Everyone has a place.
Khosa was born to be fed to the sea, to prevent the kind of wave that once destroyed the Kingdom of Stille. She can’t be sacrificed until she produces an heir, but human touch repulses her…except for the touch of the Indiri.
Dara and Donil are the last of the Indiri, a native race with magic that’s seductive—a force of nature—but dwindling since the Pietra slaughtered their people.
Witt leads the Pietra, the fierce warriors who are now marching on the Kingdom of Stille. The stone shores of Witt’s kingdom harbor a secret threat, and to ensure the survival of his people, he’s prepared to conquer every speck of Stille’s soil.
Vincent stands to inherit the throne of Stille, but has no wife to share it with. When the beautiful and mysterious Khosa arrives without an heir, Vincent knows that his father will stop at nothing to make sure she fulfills her duty. Torn between protecting his kingdom and protecting the girl whose fate is tied to its very existence, Vincent’s loyalty is soon at odds with his heart.
While royals scheme, Pietrans march, and the Indiri struggle to survive, the rising sea calls for its Given, and Khosa is destined to answer.
Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis had such an interesting premise! It’s not often that a YA Fantasy novel comes out with a premise that hasn’t already been done in some way, shape, or form. So I was really excited to read this one.
Let’s start off with the characters. I’ve heard some people say that Khosa was the main character, and while I’d agree that she’s a main character I personally felt that as there were multiple different POVs that there were multiple main characters. Vincent is the second main character and one of second most important character after Khosa. I personally would also classify the siblings (Donil and Dara) as secondary main characters, as they both play important roles in the book and have a lot of “face time” so to speak.
One of the main complaints I’ve read about this book is about Khosa. A lot of reviewers have complained that she’s weak, that she didn’t fight against her role and complaints about her touch aversion. Personally, I liked Khosa. I found her to be a refreshing change from all of the female characters out there who start out rebelling. I thought that Khosa was realistic; she was raised for this purpose and doesn’t fight it at first because that’s how she was raised. That, to me, is realistic. Eventually she does fight against her fate, but it’s a slow build to that point, which I also found realistic. As for the other characters, I enjoyed them for the most part. Dara was one of my favorites, and I didn’t care much for Vincent.
The other major complaint I’ve seen for this book was that it is confusing. Personally, I didn’t find it confusing. I will say that it’s a book you really have to be focusing on, but I didn’t think it was confusing. But everyone is different, and different people find different things confusing. The plot itself had a few holes, and the ending was pretty rushed. But overall it was fast paced and interesting enough to keep me reading.
There were a few scenes in this book that disturbed me, but I don’t want to get into that too much aside from issuing a warning about graphic scenes and to read with caution if you don’t like that. Aside from those scenes the other complaint I had was that everything was very predictable. I don’t mind predictability in general, but this didn’t surprise me in any way. Another thing I would like to add was that this book leans more into the adult fantasy side of things then YA in terms of the subject matter and how certain things (ie Women and their roles in society) are portrayed. This can be frustrating for some, and disturbing for others – so this won’t be a book that everyone likes.
Overall, I personally enjoyed this one. It was a fast read; I read it in a single sitting. There were things I liked and things I didn’t like. But overall I enjoyed it. 4 out of 5 stars.