Given to the Sea

Mindy McGinnis. Putnam, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-399-54461-3
As the “Given,” Khosa has been bred to dance to her death in the sea, an offering to protect the land of Stille. When an opposing army rises up, prematurely driving Khosa from her home before she has given birth to the next Given, she becomes a captive. Forming an unlikely alliance, Khosa, Prince Vincent, and his adopted siblings try to separate myth from real danger and change Khosa’s fate using historical records. McGinnis (The Female of the Species) creates a lush, oceanic fantasy world, writing Khosa as a smart young woman with far more to offer than just her body. Other characters’ focus on her womb borders on obsession, and the fixation on legend leads to brutal threats of rape in the name of salvation. Superstitions run high, and seers are relied on to guide kings, but the threats of impending invasion and a world being slowly swallowed by the sea are eclipsed by dueling love triangles. The story abruptly shifts course at the end, suggesting that all must make sacrifices for the greater good. Ages 14–up. Agent: Adriann Ranta, Foundry Literary + Media. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/24/2017
Release date: 04/01/2017
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-399-54462-0
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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