Title: Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
OND ELDR. BREATHE FIRE.
Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient, rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.
Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.
She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.
I was sent an E-ARC of Sky in the Deep from Wednesday Books, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much to them for giving me this opportunity.
“Vegr yfir fjor.
Honor above life.”
Sky in the Deep is a Viking –Inspired tale following the protagonist Eelyn who is a fearless and fierce warrior. Eelyn belongs to the Aska Clan who worship the god of Sigr and they have a standing battle with the opposing Riki clan every five years. The Riki Clan follow the goddess of Thora. This in itself is something I really liked and found interesting, the ancient blood feud between the two clans has been going on for hundreds of years and themes of religion and honour are explored.
During the latest battle, Eelyn believes that she sees her brother Iri with the Riki Clan, the brother that was supposed to have died in a previous battle. Having also lost her mother, the lost of Iri was a serious blow to Eelyn especially as they were once fighting partners as well.
Eelyn ends up being captured by the Riki Clan and taken as a slave, this where the story really kicks off and develops. As Eelyn is captured, she is transformed from this strong, fearless, fierce warrior to a girl kept against her will in her enemies territory, she is now fighting for survival. This side of the narrative offers a wonderful character journey to Eelyn as she has to open up her heart to understand how her brother did not die and how the Riki may not be the brutal enemies she once thought. The bonds of family are really explored throughout this book.
Adrienne Young has a beautiful descriptive writing style which gives this book a steady pace as it features a variety of scenes from intense battles, slow burning romance and strong fierce female heroines.
Finally as the Riki clan is attacked, the book explores how the two opposing clans must come together and this was one thing I really enjoyed about this book. I loved the politics they faced in order to try and convince the two clans to come together, the brutal and epic fight sequences they needed to endure to get to safety. It was just filled with action and kept me on the edge of my seat.
Eelyn became one of my favourite characters very quickly when reading this book and in terms of heroines she is up there with the likes of Katniss Everdeen, Tris Prior and more. Eeyln is so fierce but she also is vulnerable at the same time, she is lost when she realizes that the enemy she has always known isn’t anything like she thought. From the moment she sees her brother again, her whole life is turned upside down and as a reader I felt that emotion pushed through in her narration.
In every fantasy book I always need to have a little romance in there alongside the action and the fighting and I was not left disappointed by Sky in the Deep. There is a slow burning romance between Eeyln and Fiske and it gave me all the feels. It’s almost like Romeo and Juliet? Two lovers from opposing clans coming together…
The world building surrounding Sky in the Deep is phenomenal and the depth outstanding. There is so much depth to both clans from their gods Sigr and Thora, to how they honor people, their ways of doing things as well as the history surrounding them. There is just so much thought out in this book that I was blown away.
Sky in the Deep was a five star read for me, it was my first experience ever reading anything with Vikings and it just felt unique. I poured through this book, the plot was steady, if not a fast pace with the sheer amount of action involved and Adrienne Young’s writing is just insane. My only issue with the book is how i’m so sad it’s a stand alone, something of this level I was for sure expecting it to be a series or trilogy but no, sadly it’s a stand alone. Whilst I wish there was more for Fiske and Eeyln, I think the fact it is a stand alone also emphasized how much it blew me away because it packed so much into one book, that level of detail, depth and description is something you can struggle to find in books of a large series.
Is Sky in the Deep on your TBR?
Have you ever read a Viking inspired tale before?