Sky in the Deep

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, s...

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Title:Sky in the Deep
Author:Adrienne Young
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Sky in the Deep Reviews

  • Cait • A Page with a View

    Wow, this story gets going right from the start. Nothing is

    dull and you pick up a ton about Eelyn's main character right away. She's pretty tough - you can totally feel her conviction and drive through her POV! But I reallllly appreciate that her character and personality are SO much more than simply "fierce."

    I'll admit I put this one off for a bit and didn't get to it until around Christmas because I kind of maybe judged it by the cover. I LOVE stories about Vikings, but was a bit hesitan

    Wow, this story gets going right from the start. Nothing is

    dull and you pick up a ton about Eelyn's main character right away. She's pretty tough - you can totally feel her conviction and drive through her POV! But I reallllly appreciate that her character and personality are SO much more than simply "fierce."

    I'll admit I put this one off for a bit and didn't get to it until around Christmas because I kind of maybe judged it by the cover. I LOVE stories about Vikings, but was a bit hesitant that a YA take on that might result in an empty, ruthless MC who just wants brutal revenge and to kill everyone around her blah blah etc. I'm getting a bit tired of seeing that over and over. But this was NOTHING like that and I am so sorry I ever waited to get to it!!!

    Oh my goodness - Adrienne Young

    . This whole story was so well done!! It felt a bit like Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Chronicles except tamer/less violent?? I kept thinking throughout the book how I really appreciated being immersed in an action-packed and detailed setting like this without having to sit through all of the descriptions of gore and violence against women that I've sadly grown used to skimming around. This was just a fun, intense, and emotional adventure full of well-developed characters! The book description is perfect and summarizes everything without giving away any spoilers, so I'll just defer to that instead of basically rewording the whole thing here...

    If you like this story then I'd recommend The Half-Drowned King, anything by Bernard Cornwell, or some YA stories like Warrior Princess, Beyond a Darkened Shore, Between Two Fires, or The Valiant (just because of the whole dead sibling returning & MC fighting for a previous enemy). They all have similar elements!

  • Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink

    *Full review update!* 100% pure Viking awesomeness and a crapload of feels. SO GOOD.

    I'll be honest. When I first saw the cover, I was a little worried about connecting to the heroine. I LOVE badass girls, don't get me wrong, but it seems every book is throwing us a hard heroine who wants to cut down a bunch of people and not apologize for it. Great - those stories can be fun, but often I find myself having a hard time rooting for them unless their character arc is extremely compelling. I'm part

    *Full review update!* 100% pure Viking awesomeness and a crapload of feels. SO GOOD.

    I'll be honest. When I first saw the cover, I was a little worried about connecting to the heroine. I LOVE badass girls, don't get me wrong, but it seems every book is throwing us a hard heroine who wants to cut down a bunch of people and not apologize for it. Great - those stories can be fun, but often I find myself having a hard time rooting for them unless their character arc is extremely compelling. I'm particularly drawn to characters who find other means of strength and power that isn't in the form of slicing people up and being super mean, lol.

    I shouldn't have been worried.

    In fact, I connected so deeply with Eelyn - even within the first few pages. For me, that's rare. I loved everything about her.

    Eelyn is a warrior who has lost her mother and her brother due to wars with rival clans. In fact, her clan (Aska) has a standing battle with the opposing Riki clan every five years - and it was that battle that claimed her brother's life. At the beginning of the book, we're thrown right into that battle five years after she lost him. And despite kicking major ass, she finds herself face to face with a Riki warrior who injures her - except, something stops her from killing him, and she could have sworn it was her brother.

    Yep, she actually sees him, despite thinking he was dead for the past five years. And he was fighting against Aska, her clan - which he would NEVER do. It leaves her wondering whether or not she hallucinated him.

    I won't spoil anything else, so I'll just say what happens next results in Eelyn ending up in the hands of the rival clan. Go in blind if you can. I didn't even read the blurb before I dove in, and it made every page a mystery as to what would happen next.

    I really can't rave enough. The prose was gorgeous, and Adrienne Young has a way of taking hold of your heart with her use of language. I'm just in awe.

    As usual, I'll leave you with a list of reasons you should snag this book:

    -Epic battle scenes

    -Vikings. Are. So. Cool. I mean, cmon. Clan wars? Yes, please.

    -You'll find yourself attached to EVERY CHARACTER

    -Emotional friendships

    -Fantastic worldbuilding & perfect pacing

    -All the feels.

    -Yes, there's a perfect smidge of romance that doesn't detract from the story - it enhances it.

    -And that romance may or may not be enemies-to-lovers - the best trope ever.

    -Eelyn is the type of heroine we need more of in literature

    So, my point is - read this book, and help me to convince Adrienne to write us another thousand books!

    ***A special thank you to Wednesday Books for providing me with a gorgeous physical copy in exchange for an honest review!

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  • Candace Robinson

    Is this really a stand alone? Because I’m so thrilled after the ending! Also, can the whole ax thing was freaking awesome, and there was some awesomely brutal scenes. There was family love, friendship, and romance mixed in. And I really want viking hair as of now!!

    Review on my blog

  • Fables&Wren

    Call the coast guard, I am drowning my need to become a viking. Who can I call to train me in how to use an ax and where can I get about fifty of them? As a young 20-something, I feel it would scare

    Call the coast guard, I am drowning my need to become a viking. Who can I call to train me in how to use an ax and where can I get about fifty of them? As a young 20-something, I feel it would scare off all the wanna-be suitors if I carry around an ax with me at all times, don't you think?

    Let's talk about my main girl Eelyn.

    : What I love about this story is injuries are actually taken seriously and they aren't like brushed off. Also, these are actual people and and not super people who never get injured.

    Eelyn is injured from a previous battle in the beginning, so she is not at her best when a Riki (another Viking clan) corners her and is about to take her life. And then - beyond all odds - her supposedly five-years dead brother stops him and saves her life. Her father believes it is their god favoring her, but she believes different and is rewarded with her skepticism because he isn't dead - he just traded in his Aska armor for Riki. When Eelyn fall captive to the Riki, she sees first hand why she is just now finding out about her brother's survival.

    Eelyn lives up to every expectations of a bad-ass. Instead of using a shield, she uses a ax in one hand and a sword in the other. Even though she is injured, she is willing and able to fight for her clan. What is different than the majority of the bad-ass girls of our written-generation is that she actually does have a heart and is compassionate. She cares for her father, who has lost his son and his wife, and she cares for her fighting partner Mýra, why has lost loved ones as well.

    But the Riki are the enemy,

    You must read this book to see!

    The romance in this book is heart-wrenching. I won't spoil who it is and what happens, but I absolutely loved it. I mean, I always love those hate-to-love type of stories, and this possibly that.

    It was slow and practical and the characters slowly came together and didn't feel forced.

    "

    "

    Besides the romantic relations, the family and friend relations aren't pushed on you. They come very naturally and sweetly. Especially the strain between the siblings, Iri and Eelyn. They love each other but they are on opposite sides of the on-going fight between clans. It is written SO WELL.

    There is a lot of fighting, some gore, and there is a type of assault that Eelyn goes through. All things that I personally don't mind at all, but some readers might (We all know how I need a little violence in my books).

    Overall, this story is about vikings and fighting for what's right.

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    This was the best and I am SO GIDDY WITH LOVE. If I could marry a book, man... RTC.

    - - -

    I'm so ready for this.

  • Katerina

    But I will give it a try.

    is a

    , following the steps of Eelyn, a fierce and devoted warrior. Her clan, the Aska, worship the god Sigr and, according to his will, they fight their enemies, the Riki, the ones who worship the goddess Thora, every five years. This

    has filled the hearts of the Riki and the Aska with ingrained hatred, but the fates of the two people are int

    But I will give it a try.

    is a

    , following the steps of Eelyn, a fierce and devoted warrior. Her clan, the Aska, worship the god Sigr and, according to his will, they fight their enemies, the Riki, the ones who worship the goddess Thora, every five years. This

    has filled the hearts of the Riki and the Aska with ingrained hatred, but the fates of the two people are interwined in a way no one could predict. During a battle, Eelyn sees her brother, Iri, who was supposed to be dead, fighting alongside the Riki, and later she is captured by them and kept as a slave by Iri's Riki family, in order to protect her long enough to escape. Even though Eelyn was bred to kill Riki, the longer she spends time with them, the more she realises that maybe they're not so different after all. And that there is another, terrifying enemy, the enemy that comes out at night and sheds oceans of blood, that needs to be defeated, before both the Riki and the Aska perish.

    is a

    .

    's words were

    , piercing and hooking my entire existence. There were a

    , cutting any attachment to reality and the surrounding enviroment, ensuring my utter focus and attention. There were an

    , scattering my reserved expectations and skyrocketing them into the sky. I read Eelyn's story with a deep

    , I felt humble before the magnitude of Adrienne's

    , and her rare ability to bring words and sentences to life, to make you absorb images, smells, sounds, and feelings as if they were your own. The way she described

    , like cooking, and gathering herbs, managed to transport you next to her characters. The occasional

    scenes, and the

    that made your stomach churn, awakened every cell in your body, all of them tuned to the drama unfolding before you. And the romance, the

    , made your heart yearn and ache in a desperate need to grasp the love that was all-consuming. In a frozen lake, where the night sky was reflected on the ice, making it look like the sky was in the water, I realized that I gave my heart to this novel, something I hadn't felt in a while, and my eyes were wet from the hot tears that escaped in the light of this realization.

    Matters of

    and

    are examined in a subtle way that is not preachy, the

    , both by blood and by choice, is thoroughly explored, breaking and mending every piece of me.

    Eelyn became one of my favorite heroines, she is truly rare, and an example of how YA heroines should be written. She is fierce and independent, but she is also vulnerable and broken, she faces a reality where her enemies are not so different after all, and at first she can't cope with it. Her narration is a

    , the anger, the relief, the disappointment, the pain and the love she felt, I felt them too down to my very core. I shared her thoughts, her emotions, and the conflict that raged inside of her and ravaged her mind and her heart. The betrayal and the hurt she went through were devastating, she just found her beloved brother only to realize she'd lost him to the enemies of her people, and as a result, I suffered from her burden.

    does not elaborate on small-talk and unnecessary dialogues. Every word whispered or shouted is

    , and the profound tethers between the characters tangible. The

    made my soul sing with its beauty, it intensified the story without overshadowing it, it started as a sparkle and turned into a conflagration that enveloped me in its warmth.

    is

    , a bloody saga and an ode to love, family and friendship. Do NOT hesitate to give it a chance!

  • Sh3lly ☽ escaping in books is my reality ☽

    Review also found at:

    is not released until April 24, 2018, so this will definitely be a spoiler-free review. The setting is a re-imagined historical fiction/fantasy about Vikings. Eelyn is seventeen and a warrior in the Aska clan. During a battle against an enemy Riki clan, Eelyn discovers her brother, Iri, thought dead, is actually still alive and fighting against her clan o

    Review also found at:

    is not released until April 24, 2018, so this will definitely be a spoiler-free review. The setting is a re-imagined historical fiction/fantasy about Vikings. Eelyn is seventeen and a warrior in the Aska clan. During a battle against an enemy Riki clan, Eelyn discovers her brother, Iri, thought dead, is actually still alive and fighting against her clan on the battle field.

    From the blurb here:

    Essentially, this is a story about how everyone is similar and the hate and prejudices you hold are against people who underneath their differences, are just like you – with families, hobbies, hopes, fears, etc. It’s about the love of family and friendship. It’s about the love of the heart found in unlikely places.

    I will admit, this book did not hook me until about halfway through. But, it ended up being emotional and Eelyn and the other characters finally cracked through my shriveled bitter heart.

    Eelyn was hard to like at first. I wanted to give up because she was SO angry and stubborn, it didn’t make for easy reading. But thankfully, just as my heart thawed, so did hers.

    This is Young Adult, but there is violence (it is a Viking culture after all). I think people will enjoy this story. So check it out on April 24th!

    This is kind of reminding me of

    (which I dnf'd). Eelyn isn't an easy character to like.

    (Quotes subject to change with final release; this is an eARC version.)

    Eelyn has lots of pride and anger. It doesn't make for easy reading. So far, this is fantasy only in that it is a re-imagined history of Vikings.

    I'm hoping it gets better. *fingers crossed*

    Read for the MacHalo 2018 Reading Challenge.

  • Melanie

    is a debut, standalone, young adult fantasy novel that stars two different Viking clans. But this is a story about betrayal, then survival, then a choice. You all, I really enjoyed this one. I thought it was unique, well written, and has some amazing characters.

    Our main protagonist, Eelyn, has lived the last five years mourning her

    is a debut, standalone, young adult fantasy novel that stars two different Viking clans. But this is a story about betrayal, then survival, then a choice. You all, I really enjoyed this one. I thought it was unique, well written, and has some amazing characters.

    Our main protagonist, Eelyn, has lived the last five years mourning her brother’s death. Every five years, the two rival Viking clans battle for no reason other than blind hatred. And five years ago, Eelyn had to watch him fall off a cliff and was forced to leave him dying below. But this book starts out five years later, with a brand new battle, yet Eelyn sees her brother, Iri, before her very eyes.

    The two rival Viking clans:

    - Worship the god Sigr, water and the sea, and Eelyn’s clan where her father is the leader.

    - Worship the god Thora, mountains and fire, and the side that Iri is currently fighting for.

    Eelyn doesn’t even know how to process what she is seeing, especially being on the opposite side of the battlefield with her presumed dead brother, who was once her fighting partner. And her hesitation costs her, because she ends up captured by a Riki, who spares her life for some unknown reason.

    Then we get to follow Eelyn becoming a slave for the people who she has vowed to always kill. But slowly, she starts to realize that maybe the Aska and Riki have more in common than anyone would ever think, including a common enemy, the Herja, that will eliminate them all the same way they killed Eelyn’s mother.

    I will say that I thought this read a little older on the young adult scale. I mean, yeah, the main character is totally seventeen-years-old, but her brother is five years older and the story does star him, too, even if we don’t get his point of view. A lot of dark things happen in this book, and the author doesn’t shy away from the violence. And rape threats are used a lot during this story. Like, a lot a lot, so just know that going in. And

    for loss of a loved one, violence, murder, gore, sexual assault(s), physical abuse, slavery, talk of suicide, and war themes.

    And even though this is a brutal book, the romance is so damn sweet. I mean, it’s a slow burn without question, but enemies to lovers will forever be my favorite. But seeing it happen to a nice guy, too? It was really sweet and I really enjoyed it. I might even go as far to say that the romance in this book was my favorite element of the entire story.

    I also love the sibling relationship between Eelyn and Iri. In general, I’m always a sucker for books about siblings who unconditionally love each other, but this story had such a unique twist and dynamic, I absolutely loved unfolding the mystery behind what happened five years ago.

    My heart was also truly stolen by Halvard and his relationship with Eelyn in this book. Like, best character and the most amazing little cinnamon roll ever. There is such a strong emphasis on found family in this book, and I was so here for it. Truly, these 350 pages carry a beautiful and important message about how life is about surrounding yourself with people who love and accept you, regardless of what blood runs in your veins.

    Overall, I really did enjoy this one. I wish the rape threats weren’t so abundant, but besides that I feel like this is a really solid story that is action packed and truly captivating. I never wanted to put this book down, and each time I picked it up I felt absolutely teleported into this world. Also, I kind of have a soft spot for girls that wield axes. I really enjoyed it, and I cannot wait to see what Adrienne Young does next!

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  • Lola  Reviewer

    More often than not, when I pick a YA fantasy up, I am not expecting to be surprised. Entertained, maybe, and possibly charmed, but not surprised. Never surprised. I feel like if I do, I am setting myself up for disappointment on purpose.

    Because rare are the YA fantasy books that are so original they don’t immediately remind you of previous fantasy books you’ve read. This is why it’s extremely easy for readers and professionals to market those stories as ‘‘said book’’ meets ‘‘said book’’.

    It’s

    More often than not, when I pick a YA fantasy up, I am not expecting to be surprised. Entertained, maybe, and possibly charmed, but not surprised. Never surprised. I feel like if I do, I am setting myself up for disappointment on purpose.

    Because rare are the YA fantasy books that are so original they don’t immediately remind you of previous fantasy books you’ve read. This is why it’s extremely easy for readers and professionals to market those stories as ‘‘said book’’ meets ‘‘said book’’.

    It’s when you’re unable to do that when you review a book that you realize that what you hold in your hands is completely fresh. And isn’t that an amazing feeling? To know that you may have just read a new classic that will allow for more stories about Vikings to be published in the future?

    To my surprise, it is more character-driven than action-driven. It is interesting because there is strong, intense action in the beginning and for the last one hundred and so pages of the story, but what is in-between is relatively calm and measured.

    That is absolutely normal, seeing that when Eelyn becomes a captive, she is unable to pursue her past activities that mostly involve fighting. She is forced into a submissive life that consists of her performing household duties and helping the enemy in different ways. Clearly, as she is doing those things, she is planning her escape and how she will get back at her kidnappers. At the same time, she is torn since the brother she thought lost forever is back into her life as one of her new enemies.

    Eelyn is a fully fleshed out heroine. She may be out for blood and not progressive-thinking, but I understood where she came from. In her culture, honour goes above everything. By being taken from her group as she was fighting the enemy, she believes she has lost her honour in the eyes of her God. It is imperative that she recuperates it, otherwise she will not be allowed access to the afterworld. Her motives are justified. But I also liked that she found it in her to see the world through her enemy’s eyes.

    I was happy to be reading a standalone YA fantasy novel, as those are fairly rare, but now that I finished it and loved it, I want more. This is a satisfying novel, though, so this is just me being greedy.

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  • Emily May

    1 1/2 stars. Okay, I think I might need to step away from YA fantasy for a while. I'm going to read

    and a couple of other ARCs I've committed to, but after that I'm going to start being much more selective and stop being seduced by pretty covers and exciting blurbs. I might be lying about this, but here's hoping I can restrain myself.

    The thing is,

    feels like one more in a long line of

    . When I began reading, I knew very little about i

    1 1/2 stars. Okay, I think I might need to step away from YA fantasy for a while. I'm going to read

    and a couple of other ARCs I've committed to, but after that I'm going to start being much more selective and stop being seduced by pretty covers and exciting blurbs. I might be lying about this, but here's hoping I can restrain myself.

    The thing is,

    feels like one more in a long line of

    . When I began reading, I knew very little about it. A few chapters in and I was thinking "wow, this is so dry and boring" so I decided to go see if any other reviewers agreed with me. Instead, I found 5-star after 5-star rating, plus a starred Kirkus review. Convinced I must have been missing something amazing, I pushed on to the end.

    And I don't get it. I'm having that "I feel like I read a completely different book" feeling.

    There are some attempts to do something different here. The world and fictional language feel and sound like old Scandinavian, complete with Viking-esque clan warfare and brutal violence. But it is

    , and the tropes are the same ones we've seen in a thousand YA fantasy novels.

    Eelyn is a standard strong warrior heroine, apparently, though the plot is mostly moved forward by her being captured and/or saved by the male characters. There's the sibling love driving Eelyn's motivations. There's the aloof love interest who is as bland as steamed cauliflower. In fact, there is not a single memorable character. The whole book lacks character complexity or depth.

    opens with its strongest chapter. A bloody action scene ends on a cliffhanger: Eelyn believes she sees her dead brother fighting for the enemy clan. Next thing you know, Eelyn has been kidnapped by said enemy clan, the Riki, or more specifically, by her future love interest. Nothing says romance like a guy shooting you with an arrow and then kidnapping you.

    After a few terrible attempts to escape, Eelyn settles into life with the Riki, who are mostly nice and welcoming to her.

    Where is the suspense? The excitement? The ferocity? Why do we care?! It was SO HARD not to skim chapters.

    I guess I would recommend this for fans of violent action scenes interspersed among pastoral activities. For me, this lacked some suspense, characterization or a deeper intriguing theme that would make me want to read on.

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