The world of independent books is full of sea wrecks, but Michael Rivers’ book The Black Witch (Curse of the Black Witch) is definitely not one of them. A fan of old fashioned high seas adventures, I gladly stepped aboard and wasn’t disappointed.
As a child, I grew up on the shores where the Black Witch first casts her spell upon Dorian Coe and Gale Ritchie, her new and soon doomed owners. Stories of ships were abundant growing up, but none were as captivating as this tale. It takes you back to the days prior to WWII when the Eastern Shore of the U.S. was filled with seafaring men, days when sailing ships were still prominent on the water. The descriptions of the schooner and her workings allow the reader to join the crew. They aren’t trite or superficial; instead, they help transport one to the ship and even teach you.
Rivers brings you gently into the supernatural aspects of his novel. You first fall in love with the characters and their love for the Black Witch. Slowly, things aboard the schooner turn tragically wrong and it becomes clear that it isn’t the fault of the two ego-infused owners. That is where the true tale begins.
There were times when I did feel as though I had been set adrift, lost in the dreams of the tormented; Rivers, however, eventually came to my rescue and I continued to the end. If only the crew of the Black Witch had been as lucky! To quote from one of my favorite lines from the book: “she holds you like a whore in the night, but she’ll take your soul and not think twice.”