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Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young


1. What inspired SKY IN THE DEEP? How did the idea and Eelyn come to you? Do you have any
favorite Viking stories?

The sibling betrayal was definitely the first inspiration for this story. I was driving in the pouring rain on
this country road and that first scene just hit me - Eelyn, seeing her brother on the battlefield after
thinking that he was dead for five years. I pulled over on the side of the road and scribbled a million
notes on an old envelope. I was immediately hooked to the idea and I wanted to know what had
happened. I started writing that first chapter and I just never stopped.

2. What type of research did you do for your characters and world-building? What languages did
you study to implement the languages that the Aska and the Riki speak? What was the strangest
thing you had to research for this book?

I did a ton of research for this story. I actually really love to research things so it was a lot of fun. A lot of
it was stuff like clothing, landscape, weapons, food, etc. But I did a lot of research into Norse mythology
as well to build a foundation for this world. The language used is Old Norse, but it’s a dead language so
studying it was really difficult. There is a lot of controversy about it among scholars and there’s no real
way to fully understand it, so I just did my best based on my own investigation. I’m definitely not an
expert! The weirdest thing I had to research was how to tear out someone’s eyeball. Yuck.

3. What was your writing process like for SKY IN THE DEEP?

Complete and utter obsession. When I draft, I get really buried in the world and I don’t really come up
for air until I get to the end. I write as much as I can and limit my intake of other influencers that could
mess with my mindset. I don’t watch TV or movies or listen to music that’s not on my playlist, and I kind
of don’t have a social life until it’s done.

4. What was your hardest scene to write? What was the easiest?

I really didn’t struggle to get this story on the page the way I have with other books so I really don’t
know what the hardest scene to write was. But the easiest was the first chapter. I wrote it so fast and it
just clicked in so perfectly.

5. Which of your characters are you the most like? Who was your favorite to write?

Eelyn! We have so much in common and she really inspires me. But I think Halvard was the most fun to
write. I really, really love him.

6. Do you have a soundtrack for SKY IN THE DEEP? Can you share a couple songs? What would
Eelyn’s favorite song be?

Yes! Music plays a HUGE role in my writing process and I have a playlist for every project. The ones I
probably listened to the most while drafting SKY are To the Hills by Laurel, Bare by Wildes, and Rise Up –
Reprise by Foxes. But a link to the whole playlist is on my site!

7. What books have inspired you to write? What books are you looking forward to reading this

The ones that inspired me to write are nothing like my books. One of the most influential ones for me
was A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, because the human element is so beautiful and the author explores so
many things in that book that really took my breath away. I wanted to write stories that went deep like
that, but I love fantasy so I try to it within that realm.

8. Any advice on querying? Or writing advice for aspiring writers?

Querying – do not just sign with any agent who will take you. Make a dream agent list of qualified agents
who have good reputations and make consistent sales. Query them. If they don’t bite, then write
another book that they might want. Believe me when I say it is worth waiting for the right agent!

9. Any details about the companion novel?

I can’t say anything about the companion novel yet! But I’m hoping that we can start talking about it
soon because I am really excited about it!


Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young is amazing. This book started out with a bang and never lets you go. Right away the author gives you so much information about the main character Eelyn. She is a touch young women that loves her family deeply. She suffered a great loss when her brother died. I wasn't totally sure what to think when this book came across my email box but I wanted to give it a chance. This book is brutal. This book is violent. This book is exceptional. This book isn't so much about killing and revenge that it is about survival and learning about yourself. The era of Viking was not easy and this book really shows that.

When Eelyn swears that she saw her brother fighting against their own, everything changes for her. She is told that she just saw his spirit but she knows differently and she is determined to figure out what is going on. I really love how stubborn Eelyn is and that she does not give up when she sets her mind to something. This book is about getting over your differences and learning to get along and fight for each other. I really enjoyed the characters in this book. I thought Young brought really good characters to the story and was able to make them into people that I could relate too.

Young is an exceptional writer. I found myself being drawn into this story right away. I really enjoyed everything about it. You can tell the detail that Young put into her writing. I think it is great that there was no insta-love. I find that I tend to like the slow burn sort of love that I got from this book. I am really looking forward to the companion novel for this book. I am so ready for more! If you want amazing writing and an adventurous story this is the book for you to read. You will not be disappointed!




“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
“Do you hear me? Iri’s alive!” I shouted, holding my arm
against my body to calm the violent throbbing around the
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
I blinked, trying to understand. I had seen him. He was
“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
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
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



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
“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.




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