The Girl The Sea Gave Back


Written by Adrienne Young

Published by Wednesday Books, September 3, 2019

My star rating: 3.5 stars


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. Find it on Goodreads

spoiler free graphic


I firmly believe that Sky In The Deep is one of the most underrated books out there. I know that a lot of people went into it expecting Vicking bad-assery, and I did too honestly. But what ended up happening was it touched my heart and soul. So when I found out that there was going to be a sequel, I knew that I needed it in my life! I really enjoyed it, but it didn’t quite reach the greatness of the first book.

Let me start off with the positives. Adrienne Young is really the queen of atmosphere. There’s something about the way she writes that goes right to my soul. I feel as though i’ve been transported to the time and place right along with the characters. I can see the houses, smell the wood smoke, hear the clanging of swords, and smell the snow in the air. No matter what’s happening, I’m 100% invested!

She’s also amazing when it comes to writing conflict! The fighting scenes are spot on, but it’s the deep seeded and political conflicts between tribes that I love the most. She’s able to capture their story, their loyalty, their devotion, and their passion for their people. Seeing as how all tribes love their own people, it’s how she’s able to write their problems and the source of their hatred for one another. Us as readers get to see both sides of the story and can see that there really shouldn’t be a conflict at all. That’s what makes it so sad!

Here’s where I had a problem with this book though – try as I might, I just couldn’t connect with the characters like I did in the first book. I liked them. I enjoyed hearing about their lives. But they still felt at arms length. I cared about them but not to the level that I was hoping for. In the first book, that was my favourite part. Their emotions felt like my emotions – I felt all their sorrow, grief, passion and more. This one missed the mark.

The pace felt a little off. Not slow enough for me to be bored but also not as quick as I wished it was. It felt kind of like stop and go but not a whole lot in between. There was an element to magic in this one too and I LOVED that! But it didn’t feel as fleshed out as I hoped for. I wanted more. I wanted details and examples. We ended up getting more later on in the book, but it was too little too late for me. I felt that it would have been more impactful earlier on.

I wanted to love this as much as I loved Sky In The Deep, but it left me feeling a little underwhelmed. Adrienne Young is still an INCREDIBLE writer and I plan to basically read everything she writes lol!

Thank you so much to Raincoast Books Canada and Wednesday Books for the chance to read this in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and are uninfluenced.

Until next time, happy reading!

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Taylor says:

    I loved Sky in the Deep SO much. I have this book as well I just haven’t read it yet. It’s disappointing to hear it’s not as good as Sky in the Deep but I’m still going to read it. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely read it! It was still really good 🙂 her writing is amazing

      Liked by 1 person

  2. evelynreads1 says:

    Great review, I really wantt to pick up this series!



  3. Great review! I had some of the same issues as you did. I loved Sky in the Deep, but only liked this one. It was still good, but something was off. I struggled to pick it up at times, but did love the last part of the book.


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