From Adrienne Young, New York Times bestselling author of Sky in the Deep, comes her new gut-wrenching epic The Girl the Sea Gave Back.
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.
As a child, Tova, a seer tattooed ankles to throat with the "twisting, knotted symbols" of the Kyrr, was found in the sea and taken in by the Svell. Now 18, she serves the clan as a Truthtongue, gleaning the future in her runestones, but since the death of the Svell chieftain's daughter, which Tova foretold, it's clear that her days are numbered. After the Svell's unsanctioned attack on a N dhir village prompts a tragic confrontation, an all-out war breaks out, and Halvard, next in line to be the N dhir chieftain, fears that he's not up to the leadership challenge. Set in the same Viking-influenced world as Young's Sky in the Deep, the novel weaves intricate battle scenes with narratives that alternate between Halvard and Tova, who seeks the truth about her past. But while Tova and Halvard are compelling and their fates are inexorably entwined, their bond isn't fully explored. Still, lyrical prose ("The fjord changed the land, rivers weaving like roots down the mountain on the way to the sea") and an evocative atmosphere elevate Young's tale of war, identity, and fate. Ages 12 18.