Title: Sky in the Deep
Author : Adrienne Young
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication Date: 04/24/18
When Eelyn, a seventeen-year-old warrior from the Aska viking clan, heads into battle, the last thing she expects to encounter is her brother, Iri.
Her brother whom she has been mourning for the past five years.
Her brother that she watched die.
Her brother who is now wearing the armor of the Riki, their rival clan.
Following him into the wood, she sets herself on a path that is ugly and undesirable, but ultimately has the potential to change the future for all of the vikings in the area.
How far are the Riki and the Aska willing to go to assure the safety of their own?
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I don’t know that I can think of another novel that I have ever read that centered around a community of vikings. This was so amazing and unique! I grew some intense attachments to characters and could not put this one down.
I appreciated the role of women in this title so much! Not only is Eelyn a tough, powerhouse of a character, but there are other strong women present as well. She isn’t an ‘oddball’ as a woman for being a warrior–many of the women are strong, admirable fighters. You never saw a man treat a woman any differently in battle than the men, and I LOVED that!
One of my favorite things about this novel was the slow-burning romance between two of our main characters (sorry, can’t spill the beans on this one! Read it to find out!). And it was just the perfect amount of romance for a YA title, in my opinion. As a teacher, I like being able to recommend YA titles to students that I know will not ‘cross any lines’ (and therefore make for a possibly angry parent). Sky in the Deep had just enough sexual undertones to this relationship that to make for a couple heated moments, without ever blatantly crossing that line. It was fabulous and I need more of these characters!
(That is not to say that I wouldn’t recommend YA titles that do push the line to adolescents that I personally know–with disclosure of touchy content. But in a school setting, we have to have some boundaries and some amount of censorship in order to respect opinions of others’ families)
The themes of family are so strong in this novel. I come from a large family where fostering and adoption is very present and supported, so I always love when there are any type of themes in novels that really support the concept of family being what you make it. Family doesn’t always have to be those that we were born into and the bonds that we build with those that we love can be just as strong as biological siblings or parents. The bond that Iri shares with Fiske is so powerful, and there is a young child in Fiske’s family who will steal reader’s hearts as he comes to know and love Eelyn–it’s hard to believe that all of these characters are fiction and that someone sculpted these relationships and emotions from words and presented them to us on paper.
We can also learn so much from the political, and just straight human being, themes within this novel of diversity. Living among the Riki, Eelyn begins to draw deep and powerful connections between her own clan, the Aska, and this clan that is a deeply hated rival. She begins to see the parallels between their religion and her own… their similar focuses on family and those they love.. and the most powerful thing that they have in common during this dangerous time–the will and fight to survive, above all else.
According to Adrienne, there will be a companion novel released in 2019 that has a lot of new characters and some previous (loved) characters. More information will be released soon regarding this title. I know this will be an automatic addition to my TBR and cannot wait to read it!
**Trigger Warnings: Brutal Violence, War, Assault, Attempted Sexual Assault, Death
Thank you to Adrienne Young and Wednesday Books for providing me with a DRC of this novel via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.