Book Review – The Girl The Sea Gave Back

Title: The Girl The Sea Gave Back

Author: Adrienne Young

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Publication date: September 3rd, 2019

327 pages

4/5 stars

Goodread Synopsis

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.

Review

A companion novel to Sky in the Deep, The Girl the Sea Gave Back follows Halvard and Tova. Tova is a Truthtongue living among a hostile clan who believe she is bad luck. They would kill her given the opportunity, but she was found barely alive after her clan put her on a ship and set it on fire to sail out into the sea. The Svell took her in and she owes her life to them. Halvard is working to continue stabilizing the Riki and Aska clans, now combined to form one clan. The Svell are considering invading their land to try and take advantage of their precarious position. After Tova rolls the stones and foretells despair for the Svell tribe, they take it to mean they will be destroyed if they don’t take action. Tova and Halvard’s stories quickly collide and their fates are revealed.

I loved Sky in the Deep. Adrienne Young’s writing is so beautiful and lyrical, so I was fully expecting to love this one as well. I didn’t rate it as highly as SITD but it was still a great read for me. I liked getting to follow up with Halvard about 10 years after SITD ended, and other main characters from SITD were brought back as well – just not as main characters. I miss Eelyn though and her POV so it was hard to have her just in the background. I’m not sure she even had a line in the book, which was a shame.

My main issue with this book was the ending. It was left up to the imagination what happened and no clear explanation was given (not going to go into detail, because spoilers). I have a pretty good assumption as to what happened, but I prefer for it to be spelled out pretty clearly. I also just wasn’t as invested in Tova’s story as I was in the MC’s in SITD.

Overall, I really liked this book and the cover is absolutely GORGEOUS. Also, the first editions have this beautiful embossing on the naked book and it looks amazing. I took my time through this book as it was a gift from my boyfriend for my birthday and I didn’t want to finish it too quickly. This continues to show that I wasn’t as invested in it because I was able to easily put it down.

If you loved Sky in the Deep, check out The Girl the Sea Gave back for more Viking vibes.

Happy reading, bookish friends! 🙂

Book Review – Sky in the Deep

Title: Sky in the Deep

Author: Adrienne Young

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Publication date: April 24th, 2018

340 pages

5/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

Part Wonder Woman, part Vikings—and all heart.

Review

We find things, just as we lose things. If you’ve lost your honor, you’ll find it again.

Adrienne young, sky in the deep

Okay, friends. I ordered Sky in the Deep from Amazon because it was on a super sale and I’d heard great things about it on Bookstagram. What I didn’t know, was that it was going to jump up to one of my favorite reads of this years! I’ve never thought I would be into Viking style books, but I’ve read several this year and they were all amazing!

Two tribes, the Aska and the Riki have been at war for decades in order to curry favor with their gods. Eelyn is of the Aska tribe, and she recently became of age to participate as a warrior. During a battle with the Riki, she sees her brother, who was thought dead for several years – fighting for the Riki. When trying to find out how this happened, she was captured by the Riki and turned into a slave for them. Sky in the Deep explores love, friendship, and to what lengths those will go to for their family.

I think Sky in the Deep is a great example of how different factions of people are from each other, but more importantly how similar they are. When a common enemy forces the Aska and Riki to join forces, everything that was once concerned fact is thrown into question.

Eelyn goes through a real journey during this book. It was absolutely fascinating to read and see exactly how her worldview changes based on the events she is living through. Adrienne Young did an amazing job with the characters arcs in Sky in the Deep. It’s normally hard to do as much as she did in a standalone novel, because you just don’t have as much time to take your characters on their journey.

I am now a huge Adrienne Young fan, and she is a new auto-buy author. Definitely go check out Sky in the Deep. There is another book in this world (not sequel though) that just came out a few weeks ago, so I’m going to go get that book and read it too!

Happy reading, bookish friends! 🙂