Part Wonder Woman, part Vikings—and all heart.
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.
Stark. Brutal. Emotional.
2. What inspired you to write a book about Vikings?
The original inspiration for SKY IN THE DEEP was the sibling story, but after I started writing it, it began to take on this very Nordic vibe. I really loved the direction it was going but hadn’t really planned on it. It was like a kind of surprise even to me.
3. What was the writing process like for the book, and how did it compare to writing The Girl the Sea Gave Back?
I wrote SKY IN THE DEEP in a feverish sprint, so inspired by the characters that I literally worked around the clock until I had a draft of it. It was a really fast, easy story for me to tell which is not how it always goes and TGTSGB is a great example of that. I really struggled with SEA for a lot of reasons and had to push through a lot of challenges that I didn’t meet with SKY. It was really difficult at times but I feel like I definitely came out the other side as a stronger writer.
4. How much research did you do whilst writing the book?
I did a ton of research to build this world, and that’s actually one of my very favorite parts of the creative process. I get lost in that stage and often find myself struggling to decide what to use because I find it so interesting. I had an entire notebook full of notes for SKY and could have gone even further with it because I was just really enraptured by the culture and history I was studying.
5. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
To hang in there! I felt very alone when I was younger and also very misunderstood. If I could send a message to myself at sixteen, I would tell myself to hold on, that my time is coming.
6. What’s your favourite under-appreciated novel?
I absolutely loved BLOOD WATER PAINT by Joy McCullough. It’s a historical-inspired novel in verse and I was taken completely by surprise at how much I was impacted by it and I am constantly recommending it to people.
I’m currently working on a new YA fantasy called FABLE that is coming out in the US fall 2020! It’s a very different world from SKY IN THE DEEP but there is a lot in that story that I think SKY readers will love.
I recently read FINALE, the conclusion to Stephanie Garber’s CARAVAL series and it was amazing!
YA fantasy author, SKY IN THE DEEP, THE GIRL THE SEA GAVE BACK (9/3/19) & the upcoming FABLE duology from Wednesday Books. Agent: Barbara Poelle, IGLA
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.