Thank you so much to Titan Books for sending me a free proof of this book for blog tour purposes.
Welcome to my stop on the The Girl The Sea Gave Back blog tour, hosted by the lovely people at Titan Books. Today I have an extract for you! My review will follow in a couple of days.
Before I go on, I want to say a huge thank you to Sarah at Titan Books for asking me to be a part of this blog tour.
Let’s get to it! 🙂
Title: The Girl The Sea Gave Back
Author: Adrienne Young
Publication date: September 2019
Publisher: Titan Books
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.
I could feel her. Like the creep of silent fog winding through the trees.
The Truthtongue stood like a ghost against the night, her skin white as frost beneath her black dress. She looked down to the water below, dropping her skirts from where they were bundled in her hands, and they blew back behind her like unfolded raven’s wings.
I blinked, expecting her to disappear the way she had that night in the forest. The way she had before the altar fire, the vision of her vanishing like smoke. But she didn’t. She stilled before she looked up, her hands tucked against her chest as her eyes met mine. And the same feeling that had come over me in Utanreturned, like needles moving over my skin. It was something I’d never felt before the day I’d seen her in the glade, but now, it was becoming familiar. It was becoming something I recognized.
I looked past her, to the trees, as I pulled the knife from my belt. “Are you alone?” My voice was lost in the wind shooting up the cliff.
She stood frozen, as if she expected me to disappear, too. “Yes,” she said, stepping back from the cliff’s edge.
Her eyes fell to the knife in my hand. The braids that fell over her shoulder were almost completely unraveled, the pieces falling into her face and dripping with rain. I tried not to watch the way it ran in rivulets over her skin.
The length of her dress snapped in the wind, her fingers twisting into the ends of her hair at her waist. I lifted a hand between us slowly and her lips parted on a breath as I caught her wrist and pulled her toward me. And she was real. Not like the spirit I’d seen in the forest. The back of her hand was cut through the middle of the mark of the yarrow inked there and her skin was ice cold, but she was flesh and bone before me. And still, there was something haunting about her. Something more shadow than light.
“You’re really here,” I said, letting go of her.
She closed her hand into a fist, covering the mark where I’d touched her with her fingers as she took a step back.
“What are you doing here?” I said, moving forward to close the space she’d put between us.
“I came to tell you . . .” But she didn’t finish, her feet shifting nervously as she tucked the unwoven hair behind her ear. She pulled my axe from her belt and held it out to me. Its blade was almost completely covered in mud.
I took it, rubbing at the iron with my thumb until the engraving of the yew tree glinted.