Review: Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne YoungSky in the Deep
Adrienne Young
Wednesday Books
Published on April 24th, 2018

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About Sky in the Deep
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.

My Review
I liked this book. Mostly. But I didn’t love it, so that’s why I’m only giving it three stars.

The plot was pretty good, if a little basic: two warring villages must join together to defeat greater threat. While I can’t say that I’ve read this plot before, it still felt kinda cliché. I feel like there could’ve been a lot more exploration into the dynamics between the two villages, and it would’ve been more interesting if there had been greater differences between the Riki and the Aska. (They are pretty much identical, except for the name of their god and minor ritualistic stuff.)

I loved Eelyn as a character. I really felt for her and what she went through, and I could understand her emotions. The author did a great job of building a connection with her. However, none of the other characters were really rounded out, which led to the romance feeling very bland and lust-driven rather than a real rapport built between characters. I didn’t understand Fiske, and honestly felt like he was just a minor character thrown in for a romance subplot.

I’d love to see more of the broader world in this story as well: where did the Herja come from? Are they even human? What is the bigger picture here?

Overall, I found Sky in the Deep to be pretty bland. What could’ve been an incredible, heart-wrenching tale about cultures combing/clashing turned into a predictable fantasy adventure that just didn’t enthrall me.

Sky in the DeepRecommended for Ages 16 and up

Cultural Elements
The Herja are described as being very pale with white eyes. Both the Riki and the Aska seem to be caucasian. 

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Characters ‘curse,’ but actual words are not given.

Romance/Sexual Content
One character is almost raped. Some kissing scenes, semi-detailed. One intimate encounter in a fade-to-black, off-page type scene.

Spiritual Content
The Riki and the Aska each have their own god, and these gods are supposed to be enemies. Thora is the Riki god, and came ‘from the mountain in fire.’ Sigr is the Aska god, and ‘had risen up from the sea.’ Every five years, the tribes battle in honor of their warring gods. The Aska believe in Sólbjorg, which is an afterlife that is earned by honor and valor. The Riki also believe in an afterlife called Frior. Both tribes perform ritual ceremonies.

Violent Content
Very graphic descriptions of wounds, killings, and attacks. One character graphically rips out another character’s eyeball. One character is almost raped.

Drug Content
Characters drink ale, and use herbs for medicinal purposes.
Sky in the DeepNote: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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