I love Mindy's book so much. Eventhough some of them ive had slight issues with. This one sounds like one that will hit it out of the park! Make sure to preorder this one!
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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.
Mindy McGinnis is an assistant YA librarian who lives in Ohio and cans her own food. She graduated from Otterbein University magna cum laude with a BA in English Literature and Religion.
*This is from an ARC (Advanced Readers Copy) May be subject to changes in the finished copy
Given to the Sea
It is in my blood. It is in my bone. It is in my brain.
One day my body will betray me, dancing into the sea, my mind a passenger only. The water will close over my head and I will drown, my death bringing a reprieve for those who are not me. This is what I've been born and bred for. The food passing into my mouth, the clothes covering my body, every breath I draw these are smaller offerings, each a promise that I will endure, bear my own cursed daughter, and then succumb.
How that will happen I do not know. My mother suffered the touch of another at least once, long enough to fulfill her duties and bring me about. I know it was badly done. I see it in the faces of my Keepers, these people who care for me without caring. I hear the small things in their voices. They worry I will not be pleasing to the sea, that my mother and her chosen share it. Why should I care if the tides rise again, If I am only a corpse riding the waves?
To live aware of your own doom is no easy thing. I spend my days at lessons, my body fulfilling the expected duties, though my mind is elsewhere. The Keepers are worried that I have not prepared well, have not set my face in the appropriate response to their commands. "Happy," for instance, is an emotion I cannot be expected to parade, but they tell me it is necessary. "Melancholy" I excel at.
My mother and grandmother had other lessons, ones to please at table and dancing. Proper chewing, proper speaking, proper walking-only expected, of course, when we are in control of our limbs. My lessons have taken a different course, my other instructors quietly dismissed once I learned all that was expected.
All except how to control my stone face appropriately.
The Keepers have tried, their emotions changing through their faces so quickly I can't keep up, my own trying to mirror what I see. They say to me, "Pleased," but look nothing like it themselves, and I am easily confused on this point. So I often retreat, my mind escaping the room where I learn to mimic emotion, returning itself to some well-ordered facts absorbed from a musty book, its scent still lingering on my fingers, a source of comfort.
Their pages follow me through the day, their words imprented on my mind. I know the history of my land better than the Scribes, better than the royals who rule it. I can recite the names of my predecessors, from the woman who gave brith to me all the way to Medalli, one of the Three Sisters whom the sea gave back after the wave that took nearly all. Seaweed was pulled from their hair, their locks drying as they worked alongside other surviors to rebuld what had washed away, not knowing they would be taken again, the first of the Given.
The sea waited until the sisters had married and had children of their own before it called for them, the price of its leniency to the blood of their line. For the children went too, and their children after them, the first twitches of their childhood pulling them toward the water, the final coordinated movements driving them deep into the waves, the dance of death one their kingdom deemed the will of the sea. And so it continues. Their footprints in the sand not returning, my feet now itching to follow. Medalli's line-mine-remains strong, the other two Sisters falling short, the last names in their column females who did not produce heirs, the ink that wrote them now faded with time.
I rub my fingers together, drawing the scent of the book pages from them as my male Keeper says, "Sad." Sad I can perform, closing my eyes and picturing my name, Khosa, the ink slightly darker than my mother's name before me, Sona.
"Don't close your eyes," he says.
I open them again to see my Keepers, their faces so easily read.
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