Minda’s preg review of The Girl The Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young! This book came out 9/3, We picked up an advanced copy at ALA. We’d like to thank Adrienne and Wednesday Books for the opportunity to read and review!
The new gut-wrenching epic from the New York Times bestselling author of Sky in the Deep.
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.
Synopsis from Goodreads
What I drank prior: Root-beer to go with my lobster roll in Boston!
Spoiler-free Overview: For the first time in ages, the Svell and recently formed Nādhir clans are on the verge of war. With fear building on both sides, Tova must cast the stones to decide their fate which sets the future into motion.
Spoiler-free Thoughts: “Eye of the gods. Give me sight.” Very glad that my WRFB cobloggers picked this up at BookCon! I enjoyed reading it (a win imo after a few books that I *eventually* got through, but were a struggle)—I liked the Norse vibes and the story as a whole.
Characters: Our first MC is Tova, a Kyrr Truthteller—aka she can predict the future sorta—who was adopted by the faith leader Jorrund of the Svell clan. He’s not great IMO. The Svell clan is led by Bekan with his brother and second-in-command Vigdis. They have mixed feelings about the Kyrr girl. Other MC is Halvard, the next-in-line leader of the Nādhir tribe, who has the full support of his clan, including current leader Espen.
Plot: The plot is set in motion when Vigdis & co start a blood feud with the Nādhir because he sees war as inevitable. In deciding what route to take, the clan leader calls for Tova to cast the stones which predicts doom for the clan. The Nādhir clan, on the other hand, is rightly pissed about the start of a blood feud and hopes to calm things down to avoid war with the much-larger tribe. When the two clans meet, chaos ensures, launching a whole new path of events. Or as the book would call it, fate. Tova and Halvard seek to do right by their tribes in the midst of the chaos.
World Building: I really liked the Norse-theme and love that this is part of a larger world! I now have to read the companion book Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young to get even more because I have questions. Also, hope there are more books!
Writing Style: The writing was predominately first person present—split between the two MCs—peppered in with flashbacks in second person past tense for both. It was a little weird, but didn’t hate it. Could have been interesting to hear from a few more of the characters in the flashbacks.
What to pair it with: Whiskey on-the-rocks feels Norse-y
Rating: 4/5 shots