Fantasy · YA

Sky in the Deep – Adrienne Young

3.5 stars

If you’re looking for a Viking-inspired story with a bit of a Romeo and Juliet vibe, with a lot of axe throwing and battles, Sky in the Deep is the story for you.

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Cover from Goodreads

 

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.

Sky in the Deep was a fun read if a bit predictable (the synopsis gave a lot away). I enjoyed the read, but I am only giving 3.5 stars because nothing about the book blew me away. It was a solid, enjoyable read.

The book is set in a Viking-feeling settlement of Aska just as they go to battle with the enemies of their god, the Riki. Eelyn is a warrior for her clan, and raring for battle. Throughout the book she’s feisty and angry. She flip-flops between desolation and rage when she is in the Riki village and never quite feels like her emotions make sense.

She never seems to be able to care for herself. She’s either injured and making it worse by making herself fight despite serious injury or she’s flailing about forcing Iri or Fiske to come to her rescue against their own people. Why they didn’t just kick her down the mountain I don’t know. Fiske didn’t seem to have much personality, so despite knowing that it was coming, I didn’t really understand why Eelyn fell for him.

Despite those pitfalls, Young’s writing was evocative and full of beautiful imagery, vivid during battle sequences – which is something to keep in mind if you’re not a fan of gore.

Adrienne Young’s debut YA novel Sky in the Deep is a standalone, but Young has a “companion” novel planned for 2019. I’ll definitely be checking that out when it hits shelves. Young is a writer to watch.

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