When I interviewed Adrienne Young back in March about her debut novel Sky in the Deep, she gave me a sneak peak into what was in store for her next book, The Girl the Sea Gave Back - a companion novel, set in the same world but years later after Eelyn and Fiske's epic story. And lets just say I've been eagerly waiting since March to get my hands on Young's next book!
The Girl the Sea Gave Back follows Halvard, ten years after Sky in the Deep, now eighteen years old and next in line to become Chieftain of Nādhir, and Tova, a Truthtongue who lives amongst a brutal clan who only keep Tova alive for her gift to see into the future.
But when leaders of Svell become divided and clans go to blood feud battles, Halvard and Tova find themselves fighting for peace, as much as for each other.
Brutal yet beautiful, Young has written another epic, action-packed novel in The Girl the Sea Gave Back, and has recaptured her Viking inspired landscape with as much spirit and authenticity as she did her debut.
Whist I've read a lot of reviews where bloggers have mentioned their disappointment over the novel falling flat, and feeling relatively slow moving at times, it was nevertheless refreshing for me to read a YA fantasy novel that effortlessly weaves together a compelling narrative of identity and belonging, as much as it divulges into bloodshed and battle. Young is not one to fall short of either of these as she skillfully juxtaposes the nitty-gritty detail and the heart of the book - something that a lot of fantasy fiction shows difficulty in distinguishing the two.
I can agree, that when compared to Sky in the Deep, The Girl the Sea Gave Back felt a little slow moving at times, yet taking a step back from the book and appreciating it in its own form and acknowledge Young's ability to capture a world ten years later but equally distinctive is astonishing, and her rich and detailed writing continues to amaze me.
I do hope that Young continues to explore this Viking backdrop as I can only imagine the many more stories just waiting to be told.
And also, how incredible is the cover! Like Eelyn, Tova is a fierce and compassionate female heroine and it was a joy to read more about Halvard and the honest and brave man he becomes.
A big thank you to Titan Books for asking me to join the blog tour for The Girl the Sea Gave Back, be sure to check out the rest of the reviews over the coming week. And you can read my review of Sky in the Deep and my interview with Adrienne Young here!