This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
03.09.19 / Titan Books / Viking-Fantasy / Paperback / 320pp / 978-1789091298
Target Audience: For fans of viking inspired fantasy novels that explore fascinating characters facing up to war, fate, leadership and protecting their way of life against all outside forces. If you loved Sky In The Deep then this is for you.
About Adrienne Young
Adrienne Young is a born and bred Texan turned California girl. She is a foodie with a deep love of history and travel and a shameless addiction to coffee. She lives with her documentary filmmaker husband and their four little wildlings beneath the West Coast sun. Adrienne is the author of the New York Times bestseller Sky in the Deep and the forthcoming The Girl the Sea Gave Back.
About 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.
My Review of The Girl The Sea Gave Back
Thank you Adrienne for taking some time to answer a few questions about your latest novel, The Girl The Sea Gave Back. Could you give us your own personal overview of what readers should expect in within the book?
SEA is the story of Tova, a girl who’s been given the ability to cast the rune stones and see into the future. With this gift comes a dangerous responsibility and she holds the fate of the clans in her hands. We also follow the story of Halvard, who is now eighteen years old and grappling with his role in their new world.
Where did the inspiration for The Girl The Sea Gave Back and Sky In The Deep come from?
The initial inspiration for SKY was the brother/sister relationship and betrayal that happens at the beginning of the novel. As I wrote the book, it began to take a Viking shape in the world and I leaned into that. But the inspiration for the second book came while I was writing the first, because I loved writing Halvard so much.
How did you come to be so passionate about Norse/Viking stories and themes?
I didn’t really plan for SKY to be Viking-inspired but as it evolved into that, I was really excited. This is a time period I’ve always been fascinated with and I really enjoyed the research that was involved.
Could you give us a few more insights into what Tova and Halvard (great to see him back) has to face within this narrative?
They are asking a lot of questions about fate and how much control over the future we have. They both have to make big decisions about their roles and overcome a lot of doubt.
Does The Girl The Sea Gave Back have a different tone and atmosphere compared to Sky In The Deep?
I would say the tone and atmosphere are very similar to SKY because we are in the same world and culture. But the characters are pretty different from the characters in SKY, not as aggressive or outwardly strong. Their strength really comes from within.
The ferocity and beauty in your writing are so well balanced as are the characters that inhabit your stories. Did these novels turn out as you expected or did they evolve over time from a different concept?
Thank you! SKY came out on the page as I envisioned it, but SEA was much more of a process. I had to go down a few wrong roads before I found the right one. In the end, I’m really happy with how it turned out.
What was the most challenging parts of writing about the deciding between war and peace, tradition and fate or fear and honour?
This topic really hits home for me and it probably does for a lot of people—the moment you have to face and decide for yourself what you believe and how you want to live, apart from what you’ve been taught by the people you love. It was very therapeutic for me to write, but also hard to dig through it all.
How long did it take you to write The Girl The Sea Gave Back compared to Sky In The Deep?
I am a fast writer in general, but I wrote SEA three times, and the last version I had to write in four weeks because of deadlines. SKY took me a couple of months to write.
Is there a part of The Girl The Sea Gave Back (or the lore in general) that you are particularly proud of? Do you have a favourite quote you can share with us?
I really love the idea of the Spinners weaving fate together with multiple threads. This pulls from the historic beliefs a little, but I love the complexity of it and how it’s something that we can never fully understand.
Did you always have your eye set on being a writer/author and what sort of books did you grow up reading?
I always dreamed of being an author but I didn’t really believe I could do it or pursue it until I was around twenty-five years old. I grew up reading all kinds of books, from contemporary classics like A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN to portal fantasy like HARRY POTTER.
Have you got a hobby/activity you do to wind down from all the writing?
I practice yoga and that is a huge part of my life. I also love to study art history and travel. Both have direct influences on the stories I tell.
Finally, have you read a book/article recently that you would personally recommend to the readers of this post?
I loved WINTERWOOD by Shea Earnshaw, author of THE WICKED DEEP. It’s her second book and it’s so good!
Thank you Adrienne for taking the time to answer my questions on the epic novel that is The Girl The Sea Gave Back! I enjoyed this novel, and Sky In The Deep, so much and I can only hope that there is more in store for this world and its amazing characters. Thank you to Adrienne and Titan Books for having me on this blog tour. It was an fantastic opportunity. I will be posting my review later on today. Thank you for reading this Q&A and make sure you go pick up copies of SEA and SKY as soon as possible!