Given to the Sea: Given Duet (Book 1)
by Mindy McGinnis
“Everyone has a place.
The Given: For the Sea
Khosa has always known that this would be her fate, to give birth to the next Given, then dance into the sea… and to her death.
The Prince: For the Kingdom
Vincent prepares himself to sit on a throne he doesn’t want, with a queen he didn’t choose by his side.
The Indiri: For the Earth
Adopted by the royal family of Stille. Dara and Donil are the last of their kind. The Indiri race was slaughtered by the Pietra, and now Dara and Donil must forge a new path, alone.
The Lithos: For His People
Witt is the Lithos: leader of the Pietra, a people as hard as the stone shores they inhabit. He believes that the only way to secure a future for the Pietra is to take it from someone else.
Now the tides are changing and the fates they thought they knew could be washed away.
Khosa was born to be fed to the sea, to prevent the kind of wave that once destroyed the Kingdom of Stille. She cant 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 harbour a secret threat, and to ensure the survival of his people, he’s prepared to conquer every speak 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 it 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.”
I saw about Given to the Sea earlier this year, and then I received it in a box from Fairyloot. I had seen that it was the suggested book for the box and so did not preorder it.
Witt tells his people to not take it easy because when people (including shepherds and farmers) fight for their home, they fight harder. Khosa is in training for her role as The Given, when her village is attacked and she escapes. Vincent decides to work like a labourer for the day when a girl tries to dance into the ocean and he rescues her. Dara and Donil are out hunting a beast, who they kill, they return to Stille to find the castle in celebration because The Given has come.
I really enjoyed this book. However, I did find it a struggle to start with where there are the points of view of four characters, which would not normally bother me, but with two of them in first person while the other two were in third person narrative. I did go on a rollercoaster of emotions throughout, whether it was the anger of Dara or loneliness of Khosa, I also loved the twists that were included.
My favourite characters have to be Khosa, Vincent, Donil and Dara, although they all wind me up a little. I really enjoyed reading their back-stories and seeing why they each do different things and seeing what they go through. I also liked seeing the conflict within Witt, him having to have no emotion, but showing that it is impossible to not feel anything. The relationships between Khosa, Vincent, Dara and Donil was really intriguing as well.
My favourite part has to be from when Dara and Donil get back to Stille and interrupt the banquet onwards. I think this is where it picked up, although there were quieter parts spent in the library, but I obviously enjoyed those parts as well.
Given to the Sea does end on a cliffhanger, this is because it is the first in a duology, Given to the Earth comes out next April.
While reading this book, I described it as a fantasy based around sea levels rising, which is such a good concept and you can see how it must have appeared to our ancestors as well. I would recommend it to teenagers and adults. 4 out of 5.