Rating – 💖💖💖
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.
What I want in a fantasy book:
– Badass females
– Rich world building
– Swoon worthy romance
– Swoon worthy hero
(I realise the last bullet point isn’t always possible, but I do appreciate it)
While The Girl The Sea Gave Back had rich world building and action, it kind of hit the ‘meh’ mark for me for the other points (and there were no dragons to be found).
I remember reading Sky in the Deep and loving everything about it; I loved Eelyn, I loved Fiske, I loved Eelyn and Fiske as a couple. I was fully invested in their story; my only complaint would have been that I would have liked more romance. But, otherwise, it ticked every box other than the dragon box.
So I had high expectations going into this one, and sadly they weren’t met. Tova was a decent heroine, but I didn’t fall madly in love with her. Harvard was a good hero, but, again, I couldn’t really connect and fall for him. And their romance felt forced, and like it was added into the book just so that you could say it had romance in, you know?
I’m so upset that this book wasn’t for me, because the writing and the world building were fabulous, but the characters let it down.
*thank you to Titan books for sending me a review copy*