Arc Review: The Girl The Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young

Hello, and welcome back to my blog! Today I am reviewing The Girl The Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young, her second novel, for it’s release day! My aunt (who is a librarian) sent me a bunch of ARCs and one of them happened to be this book! I just picked up the first book I saw that had a release for next month and I couldn’t put it down. My thoughts are below!

The Girl the Sea Gave Back

The Girl The Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young, due to be published September 3rd, 2019 by Wednesday Books.

Trigger Warnings: This book deals with war, child death, mentions of drowning, cutting pen palms, and attempted murder.

Official 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.

Adrienne Young

YA fantasy author, SKY IN THE DEEP, THE GIRL THE SEA GAVE BACK (9/3/19) & the upcoming FABLE duology from Wednesday Books. Agent: Barbara Poelle, IGLA

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. When she’s not writing, you can find her on her yoga mat, scouring antique fairs for old books, sipping wine over long dinners, or disappearing into her favorite art museums. She lives with her documentary filmmaker husband and their four little wildlings beneath the West Coast sun.

I had tried reading Sky In The Deep, but I just couldn’t get into it, although I can definitely see Adrienne Young’s trademarked world and character building (even from the few chapters I read of Sky). Though I didn’t read it, I didn’t find it necessary to the story of Girl as they both seem to be good stand alone books. I wasn’t confused or feeling like I was missing something at all.

The Girl The Sea Gave Back was a really good book. I was hooked from the very first page, never expecting what happened next. In terms of fantasy, this book felt very calm. It’s also got a really interesting and cool viking aesthetic! Bejeweled swords, battle axes, flaming arrows, intricate boats, long braided hair on the warriors, epic tattoos, icy tundras, and more! The world was fleshed out enough to know what was happening where, and Adrienne definitely left the back door to this world open for a possible future return, which I eagerly await should it happen.

I liked how the romance was minimal at best. Now days, any fantasy book I read always has an intense romance, and while this book had the potential set up for an enemies to lovers romance, she didn’t take it there. The romance didn’t happen until the last 3 chapters or so, but by then they weren’t enemies and honestly, I doubt Tova and Halvard ever saw each other as enemies. It was a refreshing change in pace for a fantasy novel, especially given that this is a stand alone! It really let Halvard and Tova’s character arcs take the lead, let them grow and form their own opinions of right and wrong from what they have been taught and groomed their whole lives.

The only thing I wish differently about this book was how little clarification we get at the end as to what happened next in terms of the war, Tova and Halvard’s relationship, and Tova’s family; although I suppose that was the point. It made for an interesting ending, and it left what happens next up to the reader’s imagination.

This was a enthralling book, and I’m excited to see what Young has planned next! Are you planning on reading this book? Did you read her first book? Talk with me! I’d love to hear your thoughts!

If you liked what you read, go out and buy this book on it’s book birthday! I don’t think you’ll regret it.

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