Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
Published: March 26th 2019 by Titan Books (First published April 24th 2018)
“We find things, just as we lose things. If you’ve lost your honor, you’ll find it again.”
Seventeen-year-old Eelyn’s world is war. Raised to fight alongside her Aska clansmen in a generations-old blood feud against the Riki, 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 if she wants to make it back to the fjord after the thaw. But when she begins to see herself in the people she’s been taught to hate, the world Eelyn once knew begins to crumble. And after the village is raided by a ruthless clan many believe to be a myth, Eelyn is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend who has tried more than once to kill her. Together, they must end the blood feud between their clans or watch their people be slaughtered.
A lush, Viking-age inspired fantasy about loyalty, forgiveness, and the definition of family.
I was gifted this early finished copy in exchange for an honest review by Titan Books. I had decided to take a bit of a break from fantasy books lately it seemed to be more of a fantasy-style book with historical fiction elements, not to mention that I was lured in by the axe-wielding heroine, the promise of an action-packed start and a possibility for mystery.
I really enjoyed pretty much all of the fight scenes throughout this book, particularly as an opening scene. The battles are interesting and I love the description of different fighting tactics, especially when Eelyn fights alongside her best friend. The middle of the book felt a little dry to me in comparison and unfortunately fairly predictable. I think the predictability, however, might be more to do with the large number of fantasy books I’ve read in the past year that all follow quite similar storylines more than there being anything hugely wrong with the book itself.
Despite the writing feeling a little clunky I think some of the relationships were fairly well written, especially the conflicted way Eeyln feel about her brother which I felt was a particularly strong point as well as some of the other more complicated relationships that become established over time. That being said I found the couldn’t stand the romance element. I’m not sure if this stems from how predictable it felt for me in that as soon as these two characters met I knew they would be the “love interests” or if the slow burn that I usually love, especially when compared to a lot of the “insta-love” in YA was just too slow and lacked the emotional depth or intensity that I usually attribute to a enemies to lovers situation (which is usually my favourite trope). Whatever the case, it just didn’t click for me on an emotional level and the love interest was probably one of my least favourite characters.
This has been a tough book to try and review because although it’s something I personally didn’t enjoy hugely I know there are a lot of people out there who, maybe coming into this a little fresher and possibly with different expectations who would really enjoy this book and looking at all of the great reviews its had since it’s original non-UK release it is a book well loved by many, I just feel this one wasn’t for me but am still grateful to have read it none the less.
Have you read Sky in the Deep? If so how did you find it? If you’ve been reading my blog for some time you’ll know that I love a good bookish discussion!
Author, Adrienne Young has another book coming out September 3rd called, “The Girl the Sea gave back” that I will certainly be trying out after my big ole sci-fi binge coming up.