Review of The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young (digital arc)




The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young


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.


Hardcover, 336 pages
Expected publication: September 3rd 2019 by Wednesday Books





I had really high expectations for The Girl the Sea Gave back after loving Sky in the Deep.  While I really liked the second half of this book, I just didn’t love it the way I thought I would.  Part of it might of just been my mood.  But I found it hard to get through the beginning.  It’s very possible that it would have been easier if I reread Sky in the Deep before this.  But it is still good and that cover is gorgeous!


Most of the book takes place ten years after Sky in the Deep.  We now see a grown up Halvard getting ready to lead his people.  He doesn’t think he’s ready, but he might not have any say in it.  He was chosen to lead his people after the current leader dies, but Halvard thought it was more for peace instead of war.  But the people of the Svell have other ideas.  Their leader wants to meet with them for what is basically a peace offering.  But the Svell were divided and the other group was ready for war.  They wanted to raid villages/clans and take over.


The other voice we hear from is Tova.  I loved her story and it was definitely the best parts of the book.  Tova is a Kyrr and a truthtongue.  She was found in a burning boat by a man in the Svell.  They believe the Kyrr are evil, but when he saw that she can see the future, he convinced the leader to take her in.  The man is mostly good to Tova, but no one else likes her.  She knows it would just take one word, one wrong move, and she would be dead.  They use her to cast the runes to see what the future holds for them.  Tova doesn’t realize it at first, but her most recent cast is what decided the split and the war.


Tova doesn’t remember her past and only knows a little about the Kyrr.  She speaks with the weavers and for some reason, they are tying her to a man that she doesn’t know.  But Halvard feels it, too.  He has no idea why a Kyrr is with the Svell, but he feels a weird connection to her.  Halvard is too busy to think about it much because he needs to lead his brothers, sister, and the rest of his clan into a war he doesn’t think they can win.


The action picks up a lot in the second half.  As with Sky in the Deep, expect a lot of violence, death, and blood.  I was most fascinated by the Kyrr in this book.  Their way of life, the tattoos on their body, and how they trust the runes and spinners to tell them what to do.  I would love to read more about their clan.  Our favorites from Sky in the Deep are back, but they aren’t a big focus of the book.  Family is still a major theme though.


I gave this book 4 stars.  Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for my review copy.


Warnings for graphic violence, war, and death.  Also some abuse towards Tova.



Have you read Sky in the Deep?  Is The Girl the Sea Gave Back on your TBR?  Have you already read it?  If so, what did you think?









Author: confessionsofayareader

I'm Kristi. I'm a wife, mom, and grandma. I have been breeding leopard geckos for ten years. I love to read and have been trying to review more books (the reason for this blog besides wanting to talk about books with everyone). I also love music and going to concerts, mostly punk and pop punk.

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