Monday, April 2, 2018

Review: Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Firstly, thanks to Wednesday Books for this review copy <3

Date Read: February 23 - 27 2018
Date Released: April 24th 2018
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Source: E-galley via publisher
Genre: Fantasy
My Rating:


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 great light fantasy set in Scandinavia. I enjoyed every aspect of this book and it deserves all the hype it’s been getting.

I liked being in Eelyn’s mind. She’s a fierce and loyal warrior of the Aska clan with a very obvious fighter mentality. Her character was drawn out very well, I especially liked when she finds out about her brother and the struggle to love him but also feel betrayed spans nearly the whole book. It’s not an easy thing to get over and Eelyn is faced with a LOT of conflicting emotions throughout. Loyalty to her people, what she thinks is right and the unmistakable pull of the Riki family. Her internal battle is a long one and I like the way she manages to still hold to her beliefs while embracing new ones.

There’s a bit of romance in this but it’s super slow burn and I actually had no idea it was coming until like halfway through the book. It’s minimal and doesn’t take away from the story but the build up is perfect. Having not read the blurb prior to diving into this, I actually had no idea there was romance at all haha. Young keeps it lowkey but also angsty at the right times. I’m on board with this ship.

One of my favourite themes in Sky in the Deep was the familial aspect. Bonds to family and bonds to clan were explored deeply here as Eelyn struggled to come to terms with her brother fighting with the Riki. He’s fighting for the enemy but he’s still her brother. Does loving him mean she accepts him as Riki and does that in turn betray her family back home and the Aska? The Riki are not so different from the Aska in their way of life, and they too have loving families as Eelyn witnesses first hand. I loved the dynamic between Eelyn and her brother’s Riki family.

Young has put just the right amount of action and detail into this to make it a juicy fantasy but not too much that it should be stomach turning. There’s lots of axe throwing, sword slicing, guts spilling out as well as stitches (without anaesthesia back in those days mind you) and resetting bones right on the spot (this did kind of creep me out). These are people born to fight, male and female alike, a weapon put into their hand as soon as they can walk so it was fitting. I was curious about this ruthless clan and wish there had been more about their origins though.

That being said can we talk about the male and female equality in this book? It was great, both genders can fight, are EXPECTED to both contribute and both can take positions of leadership too. Hallelujah. Women who’ve had children can choose to take care of them but can also take up the blade again if they feel like it. I’m here for that.

The writing in this is great, it flows well in a sophisticated manner. You don’t realise how much you’ve read (and you’ll fly through this) because Young’s style is so effortless you take in the descriptions so quickly, the images easily conjured in the mind and you don’t want to stop.

Sky in the Deep is kind of one of those stories that you know how it ends. You kind of get the general idea of where it’s heading based on the blurb, but you’re there for the ride. Which is sublimely executed. It’s one helluva ride with lots to see and learn along the way. As they say, it’s all about the journey right?

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