My Rating ~ Five stars
RELEASED: 24 April 2018
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Format: Hardback – Owlcrate exclusive cover edition
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.
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In the middle of a fierce battle, Eelyn, an Aska warrior, is about to be killed by the enemy, when she is saved by someone impossible. Impossible because it is her brother, and she witnessed his death five years ago. Although her family doesn’t believe her, she knows what she saw. Her brother was fighting with the enemy clan, the Riki. When she sees him for the second time, she follows him and is captured by the Riki and taken back to their village. Torn by the love she feels for her brother and his betrayal she can’t understand, she desperately just wants to get back home to her father and best friend.
Held hostage by the Riki, living with the family who took in her brother, she starts trying to reconcile what she’s been taught all her life – that the Riki are vicious killers who can’t be trusted – with what she’s beginning to see – that they’re not so different from the Aska people.
When a clan of warriors raid both the Riki and Aska camps, it becomes clear they have a common enemy and will need to decide whether they can put aside their lifelong blood feud to survive.
This book. I give it ALL THE STARS. For a start: VIKINGS. I love vikings! It has the words “Breathe Fire” embossed into the naked cover of the hard back. I couldn’t breath at all. From the very first page, I was hooked. The battle scenes were vivid and heart stopping. The fierce love between Eelyn and her battle partner, Myra made for a powerful relationship. Having a feeling of desperate love threaded through the fast paced fighting, while axes and swords were flying, had me reading through my fingers in dread from the first chapter.
I loved the mixed and confused feelings warring inside not only Eelyn, but her brother, her brother’s best friend Fiske and later, Eelyn’s father. Their anguish felt so real. I really enjoy reading books where we get to see both sides of a situation and Sky in the Deep did it so well. There was no instal-love, the characters were three dimensional and Eelyn didn’t just give up on her clan. So often, when we do get to see both sides, I find the author somehow makes us start to despise the original side. Makes them into the enemy, almost in an attempt to make it “ok” for the main character to ‘switch sides’. I was so glad Adrienne Young didn’t go that path.
The descriptions of the viking way of life, and even the scenery, made it so easy to bring this book to life in my mind. I could hear the battle sounds, I could feel the fear and I could see the villages. I absolutely adored this book. It’s not often a book combines fierce warrior battle with all the feels so well. I am, however, totally devastated it’s a standalone. I need more of Eelyn and Fiske in my life!
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