This. Book. Is. Awesome.
Okay, I love anything that has a Norse/ Viking feel to it, so I was super excited when I received this book in my Owlcrate box. The cover of it is stunning and the story is even better!
When I picked up this book, I honestly was expecting it to just be a blood bath for the entire book, without a huge plot or character development. I honestly probably would have been okay with that. I mean they’re vikings after all. However, this book had so much more than just fighting! It could have had more fighting actually and then I probably would’ve given it a 5.
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.
What I Liked
Eelyn – This book is told from the perspective of Eelyn. Eelyn is such a well written, well rounded character. She starts off the book basically just a warrior. That’s all she is and all she knows. When her beliefs are challenged, she is reluctant at first to accept the change, but slowly over the book she learns that maybe everything doesn’t need to be the way it always has been. She becomes warm and loving, while maintaining her fierce loyalty to her family.
Fiske – Fiske is the best character in this book. He’s is the epitome of a Viking man, while also having a heart. His family is everything to him and he will do whatever it takes to protect them. He’s the reason Iri is alive all this time. He saved him and brought him into his family. He does the same thing with Eelyn, because he knows she is important to Iri. So even though at first he doesn’t trust her, he trusts Iri and does what he can to protect Eelyn, even when it maybe isn’t the smart thing to do. He. Is. The. Best.
The Plot – I loved the plot of this story. Two rival clans meeting for battle every 5 years? Yes please! I loved that the book starts off with a really intense battle scene, but then flows into the character development so easily once Eelyn is captured by the Riki. The whole middle section of the book is her learning to love a people she was raised to hate. I thought the plot was really well thought out, and I loved that there was such a strong character focus in this book.
Family – This book had a shockingly large focus on family that I wasn’t expecting. Both family you’re born into and family you choose. I really enjoyed that part of this book. It showed that you don’t have to be blood to be family. Seeing the relationships between so many different people was wonderful.
What I Didn’t Like
Repetitive – When Eelyn is first taken by the Riki, I found her inner dialogue to be incredibly repetitive. She just kept talking over and over again about how she thought Iri was dead and how he betrayed them and blah blah blah. It was just the same thoughts said pretty much the same way for a large portion of the book.
Slow At Times – While I loved that the middle section of the book focused on character development and family dynamics I found some of a it a little bit slow. None of it was bad, and I thought it really added to the story. I was just expecting more action out of this book, so I wished there was more of it sprinkled in the middle of the book.
Eelyn and Fiske’s Relationship – I just didn’t love it. I liked that it was a slow burn romance and not instant, but I just didn’t really see the point of it. If it hadn’t been in there I wouldn’t have even noticed.
Overall, I thought this book was fantastic and unexpected. It’s a great story about family and blood bonds. It has action, and it has strongly written characters. I would reccomend giving it a try if you like that sort of thing!
Have you read Sky In The Deep? What did you think of it?