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Thursday, November 18, 2021

Book Review & Excerpt: Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young




Sky in the Deep (Sky in the Deep #1) by Adrienne Young
Genre: Young Adult Fiction (Fantasy/Historical/Romance)
Date Published: April 24, 2018
Publisher: Wednesday Books

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.

Part Wonder Woman, part Vikings—and all heart.


Sky in the Deep is the first book in the Sky in the Deep series by Adrienne Young. I wasn't sure what I was going to think about this one, but it turned into one of my favorites of 2021. Eelyn lives in a brutal world that revolves around survival, and I'm not just talking about the day to day hunting and gathering kinds of survival. They have to do that, of course. These folks have to always be training and ready for attack, and they start preparing from a young age. There is so much hate among the different clans. They are raised to hate and fight each other. It's all they know, and there are some pretty brutal moments. We are introduced to three different clans within this book, and when two have to come together for a chance to survive the third, it's.. well, it's not easy to say the least. What I loved about this story was the underlying theme of unity. And, it wasn't one of those forced down your throat kind of messages. It definitely wasn't an easy process. There's still a lot of work to be done, and I'm really excited for the next book to come out already, but it was kind of beautiful and unique how these people came together. United we stand, divided we fall, right? If only we can all remember that in real life.

The last of them disappeared into the trees behind her and I turned, looking for the blue wool tunic my father was wearing beneath his armor. “Aghi!”

The heads of the Aska in the field turned toward me. Mýra took hold of my arm, pressing the heel of her hand into the wound to stop the bleeding. “Eelyn.” She pulled me to her. “What is it? What’s wrong?”

I found my father’s face across the field, where the fog was still pulling up from the land like a lifting cloud.

“Aghi!” His name was raw in my throat.

His chin lifted at the strangled sound and his eyes searched the body-littered expanse. When they found me, they transfigured from worry into fear. He dropped his shield and ran to me.

I sank to my knees, my head swimming. He fell beside me, hands running over my body and fingers sliding over blood and sweat-soaked skin. He looked me over carefully, dread pushing its way onto his face.

I took hold of his armor vest, pulling him to face me. “It’s Iri.” The words broke on a sob. I could still see him. His pale eyes. His fingers touching my face.

My father’s gaze went to Mýra before the breath that was caught in his chest let go of his panic. He took my face into his hands and looked at me. “What’s happened?” His eyes caught sight of the blood still seeping from my arm. He let me go, pulling his knife free to cut at the tunic of the Riki lying dead beside us.

“I saw him. I saw Iri.”

He wrapped the torn cloth around my arm, tying it tight. “What are you talking about?”

I pushed his hands from me, crying. “Listen to me! Iri was here! I saw him!”

His hands finally stilled, confusion lighting in his eyes.

“I was fighting a man. He was about to . . .” I shuddered, remembering how close to death I’d come—closer than I’d ever been. “Iri came out of the fog and saved me. He was with the Riki.” I stood, taking his hand and pulling him toward the tree line. “We have to find him!”

But my father stood like a stone tucked into the earth. His face turned up toward the sky, his eyes blinking against the sunlight.

“Do you hear me? Iri’s alive!” I shouted, holding my arm against my body to calm the violent throbbing around the gash. His eyes landed on me again, tears gathered at the corners like little white flames. “Sigr. He sent Iri’s soul to save you, Eelyn.”

“What? No.”

“Iri’s made it to Sólbjǫrg.” His words were frightening and delicate, betraying a tenderness my father never showed. He stepped forward, looking down into my eyes with a smile.

“Sigr has favored you, Eelyn.”

Mýra stood behind him, her green eyes wide beneath her unraveling auburn braids.“But—” I choked. “I saw him.”


author
Adrienne Young is the New York Times, USA Today, and Indie list bestselling author of Sky in the Deep, The Girl the Sea Gave Back, Fable, Namesake, The Last Legacy, and the forthcoming Spells for Forgetting. She is a foodie with a deep love of history and travel and a shameless addiction to coffee. When she’s not writing, you can find her on her yoga mat, sipping wine over long dinners or disappearing into her favorite art museums. She lives with her documentary filmmaker husband and their four little wildlings in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

To learn more about Adrienne Young and her books, visit her website. You can also find her on Goodreads and Instagram.
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