Seventeen-year-old Eelyn’s world is war. Raised to fight alongside her Aska clansmen in a generations-old blood feud against the Riki, 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 if she wants to make it back to the fjord after the thaw. But when she begins to see herself in the people she’s been taught to hate, the world Eelyn once knew begins to crumble. And after the village is raided by a ruthless clan many believe to be a myth, Eelyn is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend who has tried more than once to kill her. Together, they must end the blood feud between their clans or watch their people be slaughtered.
Taken from https://www.adrienneyoungbooks.com/books
I’m a huge fan of Viking settings so I was pretty happy when I received this book in the May Owlcrate box. The theme was “Fight Like A Girl” so I was expecting a badass female lead and I ended up having mixed feelings on whether Eelyn met that criteria. There’s no doubt that she’s a respected warrior for her people, but put aside her sword and axe and she lacked any cleverness or survival instinct which frustrated me. She comes around after awhile, but it definitely made me dislike her in the beginning. I like my badass protagonists to have a healthy dose of both brains and brawn.
Sky in the Deep is a well-written book that explores the idea that still lives in this day and age; how humankind wars with and hates people who are “other.” Eelyn is thrown into the lives of her enemies and struggles with how familiar everything is. The differences between them are far fewer than either of them were led to believe, but people are set in their ways and only the most extreme of circumstances (total annihilation) can give them a chance at redemption. And, I have a small issue with that.
The “ruthless” clan from the description? Nobody really knows anything about them. Rather than realizing that you can’t judge people you don’t really know, they find a new “other” that they can gang up against. Not to say that they aren’t justified in going after them, because they do raid the village, but, Eelyn herself considered sneaking up and slicing the throats of a child and motherly figure so no one here is a saint. I would really have liked to learn more about that myth of a clan and find out how their culture/religion plays into what they do and how the view the other clans.
Even though there were a few things I didn’t care for in the book, it was an enjoyable read. Most of the characters are endearing or easy to get behind and the setting allows for a peek into the mythology of the world. I would recommend this book for an easy drama read with a sprinkle of romance.