Vikings and a bit of romance is what you’ll find in the YA Historical Fantasy Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young. This cover is also one of my favorites out there with it’s gold tones and the shadowed face of Eelyn on the cover. It definitely catches the eye!
Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an eARC of Sky in the Deep in exchange for an honest review.
About Sky in the Deep
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.
This book starts you off in an intense battle of clans. It is brutal and bloody but that’s what I want when it comes to battle scenes. Call me morbid but that’s what I like.
I really liked seeing Eelyn fighting in the beginning battle and then her rush to follow her brother made the scene even more intense. What happens after that slows the pacing way down. When she is forced to spend the winter with the Riki she discovers that they may not be the blood thirsty enemy she’s always believed them to be. I think that this is where the most character development happens for Eelyn. She decides that in order for her to survive she will need to get to know those around her, whether she likes it or not, so that she can find a way to escape back to her family. She learns to see the Riki as another tribe similar to hers where family is everything and they’re willing to fight for those families as much as she is willing to fight for her own.
Seeing her brother as part of the Riki is something very difficult for Eelyn but I think that is what helps her see them in a different way than what she’s always seen them as. They both learn from each other in processing what has happened in the five years since they last saw one another. Eelyn is faced with a decision on whether to trust the Riki when both the Riki and the Aska are put in grave danger. It is put on her to mend a treaty in hopes of saving everyone she loves.
The hate to love between Eelyn and Fiske is definitely happening throughout this book. I enjoyed the slow burn between the two of them and how frustrated Fiske would get with Eelyn and vice versa. It was definitely a prominent part in bringing two clans together by building a relationship between these two.
This book is slow to pace. You definitely need to go into it on the more historical side than the fantasy side in my opinion. I think if it had more battle scenes in it and there were more fantastical elements than it would’ve been a much faster paced story. For these reasons, I feel it is more of a 4 star instead of a 5 for me. I was expecting more action. I was also sad when it ended because I felt like there was still more to be done.
About the Author
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.
Find out more about Adrienne on her website by clicking HERE!