Blog Tour Review: Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young releases on Tuesday! This book is such a unique read and I hope you check out my review below! Thank you so much to Wednesday Books for allowing me to participate in the Blog Tour, and read an advance copy of Sky in the Deep! Which in no way influences my thoughts below.
Category: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publication: April 24th, 2018; Wednesday Books
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 is definitely one of the most unique books I’ve read this year. It was engaging and I consumed it quickly. This may have been an easy read, but don’t let that throw you. It is violent, brutal, and very introspective. Sky in the Deep is the story of Viking teens and how they fight other tribes to honor the Gods. This is Eelyn’s story of how she lost her mother, her brother, and eventually all that she knows to be true.
Eelyn is a loyal and strong fighter. She loathes her enemies and will fight to the death to honor her tribe. Until she sees her dead brother fighting alongside her rival clan 5 years after he died. She is so shook that she runs right for him and gets herself captured. That opening battle and her ultimate capture was so captivating, I couldn’t read it fast enough! So brutal, so real, so emotional.
There is more than just tribal life within these pages. I loved the humanity within this story. Fiske discovering that both him and Iri were just two dying men, and becoming more than brothers in war. In death they were the same, the rival clans were both human, it was the Gods who divined them enemies. Fiske’s mother, Inge, was so kind, smart, and the healer for her tribe. She works a miracle with Iri and he owes her his life. Fiske loves his family deeply and learned compassion from his mother. He is a warrior but he has a soft heart. Fiske and Iri become family despite being from God forsaken enemies.
Eelyn feels betrayed by her brother, he stayed with the Riki, he dishonored himself. She eventually realizes that she left him to die, while the Riki saved his life. To know now that he has found love and happiness with these people gives her a lot to think about. Eelyn is forced to be a house slave for Fiske, which allows her to be safe under his watch, while his clansmen want her dead.
Eelyn helps the family, and she learns about their culture. She can see that the Riki are just like her and her clansmen. Even though they pray to different Gods, they are all living to survive. If they can come together and fight the real enemy maybe they can all live without the fear of death looming.
This is very much a character study. There is such complexity of sibling relationships and their relationships to their parents. How your family can instill values within you that outrank the will of the Gods that is engrained in your everyday life. It also shows how we as children take what our parents teach us and find a way to be independent and ourselves. To take the values and traditions we are raised with and make them unique to our lives and evolve. To be the future.
I had a few issues which is why this wasn’t a 5-star read. I am trash for the enemies to lover trope and I was so excited for that plot point, but I wasn’t sure when it happened. I felt no build up, and then boom Eelyn and Fiske were in love. Yes, clearly Eelyn struggles with her feelings for all of the Riki she meets, but I needed more. For rival clansman and mortal enemies to just fall in love should have been a bigger deal in my opinion. I also felt like there was so much potential for the ending battle. The build up was all there, but the life or death battle fell flat for me. I wanted that amazing opening battle scene again.
Even with my few issues, I still really liked Sky in the Deep. I was swept away in this world, and my desire for unique books made me love this story more than anything. I don’t say this much, but I almost wish this was a duology, so the world, mythology, and relationships could have been more fleshed out. Overall, I think this book is a stand out and will really entertain fans of the historical fantasy genre, with comparable titles like, The Flame in the Mist, Ivory and Bone, or the more recent Beyond a Darken Shore.
Adrienne Young is a born and bred Texan turned California girl. She is a foodie with a deep love of history and travel and a shameless addiction to coffee. When she’s not writing, you can find her on her yoga mat, scouring antique fairs for old books, sipping wine over long dinners, or disappearing into her favorite art museums. She lives with her documentary filmmaker husband and their four little wildlings beneath the West Coast sun.