Review: Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Sonntag, 18. März 2018

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
Expected Publication: April 24th 2018 by Wednesday Books
Number of Pages: 352 Pages (Hardcover)
Series: No

   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. (

* Thank you to Wednesday Books and NetGalley for providing me with 
an eARC in exchange for my honest opinion *

   That cover, along with the description and the fact that it's a viking inspired YA Fantasy story? I was immediately hooked, and very happy when I saw that I got approved for an ARC. I've never read a book like this before, one that stepped away from your typical fantasy setting of kings and castles and witches, and instead followed two different clans and their beliefs and mentalities.
   Unfortunately I didn't love this nearly as much as I hoped I would, which isn't to say that I disliked it, which I didn't, but certain parts just fell really flat for me. I enjoyed finding out more about the Aska and the Riki, about what made them different, why they fought each other, about Eelyn and the pain she felt over losing her brother, Iri, the bond between her and her clan and her god, Sigr. It was fascinating, and felt different from the stories I've read before this one.
   The world building was intriguing and lush, filled with little details that made the world feel full and lived in. The different rituals and traditions were interesting to read about, as well as the Scandinavian inspired setting.

   A problem I did have was that basically the first half of the story felt like the plot was just kind of happening around Eelyn and she was just kind of dragged along, angry and crying, wanting to do something but not really doing anything to achieve that. It simply felt very reactive. In the last 40% of the book that did change, at least to a certain extend, but something just didn't click for me about Eelyn and her character for a while. She was interesting, don't get me wrong, but there was just so much crying and anger that didn't really do anything much. Of course you can be a fierce warrior and cry, that's totally fine and normal, everyone has a wide range of emotions, but just the sheer amount of it kind of contradicted what she was trying to be portrayed as.
   Fiske was an interesting character, very stoic and hard, harsh and quiet. I liked the scenes between him and Eelyn, as well as Iri. Finding out about how Iri even ended up with the Riki to begin with, how he survived and what happened across the years, it was nice.
   I also liked some of the secondary characters, but most I really didn't care about or didn't trust because of certain signs, that ultimately didn't lead anywhere which was a bit unfortunate. The romance was subtle enough and felt fine, not really the type of romance I'd scream about and swoon but that's okay. The story wasn't about the romance, it was about the clans and fighting and action.

   Speaking of which, Sky in the Deep was very action packed with a lot of fight scenes and blood and chaos. I will admit that at some point I felt tempted to skim some of them because some of those fight scenes just stretched a little too much for my liking and to hold my attention, but I didn't do it. I still read them.
   The writing style was very nice and I enjoyed it a lot. I liked some of the language that was used in the story, the Scandinavian sounding names and places. It made everything come together nicely.

   All in all I enjoyed Sky in the Deep and I would recommend it, even though it wasn't quite what I hoped it would be. I read most of it in one sitting since it's not that long and a relatively quick read. So if you're interested in some YA fantasy with a viking setting, this might be for you.
I give Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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