The Girl The Sea Gave Back

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Synopsis:
“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.

Book Information:
Written By: Adrienne Young
Published by: Titan Books [UK]
Publication Date: September 3, 2019
Format: Paperback & eBook
Price: £8.99
9781789091298|320 PP

My Review

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.

 

Soul of the Sword Blog Tour

Thank you to Harper Collins HQ for a chance to be part of this blog tour. Below is an honest review in exchange for a copy of the book.

[And….honestly, this is now one of my favorite trilogies and I haven’t even read book three yet]

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Synopsis:
The Time of the Wish Approaches…
Yumeko the shapeshifter had one task: take her piece of the ancient and powerful scroll to the Steel Feather temple and prevent the summoning of the great Kami Dragon. But she has a new enemy now. The demon Hakaimono, has escaped and possessed the samurai she thought would protect her, Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan.
Hakaimono has done the unthinkable and joined forces with Genno, the Master of Demons, to break his curse and set himself free. But Genno wishes to overthrow the empire and cover the land in darkness. To do that he needs only one thing, the scroll Yumeko is hiding. As the paths of Yumeko and the possessed Tatsumi cross again the entire empire will be thrown into chaos.
And Chaos will darken an Empire
Return to Juli Kagawa’s beautiful and perilous land of shapeshifter, samurai and demons as Japanese mythology and magic swirl together in the New York Times bestselling author’s brand new adventure. 

Book Information:
Title: Soul of the Sword (Shadow of the Fox #2)
Publication Date:
27 June 2019
Publisher: HQ, Harper Collins
Paperback: £7.99
eBook: £3.99
Audio: £12.99

 

My Review

I could probably fangirl about this and book one for weeks if you all let me, no lie just a post a day for each character and then one a day for each lovely detail…weeeeeeks. But, I will refrain and try my best to give it to you without too much gushing.

I had not read any of Julie Kagawa’s works until Shadow of the Fox and once I did, I realized this was going to be something I was going to love and treasure. Kagawa gives us such a lush and beautiful world steeped in Japanese mythology and descriptions that make you want to go visit so you can help Yumeko and ‘the gang’ as I call them.

While we’re still striving for diversity the fact that Kagawa just pushes out this amazing fantasy book and gives us a main female protagonist and the great creatures from myth which sometimes we forget about with all the books dominated by the Medieval Western inspired worlds [and to be fair, I love those books too].

Yumeko was an isolated and sheltered girl in the first book and though she’s certainly learning the way of the world, our lovely kitsune still retains some of her innocence which makes for some pretty heart felt and chuckle induced moments. Still, the fact that Kagawa has Yumeko reaching into herself and accepting a part of her she’s really kept at a distance is a beautiful thing to watch. Not only that but Yumeko builds her relationships closer with others around her as Tatsumi -Hakaimono are elsewhere. [Not giving away any spoilers other than what’s already given away from the blurb!]

It’s almost as if there are no side characters in Kagawa’s Shadow of the Fox books, each one is hashed out and given such attention in the details that you feel as if you really know them all. Especially Okame and Daisuke, Reika, well it fits that she’s still the one we know the least as she keeps her distance emotionally more than the others.

We also get to see more inner thoughts of Hakaimono and those were some of my favorite parts, he’s still this imposing monster in every aspect of the word but even he can see how 400 years has made him change ever so slightly being in the presence of humans, even if it has been in a sword.

Suki is actually one of my favorite characters and I was so excited we got to see more chapters with her this time around. I think she’s so precious and man, Kagawa broke my heart for in like the first three pages of Shadow of the Fox

Like the first book, Soul of the Sword shows us more of the world that our beloved group of characters is in, there’s no revisiting, it’s pushing onwards towards their goals, their mission which is integral to the whole world at this point. Each new city and territory discovered was described so well that it felt like Kagawa might have travelled to this fanatasy world and painted a picture of it all with her words. We encounter some new faces, we get to see more of the Kage clan and more importantly, we get to see more magic.

If you’re looking for a fantasy read that gives you everything your heart desires with world building, great characters, and awesome fighting and magic, then go pick up Shadow of the Fox and then immediately go pick up Soul of the Sword. I’ve never loved the first two books so much in a trilogy before, I couldn’t pick between the two so it’s safe to say Kagawa brings her A game and will continue to do so.

Fair warning this left me with a terrible book hangover. [Don’t believe me? I’ve now had dreams of the characters of Soul of the Sword recreating Rurouni Kenshin in their own style.] This was hands down a 5/5 Cups of Coffee read for me and I’d be happy to write another five paragraphs but I’ll leave it alone for now.

What am I supposed to do while waiting for book 3? Reread already? Seems acceptable…anything to fill the hole in my heart that Soul of the Sword has left.

About the Author

Picture used from her website
Julie Kagawa is the author of the bestselling Iron Fey and Talon series. She lives with her husband, two obnoxious cats, one Australian Shepherd who is too smart of his own good, ant he latest addition, a hyper-active Papillon puppy.

Rest of the Tour Schedule

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