Title: Given to the Sea
Author: Mindy McGinnis
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Series: Given to the Sea, book one
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
I borrowed this book through my local library and reviewed it.
Mindy McGinnis won my heart last year with her groundbreaking, thought-provoking novel, The Female of the Species. It was one of my favorite books of 2016. When I heard that she was writing a new fantasy novel, due out in April, I was so stoked, and so intrigued by the plot that I reserved it at my library as soon as possible. (Plus, bonus: She lives in Ohio and is coming to my local library in August! I'm so excited! I only wish I had a copy of one of her books to sign.) A dark and politically charged series debut, Given to the Sea was an exciting, thought-provoking story that sent my head spinning and my heart racing. I can't wait for the sequel!
Khosa is the Given: Her life is a necessary sacrifice for her nation, after she bears an heir. She must give her life to the ocean that Stille borders, to save her people. Despite this, she cannot bear another person's touch. The exception is the Indiri, the last of an extinct race, two siblings called Donil and Dara. Their adoptive brother, Vincent, stands to inherit the throne of Stille. Will rules the Pietra, a brutal warrior race who will stop at nothing to conquer every bit of land of Stille for themselves. All of these individuals collide when war comes to call. Meanwhile, hearts are broken, political schemes are hatched, and Khosa must heed the call of the ocean, or else risk losing everything...
I really, really liked this book! It was really weird, but in a good way. I love books that use political intrigue as a plot device; it adds another layer of depth to the story. The pacing was breakneck, though at times it was kind of hard to keep track of everyone and their role in the story. The plot was really what drew me to the book, it was different and exciting and gave a new take on the 'chosen one' trope. But what really won this book for me was the characters, especially Khosa, Will, Donil and Dara, and Vincent. There were times when I was frustrated with several of the minor characters, and sometimes the world-building was confusing. But the pacing, political intrigue, twists and turns, and the ending--that ending though--really won me over, and I really enjoyed it! I can't wait for the sequel! The bottom line: A fantastic, meaty first book in a projected duo, I really liked Given to the Sea! Despite some flaws, I can't wait for the sequel! Next on deck: Alex and Eliza: A Love Story by Melissa de la Cruz!