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Given to the Sea

Review

Given to the Sea

Khosa has known since she was a small child that she was the Given, another girl in a line of many destined to give birth to another Given and then surrender themselves to the sea to prevent the Kingdom of Stille from being destroyed by a massive wave. Though she has to bear a child before she can go the sea, Khosa is repelled by even the thought of another human’s touch.

Vincent is third in line for a throne that he is not even sure he wants. When Khosa arrives at the kingdom without an heir, he knows that his father will stop at nothing to make sure Khosa produces an heir --- and soon. When he realizes he has developed feelings for Khosa, his loyalty is at odds with his kingdom and the throne he will fulfill one day.

Dara and Donil are the last of the Indiri, but they are determined to continue their line. As their island country fades, the Pietra, a fierce army that destroyed the Indiri a generation ago, are marching on the twins’ adopted kingdom, Stille.

Witt is the leader of the Pietra, and his people are depending on him to conquer Stille and protect their land. He will stop at nothing to ensure the survival of his people.

Nothing is as it seems in Stille. Witt marches closer and closer with his army, Vincent’s heart and mind are at odds with his familial loyalties, Dara and Donil try to survive in a world that only wants to terminate them, and Khosa, who cannot find a suitable man to breed the next Given, tries to ignore the rising call of the sea, growing louder and louder with each passing day.

"I loved THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES, but GIVEN TO THE SEA had so much more. It was fantastical, romantic and heartbreaking; it transported me to another world. McGinnis’s excellent writing was in full-force, and I could not stop reading."

Going into this novel, I had high expectations. THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES by McGinnis was one of my top books of last year, and I was excited to see how McGinnis would tackle a full-on fantasy novel. From the first page, I already knew that I was going to be addicted to GIVEN TO THE SEA for however long it took me to finish it. Immediately, Khosa struck me as a beautiful and dynamic character. In a situation where she knew she would have to have a child, give them up, and then walk into the sea to her death, she was admirably level-headed. I also appreciated that Khosa was understandably nervous about men because of her age and situation. She also realized she could never have a full and meaningful relationship. This only made her more interesting and intriguing. I also enjoyed Vincent and Witt as characters, but not as much as I enjoyed the female characters: Khosa and especially Dara. Dara was the classic kickbutt-does-not-care-what-anyone-says female character, and I loved her. Even though she was so strong, she also was not completely emotionally inept. Dara had real and valid emotions, and she let them out without any inhibitions. I loved that she was shown as a strong character emotionally, physically and mentally.

Like THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES, GIVEN TO THE SEA had biting humor, many innuendos and bloody scenes that were not for the faint of heart. These are the only similarities between these two novels. I loved THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES, but GIVEN TO THE SEA had so much more. It was fantastical, romantic, and heartbreaking and it transported me to another world. McGinnis’s excellent writing was in full-force, and I could not stop reading.

When I interviewed Mindy McGinnis back in October and she told me about GIVEN TO THE SEA, I was understandably excited. A multi-perspective fantasy duology with court intrigue, action, romance and the bite that McGinnis brings to every book she writes? Who wouldn’t be excited? I am now happy to say that GIVEN TO THE SEA lived up to all of my expectations. It was gripping, inventive and even had the sadistic humor at which McGinnis excels. I loved this book, and I cannot wait to read everything else that McGinnis releases in the future.

Recommended for fans of GAME OF THRONES and anything by Sarah J. Maas.

Reviewed by Bryn D., Teen Board Member on April 21, 2017

Given to the Sea
by Mindy McGinnis