While I enjoyed Sky in the Deep it certainly didn’t feel revolutionary. I enjoyed our characters and the themes behind it, but it was a somewhat familiar plot (with a few twists).
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 was hooked on Sky in the Deep from the first chapter – but I had heard so much hype about this book that I was a bit apprehensive. You know with those books everyone is trying to get a hand on and where everyone (and their whole extended family) seems to be talking about? This seemed to be one of those to me so I was really worried this would disappoint me. Yes and no. It didn’t disappoint me – it just didn’t thrill me.
What I liked most about this book was its themes – particularly of family and war. Is the family of our blood more important than love? Is family made through blood or sacrifice, memories or love? I think that all of these characters struggle with this question and add another layer of loyalty upon it.
Another theme was about war. These two tribes cannot stand each other and fight every five years. So war is almost like a ritual to them. (It reminded me of the Doctor Who episode with David Tennant). You fight for so long, you forget what you’re fighting for. It becomes just you killed so and so and now I’ll kill your family. War morphs into vengeance. It becomes a cycle of hatred, loss, and grief. So what can you do about this? Do you just fight forever?
I could kind of tell where the plot was going. This didn’t bother me too much, it just seemed like something I had read about before. But it’s a quick read that hooks you. And there were a few moments, in terms of character growth, that I really appreciated. You can find Sky in the Deep on Goodreads.