I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I could not believe that I got approved for this book. Not soon after I read Sky in the deep I saw it on NetGalley and I wanted it so bad, but I could only wish for it. So when I got the email that they granted my wish I freaked out. I loved everything about Sky in the Deep, and even though this book was only a companion I was excited to be in this world of Vikings again. I read a lot of other reviews from people that didn’t like it and thought it was slow, but I enjoyed it. There were times it was slow going but it would quickly pick up. The times it was slow and because of some confusion, I rated this book 4 stars, but other than those 2 things I thought it to be a great book.
I am so glad that I read Sky in the Deep not too long ago because there would have been a lot of characters that I probably would have forgotten. I definitely think you should read SITD first since it gives you more world-building and you will understand so much more in this book.
So we have 2 main characters that we follow, Tova and Halvard. Tova is a Truthtongue from Kyrr but has ended up with the Svell. She isn’t really wanted among them, but they tolerate her, for the most part, because of what she does for them. Tova struggles a lot with who she is and where she came from. She doesn’t remember anything from when she was with the Kyrr and has no idea why they didn’t want her anymore. When her story intertwines with Halvard’s she starts to see things differently and wants to right her wrongs any way she can.
Halvard is grown up from when we last saw him in SITD. He is no longer the young brother who wants to be like his older brothers, he is now next in line to be chieftain. He doesn’t always understand why he was chosen and is scared to mess everything up. When war falls upon them he has a lot of decision making and has no idea why it seems that he and Tova are connected in some way. War is knocking at their door again when there was peace for so long. Trying to figure out how to protect his family, the tribe, and their land is a lot, but Halvard is ready to do what he has to.
I loved seeing Halvard again. It was such a wonderful surprise to see him as one of the povs. I really enjoyed his character in SITD and cared for him so much in it. Seeing his growth as a man and a soon-to-be leader was so neat. And to see him being his own person, and not just the brother of Fiske or Iri was awesome. For some, I know, the fact there was little romance in this book was a no-go for them, but for me, there was so much more going on that I was fine without it. I do like a romance thrown in all my books, but if there is a good reason to not have one, I’m totally down with it. I felt like I was able to connect to both povs and some of the side characters as well, and it was a treat to see characters from SITD again.
If you have read Sky in the Deep I think you will enjoy this book, and if you haven’t read Sky in the Deep yet, I recommend to do that first and then read The Girl the Sea Gave Back. Once you’ve read it come back and comment, I would love to hear your thoughts.