Given to the Sea – Mindy McGinnis

Kings and Queens rise and fall, loyalties collide, and romance blooms in a world where the sea is rising—and cannot be escaped.

Khosa is Given to the Sea, a girl born to be fed to the water, her flesh preventing a wave like the one that destroyed the Kingdom of Stille in days of old. But before she’s allowed to dance an uncontrollable twitching of the limbs that will carry her to the shore in a frenzy—she must produce an heir. Yet the thought of human touch sends shudders down her spine that not even the sound of the tide can match.

Vincent is third in line to inherit his throne, royalty in a kingdom where the old linger and the young inherit only boredom. When Khosa arrives without an heir he knows his father will ensure she fulfills her duty, at whatever cost. Torn between protecting the throne he will someday fill, and the girl whose fate is tied to its very existence, Vincent’s loyalty is at odds with his heart.

Dara and Donil are the last of the Indiri, a native race whose dwindling magic grows weaker as the island country fades. Animals cease to bear young, creatures of the sea take to the land, and the Pietra—fierce fighters who destroyed the Indiri a generation before—are now marching from their stony shores for the twin’s adopted homeland, Stille.

Witt leads the Pietra, their army the only family he has ever known. The stone shores harbor a secret, a growing threat that will envelop the entire land—and he will conquer every speck of soil to ensure the survival of his people.

The tides are turning in Stille, where royals scheme, Pietrans march, and the rising sea calls for its Given.

My review

When I saw the cover of Given to the Sea on FirstToRead, I had to request it. The blurb was definitely intriguing, so I was very curious to start this book. The sea can show itself in very different ways. So does this story. We see the story through the eyes of different characters: Donil, Dara, Vincent, Khosa and Witt. The constant changing of POV will make you a little off-balanced. Just as with the different tides: a little seasick.

First, there is Khosa. Khosa is a girl destined to sacrifice herself to the sea, as her mother, mother’s mother and all ancestral women before her. Because if ‘the Given’ will not sacrifice herself (after delivering her daughter first), the island of Stille will be destroyed by the sea. However, there is a small problem in getting Khosa pregnant: she is repulsed by human touch.

Then there is Vincent, the grandson of Gammal (King of Stille). Even as a prince, he is an outsider and a stranger among his people. Therefore, he feels attraction to the strange girl Khosa. But when he is ordered to get Khosa pregnant, in order to save the Kingdom, he is torn apart: should he comply to save his kingdom? Or does he leave Khosa alone, since she is silently craving for the touch of Donil?

Donil, twin brother of Dara, and last of the Indiri race is the only one whose touch Khosa can endure. Will Donil be attracted to Khosa? Or will his sister, Dara, compel him not to go near this lonely girl? Because Dara sees Khosa as a threat. As the last Indiri girl, Dara wants to have offspring from the royal family. And Khosa is getting in the way, because prince Vincent has his eyes set on Khosa.

And let’s not forget Witt. He leads the Pietra in a war against Stille. But Dara and Donil will use all of their magical powers to stop him. Because the Pietra were responsible for the annihilation of the Indiri race.

So… we have Witt, who hates Dara. Dara, who secretely loves Vincent. Who is pining for Khosa. But she hunkers for the touch of Donil. What a mess… And if you think the tides will clear this mess up. Well… Sorry to disappoint, although the sea does have a big role in the final stage of the book. But for further information, you will have to wait for the new book. I’m not sure, if I will pick the sequel up yet. Two out of five stars from me.

Publisher: Penquin Young Readers Group

Published: April 2017

ISBN: 9780399544613

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