The Wicked Deep


“Love is an enchantress-devious and wild. It sneaks up behind you, soft and gentle and quiet, just before it slits your throat.” (Ernshaw 177). In 1822, three sisters arrive aboard a fur trade ship to the town of Sparrow, Oregon. Marguerite, Aurora, and Hazel Swan were beautiful, so beautiful that the men of Sparrow were enchanted. Because of this, the three sisters were accused of being witches, and were drowned in the harbor as a punishment.

Since then, for the past two centuries, during the summer solstice, the sisters arise to seek revenge on the town that sent them down to the bottom of the ocean. During theses few weeks, they will take over young girls’ bodies and lead unsuspecting boys to their watery death. On the eve of this year’s “Swan season” a newcomer arrives. Bo Carter is handsome and mysterious, soon meeting a local girl, Penny Talbot. She is able to see things others cannot. As mistrust spreads through the town, together they must try to navigate through the curse; while harboring secrets of their own…

This was a wonderfully powerful book with characters that are relatable. It’s a book about the redeeming power of love and what it means to be human. This book would be appropriate for high-school students and will appeal to those that like a book with a darker theme and a mystical element to it.

Ernshaw, Shea. The Wicked Deep. Simon Pulse, an Imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, 2018.