Sky in the Deep is not a book I would pick up from the bookshelf straight away, to be honest. However, after reading (an extremely large amount of) very positive reviews, I became so incredibly enthusiastic about this book that I became very curious about picking up this book. In doing so, I am starting to love YA-fantasy more and more, and of course, I could not let this book pass me by.
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.
I did not know beforehand what to expect from Sky in the Deep. Therefore, I went completely blank into reading Sky in the Deep. This book blew me away! From the first page on, I felt a connection with the protagonist Eelyn. In the first chapter you are immediately “teleported” to a rough battlefield in the Norwegian fjords. Adrienne Young introduces you between the swords and the blood to Eelyn, a brave Viking daughter. The chapter continued in a big battle, with a lot of bloodsheds. From this battlefield on, I knew for sure – I can not just put this book away!
Thumbs up for Adrienne Young! With a twist and a turn, Sky in the Deep has remained a logical story. The choices that Eelyn makes during the book fit very well with her character and were never illogical or stupid. You meet Eelyn as a combative warrior who is only out for blood. She wants to kill every Riki she sees, even if she is captured, she does not let herself be tamed. She remains strong, fearless and tries to devise escape possibilities. Gradually you dive deeper into her feelings, every page you get to know more about Eelyn -also her vulnerable side. By the end of the book Eelyn shows a weaker side of herself. During a conversation with Fiske she talks about her first fight season, and she shows that she has not always been so fearless. She drops raw, fresh tears over her first victims. This incredible character development that Eelyn is experiencing on the battlefield is so well described that the story is realistic and still surprising. Adrienne Young has a beautiful writing style. She has ensured that the world of Eelyn came to life.
“I could still see a young Eelyn standing on the beach turned into the wind, a sword in one hand and an axe in the other. I hadn’t lost her. I hadn’t buried her. I’d only let her change into something new.”
Although I really enjoyed the book, it was a bit predictable here and there. At some parts, there were no big surprises for me. I sometimes couldn’t be completely overwhelmed. Yet I did not bother me very much, you can’t be overwhelmed by a book all the time, right? Even when she gets feelings for someone, this does not overshadow the story. Her combative character continues to show during the whole book. Eelyn is a role model for the power woman -brave, strong, determined and above all, fearless!
Last, but not least, I want to thank the publisher Uitgeverij Unieboek | Het Spectrum! Without sending me this beautiful copy, I would not have picked up a book like this. Thank you for showing me a whole different side fantasy books!
Did I love it? I love it as much as Eelyn loves Fiske!
Would I reread it? Yes, despite I already know the ending…
Who would I recommend it to? Are you looking for a unique and refreshing fantasy?
How many stars? 4/5
My name is Julia and I am a freshman journalism student at the University of Utrecht. On this blog, you can read about everything in my life, mainly about my reading and studying adventures. Have fun!
The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.”