Hey now! Here’s another read that I was surprised to enjoy. I loved the beginning but then the story took a turn that made me worry that I wouldn’t like it. But by the end, I thought it was good.
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. (Goodreads)
I requested an ARC of this kind of late, I think, because I didn’t get a copy until the book’s publication date; then life got in the way and my review is now posted later than I wanted it to be, but oh well. Shit happens.
Sky in the Deep begins with a bang. We’re immediately thrown into war as the protagonist, Eelyn, fights alongside her best friend, Mýra, against the Aska clan. This opening scene immediately got me pumped and eager to see what will happen next. I thought the story’s pace would continue on that high note, but instead it immediately plummets to a more moderate pace as the story turns from war to focus on Eelyn’s conflicted emotions and relationship with a brother she thought had died but instead had become a traitor by joining their rival clan, the Aska.
I felt deceived by that opening battle scene. I don’t like it when a story opens on such a high note and immediately slows down. I prefer a build up because otherwise I feel like my anticipation and energy was all for nothing. Because of that, I took a break from the book. I was hurt. I later returned to it because I wanted to complete it. I didn’t hate the story so being tricked by the opening scene was no reason to give up on it, and I’m glad I gave it a chance. The story slows and instead focuses on Eelyn’s character development as she accepts her circumstances and who her brother has become and seeks a way to unite the rival clans to face a common enemy.
Though Eelyn didn’t stand out to me, I like how badass she is because she fights with a sword and an axe at the same damn time! I also liked that the story is inspired by the Vikings, which is new for me, and is set on fjords in brutal winters, though I wish we were provided more descriptions of the setting to fully immerse me in it. These days, I often become annoyed by romance in YA novels, but I liked the romance that develops in this. It does so gradually and I like how it plays out later.
It’s a decent story and I liked it. I loved the opening scene but didn’t care much for the battle toward the end.
It’s good. The change of pace at the beginning threw me off, but I like the direction the story went.