The Girl the Sea Gave Back
by Adrienne Young Published at Titan Books
Synopsis: 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 am head over heels in love with Adrienne Young and all that she is bringing to the historical Young Adult Fiction world. I love her atmospheric writing, beautiful prose, and subtle messages beneath the surface of adventure. I loved Sky in the Deep which I read at the beginning of this year and I loved The Girl the Sea Gave Back, just as much. Adrienne Young paints a rich tapestry of a violent world full of feuds, war and magic.
I absolutely loved the cast of characters Adrienne chose for this book. One of the main characters is one I was curious about at the ending of Sky in the Deep so I was very, very excited when I found out they’d be featured in this book. I have always liked Halvard, getting to watch him grow up has been an unexpected pleasure. His personality largely moulded by Fiske, Iri, Inge, Eelyn’s father and Myra, there was no way he would not turn out a fine, strong human being. But getting to know Tova was equally intriguing. Tova was simply put, designed to be this weaker, almost inferior damsel. At least for most of the novel, she was this sheltered, criticized, emotionally and mentally abused, her meeker personality was adamant, and honestly, I liked this a lot about Tova. As the novel grew, the visions aiding her inner strength, Tova evolved into somewhat of a badass.
It’s beautifully written, almost like poetry in its descriptions, and it feels like reading an ancient text. But this book is in desperate need of a map. It’s difficult to keep track of all the different clans and territories.
I am content with what was shown, but at the same time I wanted a story not like theirs but as memorable and impactful. I would definitely recommend reading Sky in the Deep first as there are characters in this from that book, and also a lot of background information could be a bit confusing without knowing what happened in Sky in the Deep.
Overall, I recommend The Girl the Sea Gave Back if you enjoyed its companion and are interested in the Vikings and Norse Mythology and a beautiful story.
A big thank you to Titan Books for gifting me a copy of The girl the sea gave back.