Monday, October 15, 2018

BOOK REVIEW | Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Title: Sky in the Deep
Author: Adrienne Young
Series? Yes, the first in a duology
Pages: 340 pages, or 8 hours and 40 minutes
Publication Date: April 24, 2018
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Source: I listened to the audiobook of Sky in the Deep via Overdrive.

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.

I was originally going to do a "Thoughts While Listening To..." post for Sky in the Deep, but I read this book so quickly (5 days is really short for an audiobook for me!), that I kept forgetting to actually write down my thoughts. So instead, I'm going to be doing a regular old review.

Sky in the Deep is Adrienne Young's debut novel. We've had plenty of viking inspired novels, most notably and recently, The Valiant. This is the first, however, that I have really enjoyed and almost loved.

There are several central themes to Sky in the Deep, including loyalty, family, and what those two actually mean. Eelyn is loyal to her family and Aska clan, and would die for them. Her loyalties are one-note at first, but become more nuanced as she's taken to the Rikki clan after seeing her supposedly dead brother fight alongside them. I loved these themes of loyalty and family and the intersection of the two. Loyalties are tested not just for Eelyn, but for every single character. The battles, against Rikki and later together with them, were great physical manifestations of everyone's character growth.

Keep in mind that the focus of this book is on the characters and their growth. The synopsis hints at battles, but they don't take up the majority of the book. Instead, we see Eyelyn adapting to new situations, and trying to retain her loyalty to her tribe, the Aska, while slowly forming relationships and a sense of trust with the Rikki.

For those of you who need romance in the books they read, rest assured. Sky in the Deep doesn't have a huge focus on romance, but it is there. Eeylyn and her love interest, who I'm sure you can surmise from the synopsis, are at odds with each other for a large portion of the book. Their relationship is a slow burn, but once it catches fire, it spreads quickly.

Sky in the Deep has been getting a lot of attention, and for good reason. The main character's internal struggles are compelling, and well translated into the physical conflicts. The overarching themes of loyalty and pride were well done, and allowed all the characters to be complex, even secondary ones. I am thrilled that there is going to be a companion novel in this series. I have no idea who's point of view it will be from, but I'm eagerly anticipating the sequel! 

With that, I give Sky in the Deep
4.5 out of 5 Axes and Swords!


  1. I loved this book! Can't wait for the companion novel.

  2. I’m glad you liked it. I’m on a really long waitlist for the print book. I’ve never read anything about Vikings before, so I’m looking forward to it. Great review!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. Thanks AJ! I was on a really long line for the audiobook; it seems popular for every edition! I hope you love it AJ. :)