Published by Wednesday Books on April 24, 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Young Adult
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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 finished Sky in the Deep in three days and wow was it a good book! The main character Eelyn is a fierce, badass viking warrior women that I immediately loved. Her emotional struggle after finding out her brother Iri, whom she thought dead, is actually alive and well and living with a rival clan is complex and thought-provoking.
She is so elated that he is alive but deeply angry that he betrayed her family, especially when he let’s his new adoptive brother Fiske take her captive. She refused to be cowed by her captures even when they force her into slavedom, which meant she would lose her honor and place in the afterlife. She is determined to get away or die trying but along the way she starts to realize that the rival clan is not so different from her own people.
She starts to trust her brother’s new family and in turn earns their respect, especially Fiske’s. The romance between Eelyn and Fiske is a slow burn with a satisfying ending. Eelyn doesn’t sacrifice who she is to be with him, they both learn to adapt to their new lives. I also very quickly fell in love with Fiske’s and Iri’s young brother Halvard and their Mother Inge. They both show Eelyn kindness and deeply love their adopted son/brother. By the end you have forgiven them for having take Eelyn as a slave.
The battle scenes are exciting and I love the Eelyn fights with two offensive weapons, an axe and a sword, instead of a shield. She is small for a viking but that doesn’t slow her down or make her any less fierce. Even though Fiske does help/save her occasionally she doesn’t rely on him to take care of her and can hold her own in battle. The final battle was a bit short but still satisfying and keeps you on your toes.
I give Sky in the Deep five stars and I cannot wait to read the spin-off novel, The Girl the Sea Gave Back, which is set ten years in the future and from Halvard’s point of view.