Title: The Girl the Sea Gave Back
Author: Adrienne Young
Category: YA/Nordic Myth & Legend
My Rating: 5 Star
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.
I think I’ve found my new favourite author! I devoured Young’s debut novel, Sky in the Deep, in two days and bought her second book before I’d closed the last page. You can read my review of that book HERE.
The world-building is so vivid you can almost smell the forest and feel the wind coming off the fjord. Set in the same landscape as Sky in the Deep but ten years later, The Girl the Sea Gave Back follows the story of another clan, the Svell, but weaves beautifully with the cast and clans of the first book. However, you can easily read this as a standalone novel as it’s so well written that you understand who everyone is.
We follow the stories of Tova and Halvard. Tova is a Kyrr truthtongue, living a dangerous life among a clan who fears and hates her, and Halvard is a young warrior destined to lead. Tova’s character reaches out to anyone who has ever felt disconnected. She has an inner strength that emerges over time and a desire to belong. Halvard is compassionate, loyal, and wants peace for his family. Their futures are entwined, and you keep turning the pages to find out how it all turns out.
Young’s novels are spellbinding, fast-paced, and packed full of action, loveable characters, and excellent research. I can’t wait to see what she writes next.