Do you like Vikings? Or tense sibling relationships? Or incredible thought-provoking father-daughter relationships? Well, then Sky in the Deep is your kind of book. Oh, don’t forget, there’s also lots, and lots, of action.
Did I have a ton of expectations walking into this book? Actually, no! It wasn’t that hyped and I didn’t really know what the storyline was about. I loved being surprised and enjoying this story!
Quick Plot Take Down
So, Eelyn is a pretty fierce fighter. Every few years, her tribe battles another Viking tribe. Five years ago, her brother died in this battle.
But while she’s fighting, Eelyn sees her brother on the battlefield. So she does what any surprised sister might do – she tries to chase her brother down.
Only problem? her brother has joined the enemy tribe. Not a good idea to run after him. By trying to get back with her brother, Eelyn is captured by the enemy tribe.
I was immediately immersed in this viking world. From the very first page, you’re in the battle with Eelyn.
Such rich details. I’ve never visited Scandinavia, but reading this book, it felt like I was experiencing the cold woods and icy glaciers. Also, I need to plan a trip to Norway & Denmark super soon. #moneyproblems
me, if I ever do visit Norway
I absolutely loved the sense of family in this story. Eelyn and her brother. Eelyn and her dad. The tribes and all the families. It made the story so sweet! I was basically reading for the family feels.
Eelyn – rash, fiercely loyal & totally relatable? Ok, I wasn’t expecting to relate to Eelyn.
Confession – I don’t tend to relate to YA strong woman™ Because I’m a 5 foot 1 ginger who is more leprechaun than elvish warrior.
And Eelyn is a warrior. But she can’t carry a shield because it’s too heavy. (I laughed out loud at that) So she fights with a sword in each hand, because if you can’t do defense, stick with offense. Ok, I liked that. A lot. It felt so real? And relatable?
But Eelyn doesn’t live to fight. She fights because she’s going to die and it’s what she’s been raised to do.
Can I chat more about Eelyn without spoilers? Probably not. Just know she’s AMAZING.
I did want her character to be just a bit more fleshed out. Her motivations were sometimes murky, and while I knew she didn’t want to keep fighting, sometimes I didn’t know what she wanted?
Iri – (how do I say his name?) Ok, Iri is a little precious darling. And I love his relationship with his sister. ALL THE FEELS
Fiske – is an adorable Scandinavian viking bear who we must all swear to protect. And the bromance between Fiske & Iri is so strong and precious. Ok, I admit, I just want a book about Iri and Fiske fighting and doing Viking things.
Just a side rant: Vikings did more than fight. And religious ceremonies. So, maybe it would have been cool to see more varied Viking life?
Myra – The incredible sisterhood of Myra & Eelyn. Which we do not see enough of. (I want a sequel just with Myra. Please) Also, Myra is a redhead. ‘Nuff said.
Sky in the Deep is a debut novel. WOW! I think that’s absolutely amazing. And I love reading debut novels and supporting new authors!
me, @ new debut authors.
While I LOVED immersing myself in this debut, sometimes I was lost. Lost in the fighting scenes, especially.
Sky in the Deep was such a descriptive read. Sometimes it was hard to keep up with the action. And the plot was very much all over the place towards the end. I had so many questions popping up.
But I totally get that. Because, I’ve written two drafts. (so, definitely not expert status) and sometimes after the middle crescendo, things can go everywhere. And the second half can be so muddled? It’s hard to fix!
I hated seeing that happen with this book. But it did happen. At least for me, as a reader. I was confused.
Also, I sometimes got mixed up with the various religions. They’re super similar but slightly different. And the worship practices didn’t make a lot of sense and were somewhat confusing.
Finally, the story ends abruptly. Like super abruptly. The final fight and then fast forward something like 5 years? I was soooo confused. And left hanging. Very weird pacing.
While the confusing moments were frustrating, the overall story was really great. I enjoyed Sky in the Deep. Especially because it is a stand alone. And stand alone are rare treasures that must be celebrated.
Also, content warnings for violence, gore and sexual assault.
Published April 24, 2018
My rating – 3 stars
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.
Have you read Sky in the Deep? are you planning on reading it?
Do you like reading about Vikings? What’s your favorite debut novel?