Thursday, July 12, 2018

Book Review: Given to the Earth

Title: Given to the Earth (Given Duet #2)
Author: Mindy McGinnis
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy
Publisher: Putnam's Books
Publication Date: April 10, 2018
Source: Library
Format: Physical

Although she was born to save the kingdom by sacrificing herself to the rising sea, Khosa's marriage to King Vincent has redeemed her. As the Queen of Stille, she's untouchable. But being Queen hasn't stopped her heart from longing for the King's stepbrother, Donil. And it hasn't stopped her body from longing for the sea itself, which still calls for her.
While Khosa is made to choose between loyalty and love, Dara is on a mission for vengeance. Years ago, the Pietra slaughtered the entire Indiri race, leaving only Dara and her twin, Donil, alive. Now, spurned by King Vincent, Dara has embarked on a mission to spill the blood of Pietra's leader, Witt, and will stop at nothing to show his people the wrath of the last Indiri. 
As the waves crash ever closer to Stille, secrets are revealed, hearts are won and lost, and allegiances change like the shifting sand (goodreads).



Given to the Earth was dark but an appropriate conclusion to this duology. 
Plot: When I first read Given to the Sea, I didn't know how to feel. I liked the overarching conflict, but the relationships between the characters weren't what I had grown accustomed to in YA fantasy. Given to the Earth was more of the same, which doesn't mean that it was boring or unoriginal. By more of the same, I mean that I teetered on the edge of uncomfortableness and some mild confusion because of how quickly the action progressed. 

After Khosa became the Redeemed, the people of Stille realized that they only delayed their inevitable demise. It was very clever to see how McGinnis wove this two-part story and I enjoyed how far the story had come. The epilogue wasn't as clean as I typically expect my YA fantasies to be, but it felt right for this story.

Something interesting was that while Given to the Sea was told from the perspectives of Khosa and Vincent, Given to the Earth was told from the perspectives of Witt, Donil, and Dara, which was an interesting decision for McGinnis to make.

Characters: I mentioned in my review for Given to the Sea that I was trash for Vincent, our tortured prince. This was true for Given to the Earth which made it hard for me to like Khosa and Donil. Donil's story arc didn't seem to add much to this story but I enjoyed Dara's revelations and how she played a role. I will say that the 5+ first and third-person perspectives were confusing at times, especially given how short the chapters were. 

Worldbuilding: With fantasy worlds, you would expect to see everything that pertains to the world in the first book. While it was true for Given to the Earth, I liked that it delved deeper into the history of the land and gave glimpses to faraway lands that weren't considered in the first book. 

Short N Sweet: While I may be confused with some elements on this book, Given to the Earth was cleverly wrapped up. 

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