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Loyalty, Omens and Fate: Review of The Girl the Sea Gave Back

Book: The Girl the Sea Gave Back

Author: Adrienne Young

My review of Sky in the Deep.

Year Published: 2019

  • Plot: 4/5
  • Characters: 4/5
  • Writing: 4.5/5
  • Overall: 4/5

“Augua ór tivar. Ljá mir sýn”

“Eye of the gods. Give me sight”

The Girl the Sea Gave Back was the mystical companion novel to Sky in the Deep, set in the same vivid Viking-inspired world that told a story woven by fate, destiny and omens of the future. Unlike Sky in the Deep, this book was less focused on the theme of family and placed more emphasis on finding a place to belong and coming into one’s own. It was a poignant tale which I really liked.

The story was told from the points of view of two characters: Halvard and Tova. In Sky in the Deep, Halvard was eight-years-old and it was nice to see him as a grown man in this book. He remained just as kind, brave and genuine as he always was and I loved watching him grow and develop into a worthy leader. I also liked briefly meeting other characters from Sky in the Deep like Eelyn, Iri and Fiske and getting to see the family they made together. Mýra was also in this book and I liked getting to know her even more- I think a spin-off story based on her would be really interesting!

“The stones don’t lie”

Tova was a member of the Kyrr clan, a people who believed in the power of fate and had markings all over their skin which told their stories. When she was six-years-old Tova washed up in a boat all by herself near the Svell clan and was taken in by a man who lived there. She had no memory of her life before except from the knowledge that she was a Truthtongue and could read the future in rune stones. The Svell were always suspicious of her and her place among them was precarious. When she read their futures they blamed her for the outcomes despite the fact that she was only conveying their fates not influencing them.

Tova really wanted a place to belong and she was tired of being treated like the enemy. She slowly realised that she couldn’t be blamed for the fates of others and no matter what she told them they would always twist the signs and believe in the future they wanted. She learnt to fight for who and what she thought was right and found her happiness. However, I would have liked her to have had more character development and more explanation behind her backstory.

“War is easy. It comes again and again, like waves to a shore. But I lived most of my life driven by hate and I don’t want that for my grandchildren”

Overall, I really liked The Girl the Sea Gave Back although I think it could have been longer and included more character and plot development. The world building, the themes of fate and reading the future in rune stones were brilliantly done and it was a powerful, magical read.

Thank you to Titan Books for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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