Hey all, Dani here.
Hello, and wow, can you guys believe that we’re almost at the end of January already? It has been a jam-packed year already, and yet I can say that I am having such a great time talking books, writing, creativity, and all sorts of other geeky topics with you lovely people.
Also, welcome back to another of my backlog reviews. Even worse for me, this is a long overdue NetGalley review. So whoops, but I guess better late than never. So I’ll just say thank you to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book early, and I’ve already bought my own copy of this book, so I can say that getting an early copy did not affect my rating, my review, or my desire to pick up this book.
Anyway, let’s just jump into the review.
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication Date: September 3, 2019
ISBN: 1250168481 (ISBN13: 9781250168481)
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.
Rating: 4.5 stars
It was definitely nice to return to the world I was introduced to in Sky in the Deep, but as a companion/sequel, this one didn’t quite live up to the first book. Yes, this is supposed to be written in a way that you can read it even if you didn’t read the other book, and that is true and valid. My issue is that if you don’t know the world-building from the first book, then this book has very little to offer you in regards to expanding or fleshing out the world. You just have to accept having the bare minimum with this story.
Tova was an interesting character as well, with an intriguing skill set. Yes, she was a much different protagonist than the previous book. Tova is not a warrior at all, though she is still important and powerful in her own right.
The really nice surprise for this book is that it also follows Halvard, who was basically a child in the first book, but he’s certainly more grown in this one.
Also on the positive side for this book is the fact that the writing is still lush and beautiful, and it flows nicely. I enjoyed my time reading this book.
Unfortunately aside from wanting better fleshing out of the world, I also wanted a bit more on the different basically viking clans, and I definitely wanted more of a romantic relationship between Tova and Halvard, because while it was there, it wasn’t exactly strong enough for me.
I did like that we got to check in on Eelyn and Fisk and Iri from the first book, because this does take place ten years later.
Still, I’m glad that I read this book. I look forward to reading both Sky in the Deep and The Girl the Sea Gave Back together at some point in the future.
Where to Get a Copy
You can also check with your local library.