Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient, god-decreed rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: train to fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield – her brother, fighting with the enemy – the brother she watched die years ago. Eelyn loses her focus and is capture. Now, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbour is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered.

But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan settling in the valley, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved Aska clan, which is rumoured to have been decimated by the same horde. She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend who tried to kill her the day she was captured. 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 find a way to forgive her brother while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life killing.

Sky in the Deep was a fantastic read, one that I couldn’t put down. The characters and the way in which Adrienne built the world kept me glued to the pages. I love stories set in different cultures and times so with this story being Vikings it was a perfect match.

Eelyn was instantly my favourite character. Strong female characters who take nothing and can deal what what they a given right back is one of my favourite things to read. The strong connection she has with her battle partner as well as her tribe is seen throughout the book. I also loved the moment of vulnerability that Eelyn ends up showing.

The relationships that Eelyn has throughout the book was lovely to read about. The trust she has in her battle partner really shows how much faith they have in each other to cover their weaknesses. The connection between her brother as well as the Riki was interesting to read about and see it change. It was not only the connections between family and friends but also to broader tribe and they way they interacted was very interesting. I also really enjoyed the evolution of her relationship with Fiske.

The themes of sense of honour, war, religion and in some sense politics is seen throughout the books. Young really illustrates how in important it is for Eelyn to have honour not only for herself so that she can find peace when she dies but also for those she cares for the most. It is important that she honours her God so that her soul will be carried into the afterlife and so she can meet the rest of her family again in death. This honour is also seen in some ways in the battles that Eelyn fights as well as through their religion and their faith in their Gods. The religion is important in Sky in the Deep as the tribes don’t do anything without there being a reason for doing so. The stories that have been passed down to each member of the tribe and to Eelyn tells them why they need to meet in battle against the Riki. It was interesting to see the change in Eelyn in regards to her beliefs.

In all Adrienne Young creates characters that you end up caring for and you want nothing bad to happen to them. I really enjoyed Sky in the Deep and I look forward to reading more from Adrienne Young


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