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Sky and Sea #1

Sky in the Deep

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A 2018 Most Anticipated Young Adult book that is part Wonder Woman, part Vikings—and all heart.


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.

THIS IS A GRIPPING STORY, RICHLY TOLD. —Renée Ahdieh, New York Times bestselling author of Flame in the Mist
"FIERCE, VIVID, AND VIOLENTLY BEAUTIFUL. —Stephanie Garber, New York Times bestselling author of Caraval
A STUNNING DEBUT” —Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen
BLEAK BEAUTIFUL AND DEADLY” —Traci Chee, New York Times bestselling author of The Reader
WHOLLY UNIQUE AND INSTANTLY ADDICTIVE” —Kerri Maniscalco, New York Times bestselling author of Hunting Prince Dracula
HEARTRENDING, HEART-MENDING” —Kayla Olson, bestselling author of Sandcastle Empire

352 pages, Kindle Edition

First published April 24, 2018

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About the author

Adrienne Young

15 books9,905 followers
Adrienne Young is the New York Times and international bestselling author of the Sky and Sea duology, the Fable series, and Spells for Forgetting. When she’s not writing, you can find Adrienne on her yoga mat, on a walk in the woods, or planning her next travel adventure. She lives and writes in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

For information on release, appearances, ARCs, giveaways, and exclusive content, sign up for the newsletter at https://adrienneyoungbooks.com/

Instagram: @adrienneyoungbooks

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5 stars
19,326 (32%)
4 stars
22,612 (38%)
3 stars
12,722 (21%)
2 stars
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1 star
852 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 9,056 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,963 reviews294k followers
April 25, 2018
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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Profile Image for Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink.
259 reviews4,897 followers
May 3, 2018
100% pure Viking awesomeness and a crapload of feels. SO GOOD.

I'll be honest. 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, and they often have no heart or redeeming qualities. (And a lot of the times, they are written by men.) 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. This book blew my every expectation out of the water.

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!

My Blog ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Etsy
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,467 reviews9,628 followers
May 22, 2018
May Owlcrate Box. Click under picture to see the unboxing.


Freaking loved it!!

I loved Eelyn and Fiske! There were others too. This definitely wasn't what I thought the book was going to be but I loved it all the same. A few bloody fights and some strong women.

But the thing is, you need to read this book for yourself! Don't listen to the know it all people. Read YOUR own damn books!! I hate if someone decides not to read something I didn't like because you could miss out on your own gem. Find YOURSELF in books. I have found so many great books that way. AND, I'm pretty much just going to say the book wasn't for me or not say anything. I'm not going to tear apart books (which is pointless and stupid) I just want to love and like what I read.

Trust me. Read the books you want to read. Enjoy and keep on keeping on peeps. We don't live forever. Waste your time on things you might love! Me, I loved the hell out of this book!

Happy Reading!

Mel 🖤🐾🐺
Profile Image for High Lady of The Night Court.
135 reviews5,057 followers
February 22, 2019
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.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,535 reviews32.5k followers
February 10, 2019
this book is E X A C T L Y the kind of content i signed up for in 2019 (never mind that this was released nearly a year ago :P).

truth be told, i actually actively stayed away from this. i hated the cover because i thought it tried too hard to be edgy and rough, vikings dont appeal to me in the least, and the plot just sounded meh. but let me be the first to tell you that i was sooo wrong (except for the cover - i still dont like it. lol).

what really blew me away was how original this is. i was surprised at how this doesnt tend to follow the same sort of format that most YA historical fiction stories seem to have. i was constantly engaged from the first page up until to the very last. not to mention this story begins right in the middle of a battle, so things start at 100 mph and they dont let up.

i was also really impressed with eelyn. i have found that a lot of books with a warrior female as the MC tend to be unforgivable and too extreme for me to appreciate. but eelyn was strong, with a strength that came from love and courage. it made her relatable, but also admirable. i thought her character was very well written.

the only thing keeping this from being 5 stars is the ending. everything is resolved in about 5-10 pages, making it seem a bit rushed to me. this book is on the shorter side of things, so i would have loved to have a more extended conclusion.

but overall, this was the biggest surprise i have had from a book in a very long time. and the moral of this review - i should never write off books without giving them a chance first.

4.5 stars
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,170 reviews98.2k followers
May 30, 2018

ARC provided by St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.

“…the last time I saw my brother was five years ago. Lying dead in the snow.”

Sky in the Deep 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:
Aska - Worship the god Sigr, water and the sea, and Eelyn’s clan where her father is the leader.
Riki - 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.

“I’d abandoned my clansmen on the battlefield to chase after the brother who didn’t even want me.”

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 content/trigger warnings 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 remembered the way he looked, lying with eyes staring into the sky that day I’d left him in the trench in Aurvanger. The broken boy bleeding in the snow beside my brother. I wondered if the gods had a plan then.”

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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The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Playlist of songs that inspired this story!

Buddy read with Jules, at JA Ironside, Lilly at Lair of Books, & Amy at A Court of Crowns and Quills! ❤

This was in the May 2018 OwlCrate box!
Profile Image for ❄️BooksofRadiance❄️.
603 reviews732 followers
February 2, 2019
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.
Profile Image for Katerina.
422 reviews16.8k followers
March 8, 2018
No words can explain how much I loved this book.

But I will give it a try.
“Ond Eldr.
Breathe Fire.”

Sky in the Deep is a Viking-inspired tale, 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 ancient blood feud 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.
“Vegr yfir fjor.
Honor above life.”

Sky in the Deep is a heartbreakingly beautiful story. Adrienne Young's words were arrows, piercing and hooking my entire existence. There were a sword, cutting any attachment to reality and the surrounding enviroment, ensuring my utter focus and attention. There were an axe, scattering my reserved expectations and skyrocketing them into the sky. I read Eelyn's story with a deep reverence, I felt humble before the magnitude of Adrienne's soulful, poetic writing, 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 daily chores, like cooking, and gathering herbs, managed to transport you next to her characters. The occasional gruesome scenes, and the battle frenzy 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 wonderful, slow-burning romance, 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.

“If I wanted to, I could kill the three of them right now. I could set this field of yarrow on fire and let myself burn with it.”

Featuring intense battle scenes, badass Vikings and strong, well-portrayed characters, marvelous world-building and ideal pacing, Sky in the Deep is an enthralling, deeply enchanting debut. Matters of religion and honor are examined in a subtle way that is not preachy, the bond of family, both by blood and by choice, is thoroughly explored, breaking and mending every piece of me. The entirety of the story was simply breathtaking. 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 poem, 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.
“I'm thinking that I wish you'd die that day.”

Adrienne Young does not elaborate on small-talk and unnecessary dialogues. Every word whispered or shouted is meaningful, and the profound tethers between the characters tangible. The enemies-to-lovers romance 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.

Sky in the Deep is a stunning debut, a bloody saga and an ode to love, family and friendship. Do NOT hesitate to give it a chance!
“Heill para.
Safe travels.”

*ARC generously provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Review also posted on BookNest!
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,537 reviews9,812 followers
December 29, 2022
Sky in the Deep was not what I expected and unfortunately, what it was didn't work for me at all.

I have had this book on my radar for over a year and was highly anticipating it. The synopsis sounded like something I would really enjoy. Vikings!

I have to be honest though, I was disappointed. I can't quite put my finger on what it was, but it just didn't click with me. It was okay; nothing more.

I mean, it wasn't bad. The writing was fine, the characters were fine, there is nothing glaringly offensive about it. I don't know, for me, it just fell so FLAT.

As far as the plot goes, in my opinion, there wasn't much of one. I felt like I was just waiting for something to actually happen and then it was over.

It read like one of my Cultural Anthropology textbooks from Uni; that's honestly how I felt.

As an examination of Viking life, it was great, but that wasn't really what I was looking for.

I would read other books by this author, maybe, but not if these are the characters the story follows. I'm just not compelled to follow-up with them.

So, yeah, this one was tough for me.

It hurts, but as I said, it was okay, it just wasn't what I thought it would be.

I am glad I had the opportunity to read it; I don't regret it, but I wouldn't recommend it.

Profile Image for Kayla Dawn.
291 reviews894 followers
October 2, 2019
This was a very, very typical YA fantasy.

Barely any world building, cliched characters (especially our dear "heroine"), an underdeveloped romance and an unrealistic, very rushed ending.

It really did have potential though, there were some parts that I really enjoyed. The writing style isn't too bad either. It's relatively easy but still "pretty" (even though there were a few sentences that made me cringe hard lol).

Sooo.. The world building.
Pretty much nonexistent. We get to know, that there are two "colonies" that populate this world. And they hate each other. Because they believe in different gods. We get little facts about their different beliefs thrown in here and there but that's it. I basically know nothing about the world our characters live in.
(There is another thing, but I can't really get into that because of spoilers. But it doesn't add much).

The characters are.. just as disappointing as the world building.
Our heroine is the typical "badass" YA fantasy girl.
We get told so many times that our main character is sooooooo pretty, my eyes hurt from rolling.
The love interest is.. bland. We don't know much about him expecting for the fact that he loves his family.
All of the other characters are just kinda there to keep the story going. There were attempts at giving them some depth but they failed.

The romance just kind of happened, I guess. Our two lovebirds barely ever talked to each other but hey, who needs realistic relationships anyway.

Ohhh and the ending. I can't say much without spoiling but damn, that was unrealistic. The thing that needed to be done happened way to easily. Way, way to easily. And of course everything was lovey dovey in the end. Bleh.

So, overall this was a fairly big disappointment 🤷🏻‍♀️
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,659 reviews5,139 followers
July 24, 2018
Wow, this review is so overdue, and I’m so sorry for that—I think I honestly completely forgot that I hadn’t reviewed it yet, but it’s been a full two months since I read this book! That said, it was enjoyable enough that it stuck with me pretty well, so… let’s do the thing!

Vegr yfir fjor. Honor above life.”

First of all, let me say that I went into this book feeling cautiously optimistic; the synopsis didn’t completely sell me, and I was a little bit worried that it would be one of those super hyped releases that let me down. Thankfully, that was not the issue at all, because this book sucked me in so fast!

I was the ice on the river. The snow clinging onto the mountainside.

I love stories involving icy tundras and characters that fit this Viking-esque vibe, and Sky in the Deep definitely supplies a version of that. From the first page, there is so much action and bloodshed, and unlike many YA authors I’ve read, Adrienne Young doesn’t shy away from showing you a little gore and devastation! Obviously we’re not talking adult grimdark levels here, but if you’re very sensitive, well, don’t say nobody warned you!

I hadn’t lost her. I hadn’t buried her. I’d only let her change into something new.

More than anything, I loved Eelyn’s character and how capable and intelligent she is. Despite the fact that she’s been raised to believe certain things about her enemy tribe, she’s not so set in her ways that she can’t grow to recognize when things don’t quite line up with her upbringing. She’s got this fantastic fighter’s spirit, and I truly enjoyed watching the world go by through her eyes.

The writhing, bleeding hole inside of me closed up. I let him erase it. I let him make it go away.

Of course, there’s also the matter of the romance, which is a bit slow to build, and never overpowers the main storyline. That said, it’s swoon-worthy in its own way, and I’m such a sucker for these characters that look like big, scary tough guys on the outside but end up being gushy teddy bears inside, so if you feel me on that, you’ll probably appreciate Eelyn’s love interest just as much as I did.

“What are you thinking?”
“I’m thinking I don’t want to fight anymore.”

Overall, I so thoroughly enjoyed this story. I loved the fighting, the romance, the depictions of faith, the mysticism in certain scenes, and the atmosphere. I felt like I should’ve been surrounded by icy fjords while reading this book, and it’s the type of story I can happily recommend to anyone who enjoys fantasy, and that I will happily come back to again and again.

You can find this review and more on my blog, or you can follow me on twitter, bookstagram, or facebook!


Buddy read with Taylor! ♥♥♥
Profile Image for Nasom.
195 reviews139 followers
June 3, 2018

Full Review

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!!
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,084 reviews17.5k followers
March 4, 2019
really not a fan of this boring ass repetitive ass narrative voice, but I especially do not like incompetent main characters who are badass, and I think I might be in a bad reading mood, but can I just rant? I understand that after seeing your brother be murdered, you will be super upset. you might allow yourself to be captured!! I get it. but if you're written, from the start, as the most badass character ever, a pillar of iconicness, and then you fail in battle not once but twice in the first ten percent of the fucking book? you cannot ask me to believe that.

love how she gets kidnapped away from her strong female friendship 10% of the way through and we promptly forget about her so we don't actually have to write strong dimensional women, never seen that before

i swear to god.

it's just so done before. like I'm sorry, I'm not in the mood to read something done before unless you can give me a really really really good reason that's not "this was a fun fantasy" like I'm sure it was but do I care? hm.... nope

I mean, I was never that interested in this to begin with and I think I would three-star this possibly? but we're just going to say goodbye I don't care
Profile Image for Reynita ★ The Night Reader ★.
123 reviews940 followers
October 30, 2018
The Review is Posted!

"Qnd eldr."
They were words I'd heard before. Breathe fire.

I admit that the first reason I read this book was because I knew there would be enemies to lovers and I FUCKING LOVE ENEMIES TO LOVERS TROPE, LIKE I LOVE IT SO MUCH. So me being a fan of enemies to lovers thought that I had no reason not to read the book and the synopsis of the book didn't sound bad. It sounded intriguing and the kind of story that maybe I would love but I was wrong. I mean, the book wasn't bad but it wasn't good either or maybe I thought this way because I had high expectations before reading the book. Even though, I feel a little bit glad that I was able to finish reading it, I also feel disappointed. Ugh.


The Plot and the Pacing

My God, the pacing of this book was really slow and honestly I wanted to pat my back for not dnfing this book and for being so patient because I rarely do this. I do like slow-paced books but if it's too slow then I would get annoyed and impatient. I still remember so clearly when I thought " when will something big happen? " and " oh my God, this is soooo slow " I felt like I didn't care that much for all the scenes. Sure I cared for some of the scenes because they were interesting but there were also some scenes that I didn't care.

The plot was pretty good but I somehow didn't really attached to the plot. Like when I read this book, I just felt like I was merely reading it and the strange thing was that I didn't feel nervous and my heart didn't pound hard even though I read the action scenes. Most of the time when I read, I just read and I didn't really feel any emotions and what kept me from not dnfing it was that the plot was not bad and it was pretty good and I wanted to know how it ended.

and I got extremely impatient when I nearly reached the ending and I almost skimmed reading it. almost. But I didn't do it. I just couldn't wait to finish reading it and read something else.


The Romance and The Characters

The romance wasn't amazing but thankfully it was good. It was good enough but ... sometimes I wondered how did they fall in love. It wasn't because it was fast or anything. The romance was definitely slow burn and I also could see the romance development and there was even a certain scene that make my eyes a bit teary because I felt touched by Fiske's words. It was sweet and that was the only moment I could truly connect with Eelyn and felt the feelings she felt but still sometimes I wondered how did they fall in love. Maybe I didn't fully connected to the romance but I still felt and saw their romance and it was pretty good.

and about the characters, I didn't have any problems with the characters and they were all fine for me but none of them were my favorite characters but I really liked Inge and Halvard. Inge was really nice and kind and Halvard! this boy was so cute! I don't have a younger sibling in real life, but if I had one, I would be very happy to have a little brother like Halvard. He's just too cute and I wanted to hug him. Both Halvard and Inge made me smile a lot and they might be not my favorite characters but I liked them.

Overall, even though I was disappointed I did not feel any regret and I'm glad that I was able to finish reading it. For me, this book wasn't bad but it wasn't good either. It was just fine and worth to be read.

Thank you for reading and liking this review! I appreciate it very much and I hope you all have a great day!





So the reasons I'm reading this book are :
2. The synopsis sounds intriguing and I want to know more

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? ( no spoiler please! ☺️)
Profile Image for clara.
69 reviews161 followers
June 18, 2018
‘Vegr yfir fjor. Honour above life.’
On paper, Sky in the Deep sounds like everything I would want in a book: historical fiction, vikings, and an enemies-to-lovers relationship (I’m such a sucker for this trope, not gonna lie). However, I felt that the execution ultimately failed.

The writing was mediocre, the phrasing sometimes awkward and clunky, and the worldbuilding was barely present. Although Sky in the Deep never lacked for action, there was little substance or depth backing this.

The familial bond between Eelyn and her brother was well-written, but the characters themselves were unremarkable and unmemorable, lacking in emotional depth and complexity. The love interest, especially, is one of the blander and more boring characters I’ve read about in the recent past, and if you asked me to list off his motives or personality traits, I’d probably struggle to come up with any.

The romance felt artificially manufactured - Eelyn and Fiske had no chemistry together and there was no buildup to their relationship.
Personally, I think it would have worked better if they had a platonic, rather than a romantic, relationship.

The combination of bland writing and lack of complex characterisation and worldbuilding resulted in a shallow, unspectacular read. If I’m being honest, I probably wouldn’t have finished this if I hadn’t received an ARC.

Thank you to St Martin’s Press and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

// buddy read (kind of?) with rowan's mate and kat 💕
Profile Image for Feyre.
102 reviews242 followers
January 28, 2019
“Vegr yfir fjor.” Honor above life.”
― Adrienne Young, Sky in the Deep


This was a buddy read with The one and only
The story is about a female warrior who comes face to face on the battlefield with her brother who she thought died five years ago. And as much as I want to be generous as my beautiful friend who gave it 3.5/5 stars, this was just way too plain for me, aside from the cover, the originality and the beginning, I don't think I liked anything this book offered, the world building was pretty much none existent, the romance felt forced, the main character was annoying as fuck and the plot..... what plot? Oh and btw I finished this in 2018 but I guess it was just so boring that I forgot to add it!!
Profile Image for ✨ Helena ✨.
369 reviews979 followers
August 23, 2020
Finally FINALLY a Viking book that I enjoyed!!! If I hadn’t read Fable before this, this would probably get five-stars, but I didn’t love this quite so much as Fable. Regardless, I adored the characters, the setting, the overall vibe and I’m extremely excited to start the sequel ASAP!!!
Profile Image for Sabrina.
476 reviews245 followers
May 22, 2018

RUTHLESS VIKINGS, ancient rivalries, falling for the enemy and strong has hell female and male characters.


“We find things, just as we lose things. If you’ve lost your honor, you’ll find it again.”

I'm surprised with this book, I expected to enjoy it but not as much as I did.
The story is original and intriguing.
This book was an action-packed gift. SO MANY FIGHTS, there was never a dull moment in this, and there was also a lot of heartbreaking moments.

The characters were very believable, with their feelings, confusion and mistrust.
The main character, Eelyn has a lot of emotional struggle and development in the course of the story, and I really liked how forgiving and honest to herself she is.
I liked almost all of the characters in this book, except one that was a real asshole.
The ones I liked are pretty awesome 😎!

The romance was really well built and I really enjoy it reading happening. It was slow and then fast. They are really cute together and its been some time since I read about a cute couple.
I really liked the writing style, easy and fast to read.
I'm definitely reading more of this author.
Profile Image for Bitchin' Reads.
459 reviews122 followers
June 9, 2021
(I don't know what happened to my review of Sky in the Deep from when I first received a bound manuscript at Yallfest several years ago, devoured it it two days, then bled my heart into my 1,000+ word review because of just how much I love this book. I'm a little concerned now, wondering if any other reviews are missing and starting to back-up my reviews off this (unreliable?) platform. Quite a bit upset. I'll have to see if I have drafts anywhere. This was one of my favorite reviews.)

Sky in the Deep delves into a Viking-esque world strife with life and death situations as one young Aska woman comes to terms with her quickly shifting perspective. Everything that Eelyn, the young Aska woman, believed is turned upside down when she discovers that someone she thought she lost forever was but a mountain away all along. Through the book she grapples with her anger, hurt, and the position of vulnerability that she is forced into, and we watch as her hard edges soften and she comes to realize that her people, the Aska, have few differences between them and the Riki, their god-sworn enemy.

Some of my favorite parts of this book center on Eelyn's identity and exploration of where she belongs and who she belongs with, which left me reflecting on my own place in the world. She is put into situations where the truths of her life are tested and dismantled repeatedly, until she is completely undone and needing to build her new life truths. The way that Adrienne was able to show her identity evolution externally through interactions with others and the choices she made to affect the external world, as well as the internal conflicts that Eelyn thinks about and struggles through, are all done in such a brilliant way. I see a new facet to this aspect every time I reread Sky in the Deep.

Another favorite part of the book that I think about often and find myself drawn to is the romantic relationship that develops in this story. I don't want to get too much into it because I want to avoid spoilers, so I'll keep this as brief and vague as possible. What I find so attractive about it is the mutual respect extended between Eelyn and the other individual. While their initial meeting is under rather tense and unfortunate circumstances, the love that slowly develops is so damn pure that my heart bursts. This love interest is #partnergoals, I tell you. This is the epitome of an equal partnership that people should strive for.

Annnnndddddddd now I'm in the mood to reread Sky in the Deep AGAIN. :)
Profile Image for Arini.
772 reviews1,622 followers
May 6, 2023

3.75 Stars

Bloody viking, this was epic and hit you just right in the feels!! My first book about vikings, and it’s packed with brutal battle scenes, badass characters, true kinship, long lasting friendship, sweet and slow burn enemies to lovers romance. What more do you ask for??

I love Eelyn so much. She’s like this wonder woman/viking warrior who’s really cool and strong but also has a sense of loyalty and vulnerability when it comes to the people she loves. It might seem like she’s clumsy or stupid by how easily she’s captured by the enemy clan, but then who wouldn’t get distracted when you see someone you thought was dead for years was actually standing in front of you alive??

I love seeing how she slowly “re-educate” herself about the “enemy” during her captivity. It’s hard to believe and accept that the people you are taught or told to hate are actually so kind and loving, that in the end we are all the same. It’s just a matter of perspective. Our circumstances shape us differently. We shouldn’t judge people too fast when we don’t know the kind of life and struggles they have to endure.

I also really love the unconditional love of the sibling relationship and friendship portrayal. I thought it was truly heartwarming. The romance was absolutely the best!! And praise the lord bcs the hero is not an asshole. Also, my precious Halvard. Gahh come home with me will you?? And be my sweet little brother!!

(Read in Audiobook Format)
Profile Image for Iben Frederiksen.
294 reviews167 followers
November 24, 2019
Sky In the Deep, is the debut novel of writer Adrienne Young - and it is the debut novel everyone wishes they wrote!

The story is about vikings, and we follow the young warrior Eelyn as she and her people, the Aska, fight against an enemy clan, the Riki, in a massive battle they gather for every five years. There are axes and blood flying from the very first pages, and I was immediately pulled into the story.
Very shortly the premise of the story unfolded as Eelyn spots her brother Iri on the battlefield fighting with the enemy, despite watching him die five years prior. Eelyn, feeling betrayed and hurt, gets captured by the Riki, which begins a journey that ends up shaping the future of both the Aska and the Riki.

I loved everything about this book - the characters, the setting... the whole story really.

- Eelyn is a great main character; she is fierce and strong, but also vulnerable and human.

- I loved Fiske, and I especially enjoyed seeing him and Eelyn going from wanting to kill each other, to being willing to die for each other.

- The culture of the different viking clans was very well executed, and the author managed to mix in real life historical viking culture, with her own made up gods and traditions. Very nicely done.

Honestly, this is a book that I would love for to be adapted into a movie - done right of course ;)
Profile Image for Korrina  (OwlCrate).
193 reviews4,556 followers
June 8, 2018
Just finished my reread of this beauty in preparation for the OwlCrate Book Club (come find us on Facebook if you’re an OwlCrate subscriber!). I didn’t think it was possible to love this book more than I already did, but I LOVED this reread. I took my time with it and really savoured every chapter. I adore these characters and this story. I can’t wait to discuss it in the book club.
Profile Image for ♥ℂĦℝΪՖƬΪℕÅ.
230 reviews3,933 followers
July 12, 2019
5 “Vegr yfir fjor.” Honor above life. ★'s

“There was only the white and cold and quiet of that forest. There was only loneliness. There was only the very barest part of me, waiting for the end to come. It crept toward me in the dark. It came for me. And when it overtook me, my last thought was I don’t want to die.”

“Ond Eldr. Breathe Fire.”

Wow! This. Book. Is. Insanely good!! Finally, after having read several books this year I found what I was looking for, something that sucked me in completely and had me entranced from the very first page :) I literally could NOT put it down, I was that hooked! It was such a fun, entertaining, addictive, and a pull at the heartstrings kinda read. Oh my, all the FEELS this book gives. It broke my heart so many times. I even shed a few tears. I also really like/enjoyed the direction that Adrienne Young took this story in. Though I will admit I'm a little sad that this is a stand-alone. The need to have more of these characters is unparalleled. I just want more 😭😭...

This book is very Viking-inspired, which is another reason I love it so much. (Note to self: Read move books like this in the near future.) Sky in the Deep is everything I love when it comes to YA. From the writing to the world-building to the characters I fell in love with, everything is superb. The world was dark and gritty, it was violent, brutal and bloody, it was a generations-long feud between two clans, about honor, strength, and bravery, about war and betrayal, friendships old and new, about family ties and finding love in the most unlikely places. It has a little Norse mythology which I also love. Seriously what more could I ask for? It has it all!

“Everything I’d ever been taught didn’t fit into the shape of this world.”

The main heroine Eelyn (I love her name) was all I hoped she'd be when starting this. She is a true badass Viking warrior (shield-maiden) who isn't afraid to face down her enemies (not even grown Viking men) on or off the battlefield. Eelyn proves her strength and bravery time and time again. I love her determination and loyalty to those she loves. She is also very proud and defiant. Though she is the product of her environment, in a culture that's all about loyalty to the clan in her case (the Aska). The saying they live by is Honor above Life. When Eelyn finds herself on opposite sides (against her will) with the Riki (the rival clan) let's just say... she doesn't take it well. Especially with the betrayal of her brother so raw in her heart and the hard truth that he chose the Riki over his own family. She's bitter and hurt by this (obviously). But she soon learns that not everything is black and white and that family is more than just blood. She becomes confused with her feelings and starts to rethink their beliefs. Though the road she gets lead down certainly isn't an easy one, I loved getting to see her involve and learn that she and her people really aren't so different from the Riki and we see a different kinda strength in her. Eelyn is fierce and yet vulnerable. ♥My favorite kind of heroine♥ :)

“I couldn’t go. I couldn’t leave this place.”

I love Eelyn's brother Iri, and that regardless of his decisions he stood by what he believed in. And just because he choose the Riki family it didn't mean he loved his any less. He loved them very much but he couldn't change the way he felt or the relationships he formed with the family that saved his life.

“I don't belong to you.”
“Yes, you do.” He pulled the hair back out of my face so he could look at me. “Like I belong to you.”

Fiske, I was really into this character (one of my favorites). He is the hero in the story and he is such a brute ;) He's strong and brave and loyal... and a bit of a jerk. I LOVE that this was more of a slow burn romance and not one of those love at first sight (eye-rolling) kinda love stories that are so entwined with the YA genre. It was a nice change. I love the bond that was forged between him and Eelyn and the long prosses it took to get them to that point. In the beginning, there was a lot of tension and arguing. It was wonderful watching their relationship grow and the two of them learning to trust in one another first. It made their relationship and their (love) all the more believable in my opinion.

“S á l fjotra is a bond between souls.”
“This kind of bond is formed when a soul is broken. It’s formed through pain, loss, and heartbreak.”

I really did fall in love with all these amazing characters. From Eelyn's father, Aghi to her best friend Mýra, from Fiske's little brother Halvard to his mother Inge. They are all complicated character and I adore them to pieces! Each and every one of them stole a piece of my heart in one way or another. I loved getting to know them and seeing the strained (at first) relationships begin to grow and I loved seeing them all come together to defeat a common enemy and the character growth that brought with it.

Oh, The love I have for this story is so immense. I love that this story is actually about family and love. Not a generations-long war between two clans. But FAMILY... and what ties them all together isn't just the blood they share. Family can also be a choice. Family is unconditional love, trust, respect, and acceptance. It was amazing seeing these two clans come together and bridge the gap that has existed between them for far too long.

There are many mixed reviews for this book, but I absolutely love it! So yeah, I 100% recommend Sky in the Deep to anyone and everyone who loves's a strong badass heroine, a dark brutal world, a slow burn romance and a story about the love and strength of family. You won't be disappointed. But if you are... You're crazy lol.

Although this story has come to an end, I can't wait to get back into this world with The Girl the Sea Gave Back. So so excited! September can't get here soon enough.

*The audiobook version was totally awesome! Khristine Hvam (the Narrator) did such an amazing job. Also, the cover is so badass! Kudos to the author Adrienne Young and to Khristine Hvam. You're both freaking fantastic!!!!* 😘

“I could still see a young Eelyn standing on the beach turned into the wind, a sword in one hand an axe in the other. I hadn't lost her. I hadn't buried her. I'd only let her change into something new.”

Profile Image for Wren (fablesandwren).
675 reviews1,500 followers
September 17, 2020
Thank you to the publisher St. Martin's Press: Wednesday Books and NetGallery for providing me with a ebook copy of this beautiful book! Quotes taken from the book are subjected to change with the official release. All opinions on are mine and mine alone.

Release Date: April 24th 2018

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.

Side note: 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, so why is her brother on their side of the battle field now? Against his own father and sister and kinsmen? 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.

"The prickling of his stare ran over my body, making me shake as I lifted my hand and spread my fingers, reaching out to him. He looked at it, taking a small step toward me. He moved closer until I could feel his breath on the palm of my hand"

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. What are you waiting for?!

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.
Profile Image for Riley.
427 reviews21.1k followers
May 11, 2018
I loved this. Now I want to read/watch all the viking things
Profile Image for Ida.
128 reviews193 followers
March 17, 2020
3.5 Stars, but closer to 3 than 4 ⭐️

I'm not sure I read the same book as the rest of you..
Where is this badass heroine that shows you how badass she is rather than tell you? I mean, there were three times she acted badass, and they all lasted for less than two pages. For the rest of the book she simply told you that she could have killed someone, or she could have done this or that rather than actually doing it.
And is it too much to ask for a heroine that doesn't cry once every chapter for half the book..? She was raised by the clan leader, someone who is said to be the most fearless warrior, and grew up in the bloodbath shed between the different clans. I actually expected her to be a lot more coldhearted.

"I tried to remember who I was. Strong. Brave. Fierce. Sure."

I think it's safe to say, I was disappointed with the mc.


I wish I could tell you I liked the other characters more, but I honestly ended up not caring about any of them. That may be the reason for why I felt like the romance came out of nowhere and was sort of forced into the story.

Now, on to the things I actually liked.

The brutality
There's one part of the story, that I will not reveal and ruin for those who're still going to read this book, that is so raw. Not only was it the only time I was not indifference to the story, but I actually got angry- because it was so well portrayed.

The setting
I also liked the world and the fact that it is a viking story. The surroundings reminded me of home, Norway, and that made it a lot easier to picture.

Family plays a big role in this book, and I love how that was portrayed, especially Eelyns struggles towards her brother.
Profile Image for Zainab.
381 reviews499 followers
July 14, 2019
3.5 ish stars.

It's one of those books that finish before they even start. It started with our protagonist in a battle field (this is set in the Vikings era fyi) so the start was great and all but a bit too fast paced. Things happened so quickly I couldn't even keep track of it all.
The romance was unrealistic .You see I find it very hard to believe that a guy who adamantly believes in family over everything falls so much in 'loove' with the girl that after her living with his family for a few days he decides to leave his home for her (please don't give me that true love bull. It's utter crap) That was a major eye roll.
Profile Image for Tina Haigler.
293 reviews100 followers
May 24, 2019

This book starts off with a bang! It's a Viking style novel after all. You are dropped right into a battle scene, so it's engaging right from the start. The middle is a little slow, due to it mostly being character and culture building. The end is mostly drama, with some romance, and then action for the last few chapters. Some people thought the last battle felt too rushed, but I disagree. It was only from one person's point of view, so a much longer ending would've come across as unrealistic, and needlessly wordy. After all, one person can only see so much, especially in that type of chaos.

In the end, I enjoyed the characters and the culture the most. I always love reading about other cultures, and the less I know about the culture and everyday life, the more I enjoy reading about it. I honestly liked all of the characters, which is rare for me, but the main character was my favorite. She had a lot of hostility and rage at the beginning of the book. I was a little sad that it faded somewhat throughout the middle. I'm not a fan of unchecked rage but that's not what this was. This was very targeted toward her enemies, and had a purpose of keeping her alive on the battlefield. She was a badass, but not an unrealistic one. She was a warrior, and I loved her.

This is one of those rare YA books that doesn't harp on the physical relationship that develops between characters. Kisses are mentioned and sex inferred, but not described, so I consider it appropriate enough for young teens.

This book was a lot of fun, and I definitely recommend it to anyone who likes action, Vikings, warriors, historical fiction, or romance. I can't wait for the sequel that's coming out this year!

"Where we were both."
Profile Image for Christian.
289 reviews327 followers
May 31, 2018
"They hated me like I hated them. But they'd won. And they knew it."

3 1/2 stars

Initially, I hadn't even really planned on reading Sky in the Deep, but, and this happens quite often and is very detrimental to my financial responsibilities, I randomly was really in the mood for it and none of the other books I already own. I don't question that anymore. So I just went ahead, got it and dove right in.

The first chapter opens with this massive action sequence, and if I tell you that I was here for it. I love me some badass girls wielding axes and swords, and the viking influences made for such a refreshing, unique touch that presented itself very early on. Still, I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the overall story arc, and I knew very little going into it besides the fact that the main character, Eelyn, would shockingly discover her brother to be alive - and fighting for the enemy.

This happens very early on, and it immediately pulled me in, because not only was the entire previous fight super action-packed and hectic, but the emotional turmoil this discovery awakens in Eelyn was written so beautifully and made you feel for her right away. And all in all, this remained one of the biggest strengths of the novel up until the end: The emotions are conveyed extremely raw, real and heartbreaking. This was probably what surprised me the most. This books is sad. Not in a "My eyes are liquifying and I can't see the words anymore"-type of way, but rather it hits you in subtle, yet very piercing blows every now and then. For example when the weight of the truth - that Eelyn's brother is not in fact dead and joined the rival clan - gets too heavy and makes Eelyn say things like this:

"What are you thinking now?"
The weight of it fell from my head, down into the rest of my body. The words were small but they were true. "I'm thinking that I wish you'd died that day."

This books lives off of its characters. It shows more internal struggles than it does external ones, which thankfully works out Pretty well because 1. I really liked Eelyn, whom you might consider your regular "I kill everyone"-heroine, but a bit softer around the edges 2. the love interest tries to kill Eelyn on the battlefield, puts an arrow in her shoulder and does not fall for her 20 pages later (looking at you, Children of Blood and Bone), and 3. Halvard is my precious, small child and if any harm ever comes close to him I will murder both clans to the point of extinction.

I don't want to give too much away, but I also enjoyed the conflict that weaves its way throughout the plot, namely how Eelyn, after spending quite some time with the enemy, that they might just be trapped in a vicious circle - family members getting killed, thirst for revenge, killing someone else's family in return… it didn't reinvent the wheel, but it was crafted with such careful wording that I couldn't help but approve.

While Sky in the Deep certainly didn't hold back any emotions, it did, unexpectedly, not contain a lot of actions. Besides the first 20 pages and the final 40, it was rather… quiet. Which I didn't particularly mind, but at some point I couldn't help but feel like the plot was stuck and something was missing. It didn't bore me, but it also didn't fully captivate me throughout its 350 pages, which I know other readers might have an even bigger problem with.

Additionally, it occasionally dipped its foot into fantasy-waters, but I'm not sure if maybe those were a bit too cold, because it never really went any further into it, leaving it at just a few drops here and there, which was disappointing to me because it left me feeling rather unsatisfied in terms of not only world building, but also this "mysterious common enemy" that is introduced to the storyline. It was just never really resolved who this enemy was (and why they didn't have any irises or pupils, like, I WANT TO KNOW).

In the end, Sky in the Deep is definitely story that lives off of its characters more than it does its action, which wasn't bad, but the latter and some more fantasy aspects, which I was expecting, were lacking in the long run, which surprised me quite a bit. Nonetheless, a beautifully written debut, which, tone-wise, reminds me quite a bit of The Wrath and the Dawn, minus some of that purple-ness. So if you liked that, you might want to check this one out.

* * *

Spontaneously ordered this yesterday because I didn't feel like reading any of the 40 unread books I own, and I don't understand my weird moods in the least but they completely control my reading life. :))
Profile Image for Alana.
664 reviews1,270 followers
February 6, 2018

A million stars to all the feels, tension, love, hate, and Viking badassery that this story was.

I’m so sad this is over now because I never wanted it to end.

I was sold on this book when I saw the cover and read the synopsis, but then I started this and knew I had just come across one of my favorite reads of 2018. This book will suck you in right from the start. I'm talking HEART POUNDING, page turning, non-stop Viking goodness from literally page one. I'm not kidding. My first status update on this book was, "My heart is already pounding from one chapter." I am warning y'all now, DO NOT make the same mistake I did and start this book on your lunch break. You won't be able to stop and you will be late to return back to work. Just take my word for it.

Anyway, this book is about Eelyn, a viking warrior, who is a part of the Aska clan. Every five years the Aska and Riki clan go to battle. Eelyn, definitely has A LOT of hostility towards the Riki clan, not just because of their history but because they are responsible for her mother and brother's death. Chapter one starts off with the Aska and Riki battle five years after Eelyn, has lost her brother and to her surprise her brother is still very much alive, only this time he is fighting with her sworn enemy. Eelyn, not believing her eyes (literally not sure if she hallucinated) because she watched him die five years ago, sets out on a hunt to find out exactly what happened to her brother that would warrant him to be fighting with the clan he once hated too.

That's all I am going to say without giving away any spoilers.

As usual here is a list of a few of the things I loved about this story:

-A brutal MC who is just as compassionate as she is badass
-The battle scenes were written so beautifully, it felt like I was there (probably would have died in the first chapter though)
-The love and hate Eelyn feels towards her brother is executed so well
-The fact that this will have a companion novel (as much as I loved this story and I'm sad to see it go, it was the perfect length)
-Eelyn's friendship with Mýra, and the two of them fighting beside one another was epic

All in all guys, this is going to be a VERY hard book to knock out of my top 3 favorite reads for 2018. You definitely need to get your hands on this book once it is released!


I am so intrigued.

This cover has me drooling & the synopsis, OMG.
Definitely one of my top anticipated reads of 2018.
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