Book Review: The Girl Who Belonged to the Sea by Katherine Quinn

About the Book:

Title: The Girl Who Belonged to the Sea

Author: Katherine Quinn

Series: The Azantian Trilogy

Publication Date: Sept. 28, 2021

Publisher: City Owl Press

Synopsis: ๐Ž๐ง๐ž ๐ฐ๐จ๐ฆ๐š๐ง ๐œ๐ก๐จ๐ฌ๐ž๐ง ๐›๐ฒ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐†๐จ๐ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐’๐ž๐š. ๐€ ๐ค๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ก๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ๐›๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐จ๐ง ๐ฌ๐š๐ฏ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฆ๐ฒ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ข๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐ข๐ฌ๐ฅ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ก๐จ๐ฆ๐ž. ๐€๐ง๐ ๐š ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐›๐ข๐๐๐ž๐ง ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ๐š๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐œ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ ๐๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐จ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฆ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ.

Forced to marry the wealthy Count Casbian by her power-hungry father, Margrete turns to the gods, praying for a life free from the men who wish to rule her. Across the sea, a ruthless immortal answersโ€ฆ

Planning to use Margrete to reclaim a powerful relic stolen from his people, Bash, a devilishly handsome king, kidnaps Margrete on the day of her nuptials. Bringing her to his home, the mystical island of Azantian, it isnโ€™t long before a devastating secret is revealedโ€”one that ties Margrete to the gods themselves.

Drawn to the spirited woman heโ€™s sworn to hate, Bash cannot stay away from Margrete and the passion she ignites within him. When the lines begin to blur, Margrete must make a choice between a fiery love, and saving the realm from the dangerous magic awakening inside of her soul.

LINKS:     Goodreads    |      Amazon    |    

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My Review:

I really enjoyed The Girl Who Belonged to the Sea. It’s such an immersive read, and I love the world that Katherine Quinn created. The story has tons of action, adventure, and romance, and the characters are fantastic! I especially like the main characters, Margrete and Bash, as well as Bash’s closest friends.

Margrete’s development and growth over the course of the story are immense. A young woman who has been abused by her father for years (he is a disgusting human being btw, and I can’t believe some of the horrific things he did to his own daughter!), Margrete never expects to find her freedom when kidnapped by a gang of pirates, but that is exactly what happens. Margret had such a terrible life, a life of abuse, pain, and suffering, and she is terribly scarred from her experiences. However, away from the toxicity and evil that is her father, Margrete begins to find herself. She gains strength, surety, and a sense of belonging on her journey, and it is fantastic. Margrete, like Bash, is very selfless, but to see her stand up for herself and to take charge is awesome.

The story is told primarily from Margrete’s point of view, though there are chapters told from Bash’s perspective too. I feel like you really get to understand both characters well with the dual perspectives. Margrete (and the reader) initially sees Bash as a villainous pirate who has kidnapped her for his own nefarious purposes. However, it’s clear fairly early on that he’s much more than that. Bash is so self-sacrificing, and all of his decisions are for the betterment of his people regardless of his needs and desires. He puts a lot of pressure on himself and is desperate to save his kingdom. He deals with a lot of conflicting feelings, and having his perspective humanizes him and shows his thoughts, feelings, motives, and vulnerabilities. It also reveals his feelings about Margrete.

Of course, my favorite part of the book is the romance. It is epically swoon-tastic, and I loved every chemistry-laden minute of it! I love a good enemies-to-lovers, forbidden romance, and the relationship between Margrete and Bash is everything! Their love is described as “a molding of two souls that called out for the other,” and I think that’s the most beautiful and perfect description of Margrete and Bash.

Bash and Margrete have such strong and deep feelings for each other, but there is so much standing in their way. Kidnappings, revenge, her father, vengeful gods, and monsters threaten them at every turn, and they are supposed to be each other’s enemies. Their relationship is angst-filled, a constant push and pull, “will they or won’t they” dynamic, and I love their banter, sexual tension, and chemistry.

I also love the family that Margrete finds in Bash and his closest friends. They are so fun and witty together, and they add interesting dynamics to the story. Margrete has never really known unconditional love and acceptance except with her young sister, and Bash and his friends change that. Margrete becomes more confident and strong, and she sees her own worth more than she ever did before because of this found family. These friends have a lot of respect for each other, and they are extremely loyal. I like that they take Margrete under their wing and show her what it means to belong.

This is a wonderful debut novel from Katherine Quinn. The world-building is layered, unique, and fascinating, and I love the lore and mythology introduced. The imagery and symbolism are also strong, as is the character development. A well-paced and captivating read with mystery, action, and a swoon-tastic romance, The Girl Who Belonged to the Sea will appeal to readers of romantic fantasy. Thanks so much to the author, NetGalley, and City Owl Press for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


Favorite Parts:

  • The romance.
  • The mythology.
  • The fantasy elements.

Favorite Lines:

This man was violence and promised ruin all wrapped up into one wicked present.

Only small men fear a woman who knows her own mind and wields a sword. Who fights back. Because those women…Well, they have the power to send me to their knees.

The gods are cruel and seldom kind. And fate? Fate laughs at us all.

There were far worse things to fear than the dark.

When you smile, I feel as if I’m being called home.

My heart beats with yours.


Be sure to check the content warnings before starting the book. There are elements (death, abuse, violence) that could be triggers to some readers.

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