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Blog Tour: Sky in the Deept by Adrienne Young


I recently had the pleasure of reading an early copy of Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young and thought it was fantastic. I loved the world and the mythology and of course, the focus on family. There were bloody battles and warrior women and everything about Eelyn. You can see all my thoughts on my review, here. Today I'm sharing an excerpt of this awesome Norse-inspired story!



Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
Published by Wednesday Books on April 24th, 2018
Genres: fantasy
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads

🌟🌟🌟🌟
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.



Excerpt

“I saw him. I saw Iri.”
He wrapped the torn cloth around my arm, tying it tight. “What are you talking about?”
I pushed his hands from me, crying. “Listen to me! Iri was
here! I saw him!”
His hands finally stilled, confusion lighting in his eyes. “I was fighting a man. He was about to . . .” I shuddered,
remembering how close to death I’d come—closer than I’d ever been. “Iri came out of the fog and saved me. He was with the Riki.” I stood, taking his hand and pulling him toward the tree line. “We have to find him!”
But my father stood like a stone tucked into the earth. His face turned up toward the sky, his eyes blinking against the sunlight.
“Do you hear me? Iri’s alive!” I shouted, holding my arm against my body to calm the violent throbbing around the gash.
His eyes landed on me again, tears gathered at the cor- ners like little white flames. “Sigr. He sent Iri’s soul to save you, Eelyn.”
“What? No.”
“Iri’s made it to Sólbjǫrg.” His words were frightening and delicate, betraying a tenderness my father never showed. He stepped forward, looking down into my eyes with a smile. “Sigr has favored you, Eelyn.”
Mýra stood behind him, her green eyes wide beneath her unraveling auburn braids.
“But—” I choked. “I saw him.”
“You did.” A single tear rolled down my father’s rough cheek and disappeared into his beard. He pulled me into him, wrapping his arms around me, and I closed my eyes, the pain in my arm so great now that I could hardly feel my hand.
I blinked, trying to understand. I had seen him. He was
there.
“We will make a sacrifice tonight.” He let me go before he pressed his hands to my face again. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard you scream for me like that. You scared me, sváss.” A laugh was buried deep in his chest.
“I’m sorry,” I murmured. “I just . . . I thought . . .”
He waited for me to meet his eyes again. “His soul is at peace. Your brother saved your life today. Be happy.” He clapped a hand against my good arm, nearly knocking me down.
I wiped at my wet cheeks with the palm of my hand, turn- ing from the faces that were still watching me. There were very few times I’d cried in front of my clansmen. It made me feel small. Weak, like the early winter grass beneath our boots.
I sniffed back the tears, piecing my face back together as my father nodded in approval. It was what he had taught me—to be strong. To steel myself. He turned back to the field, getting to work, and I followed with Mýra, trying to smooth my ragged breath. To hush the waves crashing in my head. We walked toward our camp, collecting the weapons of fallen Aska warriors along the way. I watched my father from the corner of my eye, still unable to shake Iri’s face from my mind.
My feet stopped at the edge of a puddle and I looked at my reflection. Dirt spattered across my angled face and neck. Blood dried in long, golden braids. Eyes a frozen blue, like Iri’s. I sucked in a breath, looking up to the thin white clouds brushed across the sky to keep another tear from falling.
“Here,” Mýra called to me from where she was crouched over an Aska woman. She was lying on her side, eyes open and arms extended like she was reaching for us.
I carefully unbuckled her belt and scabbard, piling them with the others before I started on the armor vest. “Did you know her?”
“A little.” Mýra reached down to close the woman’s eyes with her fingertips. She gently brushed the hair back from her face before she began, the words coming softly. “Aska, you have reached your journey’s end.”
In the next breath, I joined with her, saying the ritual words we knew by heart. “We ask Sigr to accept your soul into Sólbjǫrg, where the long line of our people hold torches on the shadowed path.”
My voice faded, letting Mýra speak first. “Take my love to my father and my sister. Ask them to keep watch for me. Tell them my soul follows behind you.”
I closed my eyes as the prayer found a familiar place on my tongue. “Take my love to my mother and my brother. Ask them to keep watch for me. Tell them my soul follows behind you.”
I swallowed down the lump in my throat before I opened my eyes and looked down into the woman’s peaceful face one more time. I hadn’t been able to say the words over Iri’s body the way I had when my mother died, but Sigr had taken him anyway.
“Have you ever seen something like that before?” I whis- pered. “Something that wasn’t real?”
Mýra blinked. “It was real. Iri’s soul is real.”
“But he was older—a man. He spoke to me. He touched
me, Mýra.”
She stood, shifting an armful of axes up onto her shoul- der. “I was there that day, Eelyn. Iri died. I saw it with my own eyes. That was real.” It was the same battle that took Mýra’s sister. We’d been friends before that day, but we hadn’t really needed each other until then.
I remembered it so clearly—the picture of him like a re- flection on ice. Iri’s lifeless body at the bottom of the trench. Lying across the perfect white snow, blood seeping out around him in a melted pool. I could still see his blond hair fanned out around his head, his empty eyes wide open and staring into nothing.
“I know.”
Mýra reached up, squeezing my shoulder. “Then you know it wasn’t Iri—not his flesh.”
I nodded, swallowing hard. I prayed for Iri’s soul every day. If Sigr had sent him to protect me, he really was in Sólbjǫrg—our people’s final sunset. “I knew he would make it.” I breathed through the tightness in my throat.
“We all did.” A small smile lifted on her lips.
I looked back down to the woman lying between us. We would leave her as she was—as she died—with honor. Like we did with all our fallen warriors.
Like we’d left Iri.
“Was he as handsome as he was before?” Mýra’s smile turned wry as her eyes flickered back up to meet mine.
“He was beautiful,” I whispered.



About the Author

Adrienne Young is a born and bred Texan turned California girl. She is a foodie with a deep love of history and travel and a shameless addiction to coffee. When she’s not writing, you can find her on her yoga mat, scouring antique fairs for old books, sipping wine over long dinners, or disappearing into her favorite art museums. She lives with her documentary filmmaker husband and their four little wildlings beneath the West Coast sun.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books to Break a Slump

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl.
This week we're discussing books that can break a slump.


Alexia's Picks
1. Caraval by Stephanie Garber.
I think I've talked about this book more than enough, but it's a book that I literally can't stop talking about. I was in a bit of a mood when I picked it up the first time, so I set it down for awhile. When I picked it up the second time, I just fell in love with all of it.

2. The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed.
This book made me stabby, bit it was a book that was an improvement over the two previous books I had read & subsequently DNFed.

3. White Rabbit by Caleb Roehrig.
Such. A. Good. Book. I was in a weird reading mood for awhile before I read this one. I kept picking books up & then putting them down a short time later. This book was a game changer.

4. Frostblood by Elly Blake.
I was so surprised at how much I enjoyed this one. It was a welcome change from the subpar books I was also reading.

5. Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake.
Another book that made me stabby, but it also turned my reading around. Of course, I struggled picking up any book after this one.

6. Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson.
I was so nervous about this book because I had high hopes for it. I had just finished a book that had disappointed me and I was reluctant to pick up this one because I really didn't want to be disappointed again.

7. The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.
I was in a massive book slump when I picked this one up, and before I knew it, I flew through this book and the next book in the series. Love when that happens.

8. The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma.
I started reading this one around Halloween last year and it was the PERFECT time to dive in. I had been reading a bunch of good books around this time and then started & stopped several books before picking this one up.

9. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys.
Historical fiction is kinda a hit or miss for me. This one was a definite hit. I read it during our readathon a few years back and I was going into it really nervous, but hopeful.

10. The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay.
This book was one of the first books to break me out of my slump when I was still a newbie at book blogging. It was & still is one of the most beautiful books I've ever read.

Did any of my picks pull you out of a reading slump?

Book Review: White Rabbit by Caleb Roehrig

White Rabbit by Caleb Roehrig
Published by: Feiwel & Friends on April 24th, 2018
Genre: Contemporary
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
🌟🌟🌟🌟1/2

Synopsis: 
Rufus Holt is having the worst night of his life. It begins with the reappearance of his ex-boyfriend, Sebastian—the guy who stomped his heart out like a spent cigarette. Just as Rufus is getting ready to move on, Sebastian turns up out of the blue, saying they need to "talk." Things couldn’t get much worse, right?

But then Rufus gets a call from his sister April, begging for help. And then he and Sebastian find her, drenched in blood and holding a knife, beside the dead body of her boyfriend, Fox Whitney.

April swears she didn’t kill Fox—but Rufus knows her too well to believe she’s telling him the whole truth. April has something he needs, though, and her price is his help. Now, with no one to trust but the boy he wants to hate yet can’t stop loving, Rufus has one night to prove his sister’s innocence…or die trying.


Review:
I wasn't sure what to expect with this book. I was expecting to really enjoy it, just like I did Roehrig's debut. I was expecting a crazy-pants storyline that offered lots of "what the hell" moments. So, in those respects, I got exactly what I was expecting. I really enjoyed this book and it had an insanely crazy storyline. I didn't remember at what point, but I remember saying (and tweeting) that "I wanted to live inside Roehrig's head because it had to be wild in there for him to come up with this level of mind-fuckery"


Because there was a whole lot of insanity in this book. From April, Rufus's half sister to Hayden, Rufus's half brother, to Rufus's ex, Sebastian and all the other players in between them. Fox, Peyton, Race, Arlo, Lars, Lia, Isabel & Peter. This book had it all. Romance, mystery, complicated families, the whole shebang. Finally someone else had pretty close to my level of complicated family. Complex families are my jam and Rufus, his mom, April & Hayden and their parents finally gave me a family that resembles my own.

I don't know of a lot of people who would willingly drive all over the place at night for their ex, including myself. So either Sebastian has no backbone or I'm a jerk. I'm leaning towards the latter now that I think about it. Sebastian clearly wanted to make things right between Rufus and himself and I admired him for that. Especially when we got some backstory to their relationship. I did enjoy their romance, but the romance in Roehrig's debut, Last Seen Leaving, was my favorite of the two.

I was curious about why Rufus was so willing to clear April's name too. It just didn't make sense to me. They didn't really know each other all that well and April has a full brother that she could go to for help. Never mind that Hayden is a psychopath...actually, that's probably why April went to Rufus instead. That and she had something Rufus desperately needed. That same something ended up being tripled once a certain other person became involved.

I don't think I've ever read a book that took place in one night. Or maybe I have and I just cannot remember? I love unique storytelling and the whole "everything happened in one night" is one of those underused ways of storytelling. There needs to be more of these.

Final thoughts: This book was equally as good as Roehrig's debut, despite me not liking the romance quite as much. If you like dark contemporaries, then you need to pick this one up.