to. Also, two characters had dark skin and I didn’t notice that for quite a few chapters. There was also talk of kimonos so that made me wonder if some were Asian? I don’t feel I had good descriptions of each character so it made it hard to picture them.

The content was minimal with mostly violence and intimacy. The violence contained blood and young people killing. The intimacy contained LGBTQ+ characters, kissing and a possible rape but no details.

Thank you to NetGalley and Candlewick Press for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This book is out May 5, 2020.

The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea

Maggie Tokuda-Hall

A desperate orphan turned pirate and a rebellious imperial daughter find a connection on the high seas in a world divided by colonialism and threaded with magic.

Aboard the pirate ship Dove, Flora the girl takes on the identity of Florian the man to earn the respect and protection of the crew. For Flora, former starving urchin, the brutal life of a pirate is about survival: don’t trust, don’t stick out, and don’t feel. But on this voyage, as the pirates prepare to sell their unsuspecting passengers into slavery, Flora is drawn to the Lady Evelyn Hasegawa, who is en route to a dreaded arranged marriage with her own casket in tow. Flora doesn’t expect to be taken under Evelyn’s wing, and Evelyn doesn’t expect to find such a deep bond with the pirate Florian.

Soon the unlikely pair set in motion a wild escape that will free a captured mermaid (coveted for her blood, which causes men to have visions and lose memories) and involve the mysterious Pirate Supreme, an opportunistic witch, and the all-encompassing Sea itself.

-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.

Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings. 

Detailed Content Review



H***- 1

S***- 7

A**- 2

B****- 1

D***- 5


Religious Cursing-



G**- 3


Derogatory terms etc-

Alcohol, Drugs, Smoking

A man drinks wine.

A young man is very drunk. He does this often to escape memories. A woman offers a young man ale. 

Mermaids blood is a drink that causes forgetfulness and puts people’s minds into oblivion. This is talked about many times.

The ship crew drinks in a tavern. 

A young man always carries alcohol on him. 

A young man drinks whiskey.

A young man is drunk. 

A man is drunk. 

A man is drunk and smells of rum. 

A young man is drunk.

Intimacy, Sex, Immodesty

A young woman kisses a young woman’s mouth, cheeks, legs and neck.

A woman gives a young man ale and asks if he’s been with a woman. She says she could compensate him.

A young woman kisses a young woman on the lips, eyebrows and fingers.

On a ship a young woman is tasked with keeping men away from a young woman so they can’t rape her. Virgins can be sold at a higher price.

A young woman assumes she has a half sibling somewhere because her father was always chasing a maid or two. 

A picture of a bare breasted mermaid hangs on a wall. 

A woman admits to being in love with another woman long ago.

A young woman dressed as a man, kisses a young woman. Again.

A young woman wakes after being cared for at a healers place, completely naked. 

A man talks to a woman while she is in the bath. She tries to cover herself.

Two young women kiss multiple times in greeting. One kisses the others neck, one presses the other between her legs. 

A man eludes to raping a young man. Men held off his sibling and the boy screamed while in a room alone with a man. They said it was part of being in a man’s world. 

Two young women kiss softly. 

Two young women kiss.

Violence, Weapons, Crime, Blood

A man hits a man across the face, making him fall. A young woman slices a man’s throat, blood spurting. 

A captain requires a human ear of someone they killed, be handed over for payment for a ticket. 

A captain and his shipmates sell tickets for safe voyage but really ends up selling them as slaves. 

As a punishment, a man heats up a knife and cuts off half a young woman’s pinky then sears the flesh with the hot knife. She’s woozy and about to pass out.

A mermaid bites and sucks blood from a human then kisses the wound as it heals. 

A man grabs a woman by the hair and drags her. Three men hold a man and punch him. One slits his throat and blood pours out. A large group are taken and locked up to sell as slaves. 

A young woman shoots at men and hits one. She is then shot. 

A young man is whipped fifty times for something a family member did. He passed out. His pants were covered in urine and blood and his back was a fleshy, bloody mess. It would be cleaned with boiling water where he would have to endure intense pain again. 

A man wraps his hand around a woman’s neck and threatens her. 

A woman holds a knife to a man’s throat.

A man slices a man’s neck and watches the life leave.  

A man backhands a woman.

A man punches a man in the face. 

A man punches a man in the gut then face. They put a handkerchief over his face and pour water over it causing him to not be able to breath and he spasms, welcoming death. It happens multiple times. 

A gun shot is heard and a body hits the floor. Men punching men is heard then many shots and men are killed and thrown overboard. The deck is sticky with blood.  A young woman shoots a man in the thigh. He will bleed out in minutes as the blood pools under him. A young woman shoots his forehead and his head flips back, spraying blood on the wall. 

A young woman holds a knife to a man’s throat. He punches her a few times and kicks her multiple times, making her pass out. 

There is a battle between many ships. Cannons are used. One ship explodes. Men are floating in the water. One has blood on the back of his head, dead. A young woman is bleeding from a gash on her gut, a young man has one in his head. 

Potentially Intense Themes

A man tells of dogs ripping apart his mother and fighting over her intestines. When he tried to bury her he was whipped.

A young woman previously saw the frozen bodies of two young orphans. 

Two women start to drown. 

A story tells of a young child dying from the cold. 

A man’s mother’s head had been placed on a spike. 

**As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 

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