Sky in the Deepby Published 24 Apr 2018
|Sky in the Deep.pdf|
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.
"Sky in the Deep" Reviews
1 1/2 stars. Okay, I think I might need to step away from YA fantasy for a while. I'm going to read Ash Princess 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, Sky in the Deep feels like one more in a long line of shallow and emotionless fantasies. 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 all action and no substance, 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.
Sky in the Deep 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. Then there are pages and pages of conversation, garlic crushing, and wood carving. 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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This was so good!! Now I need more enemies-to-lovers books 💕😍😍
I can’t believe this is the first book by the author because it did not feel like a first book at all. I found it well written and engaging.
What I liked
- The first chapter is a battle one. I love books that start off being action-y instead of having to wait until the middle of the book. So I was immediately invested in the story.
- I love books that have belief systems and this book had two: I loved learning about the history of both and why the two became enemies, how they practice their religions, the usage of their language for particular sayings and just everything about their belief in general
- I loved the plot in general: Eelyn finds her brother Iri who she thought was dead, fighting for the enemy and due to some events, she gets captured by the enemy and finds herself living among them as some type of slave. I love learning about how Iri goes from being dead to living with the enemy.
- The relationships: This book had enemies-to-friends and enemies-to-lovers and I loved both, especially the second!! I enjoyed reading about Eelyn and Fiske and watching the relationship slowly blossom. I may or may not have reread some of their scenes after finishing the book lol. I do wish there were more of them though 😅
- I liked Eelyn and in these times of annoying MCs, that was such a relief lol. She is such a complicated girl. This girl is really emotional and cries a lot but she is also a warrior who would slowly pull out the eye of her enemy to get him to talk (yeh, that happened)
What I didn’t like
- I think the only thing that stopped this from being a full 5 was that the last battle was a bit rushed. I am not one to enjoy reading about long battles but it felt a bit anti-climatic.
Overall, I enjoyed this book!!
Well, in the words of someone who knew exactly what they were talking about... I’ve just been had. So utterly and completely.
This was a letdown; plain and simple. I don’t know how else to express my shattered expectations.
This was not the “Viking” book I was eagerly awaiting to read and in fact, the only thing Viking about this was pretty much the setting and that’s where it stops. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Put every cliched ya plot together, mash it up, say it’s Viking, throw in some Nordic terminologies here and there, and bam - you’ve got a “badass” Viking fantasy. Smh
First off, for the first 200 pages (mind you, the entire book is 334 pages) nothing happens.
This book is incredibly safe and feels overly recycled. The plot is predictable and each character plays their respective clichéd role down to the bone. You know exactly how they’re going to act and react to any given situation because they’re all characters we’ve seen and continue to see.
The plot centres around a ‘Viking warrior’ girl who finds out her dead brother is in fact alive and she’s angry and feels betrayed. That’s pretty much the gist.
There was almost no context to anything else that happening and it felt like things were only happening simply for the sake of it.
I’m incredibly disappointed and I take no solace in saying this because this was one of my highly anticipated releases. As someone who loves Norse mythology when I saw ‘Viking’ in the description fireworks were going off in my head.
Alas, it was bland, everything was forgettable, including the characters and the struggle to finish it was REAL.
Wow, this story gets going right from the start. Nothing is ever 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 can write. 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!
Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC!
I did not expect to like this book so much at all. The concept is simple and the plot is also very straight forward but the emotional aspect of this book was far deeper than I anticipated. I love the whole Viking concept going on and the characters are all amazing. What blew me away the most is the writing. Adrienne Young’s writing is the one of the most spectacular use of words I have seen in my life. I went into the book without reading the blurb and the two reasons I was so enchanted by this book are the protagonist (who is awesome) and the author’s writing skills. I can’t stop ranting about the dexterity of the writing in this book. Every sentence is written so alluring and the descriptions are done so well I could see everything happening before my eyes. HOW DOES SHE WRITE SO WELL?!
The Aska and the Riki have been fighting since the beginning of time. Every 5 years they meet on the battlefield to fight a war fueled with hatred accumulated through the centuries. Their children are raised to hate their opponents and are taught to fight and are prepared for battle. They each worship a different god and follow different religious paths, but eventually you see they are pretty much the same but with a different god.
Eelyn is an Aska. She lost her brother, Iri, on the battlefield a few years ago, but she sees her brother fighting with the Riki and in her shock she is captured by the Riki and is made a Dyr, which is the title for slaves. She is bought by the people her brother calls family and plans to escape as soon as possible. But in the time she spends with the Riki she is struck by how similar the life of the Aska and Riki are and subconsciously begins to realise that her opinion on the Riki was misconceived.
Watching her grow to understand why and how her brother had accepted the Riki as his family and grew to love him opens our eyes to how much weight love had in leading us to open mindedness.
I love Eelyn’s character. Even though she was raised to fight and kill, she never took joy in killing anyone and only saw it through as it was her duty as an Aska warrior. I was even more impressed by the fact that she opened up enough to accept the Riki even after a lifetime of nurturing hate towards them.
Realising that the people on the other side of the battlefield are people with families and the same responsibilities as you and your people changes your perspective on war. And this view was magnified and came into clarity as Eelyn was forced to see the working of a Riki village and the similarities to her own make it so much harder to accept that the people she was raised to hate were also just that - people with their own lives.
I absolutely loved every part of this book and I flew through it. The book moves at a great pace and since the characters were so amazing it felt like this book was over in no time at all. If you’re looking for an easy read or a good standalone I definitely recommend this to you, especially if you enjoy a bit of Viking war. I rate this book 5 stars.