34726469Raised 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.

Source Format Pages Publisher Genre Publication Date
Publisher ARC 340 Titan Books Fantasy/YA March 26th, 2019

My thanks to Titan Books for sending me on this beauty 🙂

The concept of this book is not at all something previously undone, but it is the imagery and the rawness of brutality and the subtle tenderness of emotion that brings the point of the story to life!

The centrepiece of Sky in the Deep, burning with a passionate flame, is tradition. It is very hard to break tradition, and even harder to change beliefs to the opposite to all that you’ve ever known. If all your life you are told that something or someone is bad, then this is the unwavering truth. It is this that our character Eelyn faces. The breaking down of the very foundation that she has known and done all her 17 years of life. I found her resistance to accept intriguing and even realistic.

The story has some exciting fight scenes and moments of simple, daily life that are not rushed and as such very enjoyable to envisage. The simple act of braiding hair in this book felt significant. There is a backstory to Aska and Riki and why they are the way they are. And as a reader, I could understand both sides. It was very interesting indeed to see both sides slowly come to their own terms…

Finally, there is the matter of love. I wish the blurb didn’t mention Eelyn’s ‘growing love for Fiske’ because that is kind of spoilery! It would have been good to discover those feelings with Eelyn together. But… having said that, it was nonetheless exciting and … ah, dare I say, even poetic! It wasn’t rushed or cringey or juvenile. It was simply delivered but felt all the more powerful for it!

As far as YA fantasy goes, this is one of the good ones I think… Action, conflict and matters of the heart balanced with descriptive scenery and adventure.