(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Also by this author: Sky in the Deep
Published by St. Martin's Publishing Group on September 3rd 2019
Genres: Epic, Fantasy, Legends, Myths, Fables, Young Adult Fiction
For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse.
For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again—a home.
I loved Adrienne Young’s first book Sky in the Deep so when I heard she was writing a new book and it was going to be a in the same world, I was excited! The Girl the Sea Gave Back is one I couldn’t wait to open up and dive into and I wasn’t disappointed.
This story introduces us to Tova who, as a child is found floating on the shore, and taken in by the Svell only because of the things they think she can do for them. Unfortunately for Tova, she is led to believe that her family didn’t want her, and she figures out a way to survive among the Svell even though they fear and hate her.
The chieftain of the Svell is not interested in war but when his brother goes against his wishes and attacks, they end up face to face with the leaders of the Nadhir, including the man who will take over leadership if/when something happens, Halvard. If you recall, the name, that is because Halvard is the younger brother to Fiske. Ten years later he has grown into someone the Nadhir have nominated to lead them and now that war imminent, he has some difficult decisions to make.
As Tova is tasked with finding Halvard or facing her own death, she has to make some decisions. When she and Halvard eventually come face to face, she chooses to another path. I thought the interactions between the two were interesting, but I didn’t really feel a connection between or with them.
Young writes this story beautifully, but it was a bit slow in the beginning. If you haven’t read Sky in the Deep, you don’t really have to in order to enjoy this book. In the end, I do think I enjoyed the first book more as I was more connected to Eelyn and Fiske. With that said, I did love that we got a glimpse of what the future held for them.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. If you’re looking for a story that has some mystery, plenty of action, and beautiful writing, consider picking this one up. Also, the cover is absolutely gorgeous, and I can’t wait to get my hands on a final copy.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the copy in exchange for an honest review.