book reviews, reading

Book Review: The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young


I wish I had read this book right after Sky in the Deep. I would have spent less time asking who people were from the last story and how it’s related to this story. But I think I figured it out somewhat still. I read this almost a year after its previous book.

The story is ten years after Sky in the Deep’s story, when the two warring clans have come to peace and formed one big clan. The book’s chapters alternate between Halvard and Tova. Halvard is the main character from Sky in the Deep’s little brother. He’s grown now but has yet to fight in his own war because there’s been peace. Tova is the girl the sea gave back. Her parents believe she is dead and place her on a funeral boat. It is set afire and floated away. But she’s not dead and her boat washes ashore near the Svell where their tala finds her. Jorrund, the tala, raises her and she casts stones for them. Because of her tattoos and future telling everyone else fears here and attempts to kill her.  Fate brings these two together as the Svell starts a war with the new peaceful clan Halvard is from.

I love Adrienne Young’s stories. I’ve read Sky in the Deep, this one, Fable, and Namesake. I don’t know what it is, though. If it’s me or the way she describes characters but I have a super hard time keeping them straight and picturing them in my head. The whole time reading this book I pictured Tova’s uncle with black hair and then in the last pages he’s described as having fair hair. I was like “dang it!” Haha Like I said though, that could just be me being distracted while I read, but I remember the same thing with Sky in the Deep too.

Right now I am crazy about Viking stories. I watched all Vikings, Vikings Valhalla, The Last Kingdom, and so that led me to read this. The fight scenes were well written and only a bit gorey in description, but it’s Vikings so what do you expect? I really like that this YA novel didn’t have that annoying girl obsessing over a guy theme to it. Most of the story was about Tova figuring out who she really is, a theme I always enjoy. And Halvard protecting his loved one and ultimately proving he can lead. Reading this duology inspires me to plan out and write my own Viking series someday.

I would definitely recommend both Sky in the Deep and The Girl the Sea Gave Back for teens and adults!

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