“But what did these warriors know about fate?
It was the curling, wild vine that choked out the summer crops. It was the wind that bent wayward currents and damned innocent souls to the deep. They hadnt’ seen th stretch of it or the way it could shift suddenly, lik a flock of startled birds. Fate’s hand was something they said because they didn’t understand it.
That’s what I was for.
Set ten years later int he same vividly imagined world of Sky in the Deep and featuring an adult Halvard, The Girl the Sea Gave Back promises to be a refreshingly new, yet familiar addition to the captivating series.
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. Tova 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 ther newfound power? And when their chieftan 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.
Written By: Adrienne Young
Published by: Titan Books [UK]
Publication Date: September 3, 2019
Format: Paperback & eBook
I think this book is so different than its predecessor, as in that it feels like it’s there for the pure love of prose and I am completely there for that. This is set in the same world as Sky in the Deep but ten years later. This means the world has already been set up in a large fashion. Still though, Young makes it easy for someone who hasn’t read her previous novel to dive right in. [Pun intended]
Tova is a character who has always been on the outside looking in of the people around her. We’re allowed to dive deep into her mind and insecurities while we are also shown Halvard, switching between the two all the while being tugged along by this almost mystical connection that seems to lay between them.
The battle scenes were some of my favorites and Young has a true talent for writing them.
While the story switches between Tova and Halvard, it was truly Tova’s story in my mind, the girl that washed up in a burnt-out funeral pyre. She constantly shows an inner strength despite the self-doubt and insecurities and that made her feel so real and I loved her for it. [I do have to admit though, haha, Gunther was actually my favorite character.]
I would have liked to explore Halvard as he has aged ten years since the last book but I did appreciate that the focus was on Tova’s story that just happened to revolve around him in its own way. You did feel his motivation and the love he had for his. family and that was quite poignant.
Halvard is a strong warrior but he’s also someone who still observes and listens and that was his true strength, especially in his connection to Tova.
Lost in a world that is not her own, but unable to remember her own, Tova has dealt with the hand she assumed life had dealt her, living a parallel life to a clan that resents and fears her, not knowing the true love of family, and yet still retaining a heart capable of empathy and kindness.
Though Tova is a Truthtongue, she has weaknesses and other strengths and the fact that Young explores so much of Tova in so little time is pretty impressive.
This was a slower-paced novel with fates intertwined through the power of rune stones though Tova tries to make sense of it all. Despite the fact she can read the stones, the future is never clear.
Four cups of coffee from me!
Thank you to Sarah Mather/Titan Books for a copy of this for me to honestly review!
About the Author
Adrienne Young is a born and bred Texan turned California girl. She is a foodie with a deep love of history and travel and a shameless addiction to coffee. She lives with her documentary filmmaker husband and their four little wildlings beneath the West Coast sun. Adrienne is the author of the New York Times bestseller Sky in the Deep and the forthcoming The Girl the Sea Gave Back.