I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
Release date: April 24th, 2018
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Genre: Young adult, fantasy
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.
The cover is what initially pulled me in. LOOK AT IT! Dark, mysterious, badass female warrior. How could I not want to read it? I without even reading its description requested it on NetGalley. Once I was approved I started it right away. I was beyond excited but the first chapter worried me. It was a bit slow and I felt disconnected from it. However, I didn’t let it stop me and I’m so happy that I pushed on because it surprised me in so many ways.
The book is heavily inspired and influenced by Viking mythology. From that alone the reader should be prepared for scenes of violence and this book has tons of them! But don’t let that turn you off because it has a fantastic balance between scenes featuring violence and beautifully written passages that deeply explore human emotions and bonds. This is what I think the author did best. I cheered when the book’s protagonist Eelyn went into battle. She was fierce and treated her enemies without mercy. I felt like I was right there swinging an axe alongside her, blood spraying everywhere…it was exhilarating! This types of scenes were placed in between scenes where the author examined Eelyn’s emotional state. She starts out in so much pain, her anger eating away at her. It hurt my heart but the development…it was so well done. It was gradual and not without a few bumps along the way. It felt honest and true to real life.
I loved how this is a standalone novel. So many books now belong to a trilogy or series, which is great, but sometimes that’s bit of a commitment. However, standalones also come with their own pitfalls. They are sometimes rushes and with too convenient endings. This book was well paced and ended in a satisfying way that didn’t feel like the author was just trying to end it. This is most definitely a book that all fantasy lovers need to read! And…..it looks like a companion novel will be released in 2019!!!!! *jumps up and down* I can’t wait to get my hands on it!
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.