I never knew how much I needed stories centered around vikings, thanks OwlCrate for solidifying my love of all things Norse mythology.
Today’s review is centered around a novel, Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young, that has been eagerly anticipated by many, including myself. My only apprehension going into this novel was that it was released so close to another Norse mythology tale, Beyond a Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake.
Did Sky in the Deep both live up to my expectations while also adding something unique to a seemly popular YA sub genre? Keep on reading to find out my thoughts and opinions.
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Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
Publisher: Wednesday Books (April 24, 2018)
Print Length: 352 pages
Audiobook Length: 8 hrs and 40 mins
Narrator: Khristine Hvam
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, by Adrienne Young, took every expectation I had going in and completely shattered them in the most epic way possible.
Sky in the Deep tells the fantastical story of seventeen-year-old Eelyn, a warrior of the Aska clan, as she finds her very survival dependent upon her sworn enemies, the Riki clan.
First and foremost I think the reason why I enjoyed this novel so much was Young’s beautifully poetic writing. While the book is action packed, Young chooses to focus more heavily on character development and less on page after page of action scenes. This allowed for fully fleshed out characters, which in turn enabled me to really connect with each character, their choices, and their outcome, come the conclusion of the novel.
Eelyn was an amazing YA heroine. At the beginning of the novel she is closed off, still grieving the loss of both her mother and brother, stuck in her prejudicial ways in regards to the Riki clansmen. Following her kidnapping, Eelyn is faced and eventually learns that honor is more than how much blood one spills, and while I wouldn’t say she fully sheds her thinking, she is able to see and accept the world in her own way. On the other side of the clan divide I absolutely loved the character of Fiske. While there is a romance, I think the purpose of Fiske is to show Eelyn that the people on the opposite side of the battlefield are more or less the exact same as her, adding an interesting perspective on war. Other notable characters included Iri, Eelyn’s older brother, Halvard, Fiske’s younger brother, and Inge, Fiske and Halvard’s mother.
The only thing that made me sad, much like how I felt in regards to Beyond a Darkened Shore, is that this novel is a standalone. However, Young has confirmed that while this is seemingly the end of the story, there is a companion novel coming sometime in 2019. Until then, I will be eagerly in search of my next mythology fix.
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
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And those are my thoughts on Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young. Have any Norse YA recommendations you’d like to share? Leave them as a comment below and help my TBR grow.