Title: Sky in the Deep
Author: Adrienne Young
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Release Day: April 24th 2018
AMAZON US | AMAZON UK
ARC was kindly provided from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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OND ELDR. BREATHE FIRE.

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.

4 stars!

“Because you have fire in your blood.”

Eelyn, which I’m 100% certain I’m mispronouncing in my head, is an Askan warrior in the middle of a bloody battle when she sees her dead brother, Iri, in the flesh. He is alive and living with another clan, and an enemy of the Aska. In her attempt to find him after briefly seeing him, she is captured by her brother’s new clan, the Riki. Sky in the Deep is roughly 350 pages long and a lot of world building information is missing. For example I can’t tell you why the clans are enemies, they just are even though they could not be more alike, which I guess is what brings them together in the end.

I blame the info dump and the trilogies I usually read that have made me expect certain things, Sky in the Deep tells you what new information Eelyn learns, she doesn’t repeat centuries worth of history like most Fantasy books and WE NEED MORE OF THAT! Despite my confusion over minor details I quickly realized that it is what it is and the point of this is Eelyn herself and not the history.

Eelyn goes from being a warrior to being a slave to her brother’s new clan. The main conflict of the book is the need to keep her identity a secret so as to not get herself killed and her brother for not telling his clansmen about his sister. There’s a lot of stuff I want to mention because the story felt kind of short but packed with action scenes and slow day-to-day activities that gave me just enough time to get to know the characters before the next blood battle began.

“It was the end. And at the end, life becomes precious.”

This book was heavy on brotherly love. Between Eelyn and her brother, between Iri and his “new family” which included Fiske, Eelyn’s love interest that didn’t become a love interest until the end. Sky in the Deep did everything Young Adult Fantasy avoids like the plague:

  • skipped the love triangle
  • heavily relied on brotherly love and family
  • didn’t info dump
  • didn’t stretch it with more books
  • got straight to the fucking point

The major issue I had with this book is the fact that the blurb feels like from a different book? Sky in the Deep starts with an action scene and then the rest of it is just a quiet village life for Eelyn, I liked it but it’s not what the blurb says it is. The last chapters deal with the raid and literally barely a chapter of a major clan battle which would have been amazing to read in detail before things wrap up. I could most definitely use another 100 pages but overall this is proof that not all Fantasies need to be trilogies, better to be left wanting more than bore the reader to tears. 

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kei

6 thoughts on “Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young”

  1. Nice review! I like how you pointed out the things this DIDN’T do, unlike a lot of YA? That makes me want to read this even more! Normally I like robust worldbuilding but here it sounds like it works, just dropping you in and not spoonfeeding information. I like the brotherly love angle too?
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