Review: To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

 I received a copy of To Kill a Kingdom via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Link to Purchase:

Amazon

Book Details:

384 Pages

Published: March 6, 2018

Author: Alexandra Christo

Synopsis: Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

Opinion: I cannot even begin to put into words the amazingness that is To Kill a Kingdom. Wow. I need more. How is it over. Why is this a standalone. I feel like I have been starting a lot of my reviews this way but y’all 2018 IS ROCKING IT.

We’ve got a dark and twisty rendition of The Little Mermaid and IT IS TO DIE FOR. I die. I just die. Lira is fierce, brave, strong, and emotionally/mentally/physically abused by her mother. In this take her mother is the sea witch that turns her into a human. There are A LOT of twists on the original tale.

This is not some poor, tricked princess who has to make a prince fall in love with her. It is savagery and deceit. It is finding yourself after someone convinced you you needed to be something else. It is empowerment. It is personal strength and believing in yourself.

THE COVER. Look at it. Look at it. Symbolism, guys. That’s all I am going to say.

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My Overall Rating: ★★★★★


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Review: Misadventures with the Boss (Misadventures #12) by Kendall Ryan

I received a copy of Misadventures with the Boss via Bare Naked Words in exchange for an honest review.

Buy Links:

Book Details:

 Pages

Published: April 24, 2018

Author: Kendall Ryan

Synopsis: ***MISADVENTURES ARE STANDALONE ROMANCES THAT CAN BE READ IN ANY ORDER***

At age twenty-nine, Piper Daniels is having the longest dry spell of her life. When she agrees to be set up on a blind date, she never expects it to end with the hottest sex of her life.

But when she discovers that her very well-endowed secret lover is also her new boss, heartless womanizer and cutthroat CEO Jackson Dane, she chalks it up to a one-time mistake and puts up her best professional front. But Jackson isn’t used to rejection, and if Piper thinks it’s going to be easy to move on from their tryst, she’s underestimated his determination.

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Opinion: I can’t decide how I want to rate this one, as I felt it left me wanting more. It was perfect, absolutely perfect, until the end. I would say it was a complete five stars until 80%. Then it felt rushed and just didn’t hit the same chords the beginning of the novel hit. I was severely let down.

For Goodreads purposes, I’ll give it five, but it sits at 4.5/4.75 in all reality. The first 80% was too good to let the ending hold so much sway over my rating.
Edit: okay, 1/5 of this book was not terrible, but just eh. I can’t give it 5 Stars. This is weighing heavy on me. I have to change it to 4 Stars.

It’s got a little bit of the Christian Grey feel to it, bad boy billionaire, minus the BDSM. Piper and Jackson are the perfect feisty duo. They really even each other out and make for a wonderful read. Their relationship dynamic makes your heart flutter. Ms. Ryan really portrayed their story in a way that makes you feel the couples emotions and feel as if you are in the story with them.

Like I said, the end wasn’t my favorite. It felt rushed and I would have preferred Ms. Ryan stretch it out. It was a short novel so there was definitely room to work with. If there hadn’t been an epilogue, I would’ve hoped for a continuation story, such as Misadventures with a Superhero and Bolt by Angel Payne.

It’s a super quick read, it took me less that four hours. I didn’t actually time how long it took but I started reading at 10AM and it’s 1:45PM now. I did take sporadic breaks throughout for lunch and coffee refills, etc.

Definitely read it and let me know your opinion down below!

 

My Overall Rating: ★★★★★

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Blog Tour: Misadventures with the Boss (Misadventures #12) by Kendall Ryan

MISADVENTURES WITH THE BOSS

by Kendall Ryan

Releases 24th April

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35564097-misadventures-with-the-boss?ac=1&from_search=true

#KendallRyan  #MisadventureswiththeBossReleaseBlitzTour

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Synopsis

At age twenty-nine, Piper Daniels is having the longest dry spell of her life. When she agrees to be set up on a blind date, she never expects it to end with the hottest sex of her life.

But when she discovers that her very well-endowed secret lover is also her new boss, heartless womanizer and cutthroat CEO Jackson Dane, she chalks it up to a one-time mistake and puts up her best professional front. But Jackson isn’t used to rejection, and if Piper thinks it’s going to be easy to move on from their tryst, she’s underestimated his determination.

***MISADVENTURES ARE STANDALONE ROMANCES THAT CAN BE READ IN ANY ORDER***

 

Buy the Book Today!

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2s6WIh7
Nook: http://bit.ly/2tnAD3d
iBooks: http://apple.co/2tr2HkD
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2srBeez
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2u3EFKf

Meet the Author:

Image result for kendall ryan

A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen titles, Kendall Ryan has sold over 2 million books and her books have been translated into several languages in countries around the world. Her books have also appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists more than three dozen times. Ryan has been featured in such publications as USA Today, Newsweek, and InTouch Magazine. She lives in Texas with her husband and two sons.

https://www.facebook.com/kendallryanbooks/

http://www.kendallryanbooks.com/

https://twitter.com/kendallryan1

https://www.instagram.com/kendallryan1/

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Release Blitz: Manic Monday (Charity Case #1) by Piper Rayne

Manic Monday, an all-new hilarious and romantic standalone from Piper Rayne, is LIVE!

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The perfect man for me is a blood-sucking lawyer. #pfftwhatever

Been there.
Done that.
Burned the T-shirt.

I didn’t swear off all men after my divorce, but I sure as hell swore off anyone remotely
like my ex. On the top of that list? Attorneys. Everyone knows they can’t be trusted.

Now that I’m back in Chicago, my focus is my daughter, my mom and me. I haven’t
given up on finding my happily-ever- after, it’s just on hold—indefinitely.

Then I see Reed Warner again, and he weasels his way into every part of my life, not willing to take no for an answer.

In spite of my better judgment I can’t stop thinking about the way his designer suits fit
his muscular frame, or the way his blue eyes seem to eat me up with every glance.

You know when you’re on a diet and even hummus seems irresistible? Reed is like the equivalent of chocolate éclair and my willpower is fading fast.

The problem? Not only is he a lawyer…

He was the best man at my wedding.

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Download Your Copy Today!
Only $2.99 for a Limited Time!
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2Fees00
Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/ManicMonday
iBooks: https://apple.co/2pwTWSn
Nook: http://bit.ly/2pu3iiK
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2ua1IY0
Google Play: https://bit.ly/2JTmZsE
Add to GoodReads: https://bit.ly/2pbRAJq

ManicMonday-AN-IG

 

Grab the all-new prequel, Clean Slate, FREE!
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2JRqVu1
Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/CleanSlatePR
iBooks: https://apple.co/2H6WIFu
Nook: https://bit.ly/2J3xQPI
Kobo: https://bit.ly/2qCwqEK
Google Play: https://tinyurl.com/yasvd458

CleanSlate-Free-Promo

 

About Piper Rayne:

Piper Rayne, or Piper and Rayne, whichever you prefer because we’re not one author,
we’re two. Yep, you get two USA Today Bestselling authors for the price of one. Our
goal is to bring you romance stories that have “Heartwarming Humor With a Side of Sizzle” (okay…you caught us, that’s our tagline). A little about us… We both have
kindle’s full of one-clickable books. We’re both married to husbands who drive us to
drink. We’re both chauffeurs to our kids. Most of all, we love hot heroes and quirky heroines that make us laugh, and we hope you do, too.

PiperRayne

Connect with Piper Rayne:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PiperRayne/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorpiperrayne/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PiperRayneRocks

http://www.piperrayne.com


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Guest Post: A Journey from Teaching to Writing by Amber Elby

Hello all you lovelies checking in on Beyond the Stars! I recently had the pleasure of working Amber Elby, who is the author of Cauldron’s Bubble! I recently did a review of Cauldron’s Bubble, which you can find here, and Amber agreed to come on the blog with a Guest Post.

I am probably too relaxed honestly, but I told Amber I had no preference on what she posted, all I wanted was to ensure that she was happy with what she sent me. She sent me a list of options and I chose one that hits close to home for me.

I am actually in school right now getting my Bachelor’s degree and I will have an emphasis in education. I am preparing to take my practice PPR and possibly teach after graduation. Obviously I love reading, so I have thought about writing as well, but I am not very good at it. But enough behind my reasoning.

I would like to welcome Amber Elby to the blog and thank her for joining us here today!

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A Journey from Teaching to Writing

by Amber Elby

I never expected to be a teacher, especially not a high school teacher.  But as I approached graduation, it became clear that I could not find employment in my degree field.  My timing was terrible: I was about to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree in Screenwriting during the height of the Writers’ Strike, a period when every screenwriter was essentially unemployed.  I knew I had to do something if I wanted a job.

To be clear, teaching is the most noble profession, and I have the greatest respect for teachers.  It’s difficult, and it takes years of training to do it well.  Even though both of my parents were teachers, I took a different path with my education and focused instead on writing.

But when I realized that I could not immediately pursue a career in writing, I went to night school and earned a teaching certificate to complement my undergraduate degree in English.  Austin had a teacher shortage at the time, so one week before graduation, I attended a job fair and landed a position teaching English and Screenwriting at the Liberal Arts and Science Academy, the city’s academic magnet school.

Within a few months, I went from writing dozens of script pages each week to the more challenging task of teaching American teenagers how to appreciate Beowulf and The Odyssey.  The problem was that I never really stopped writing, at least not in my head.  Even though my days were spent managing my classroom and my nights were a constant grading spree, I imagined stories that were inspired by my environment.

The students themselves helped this creativity with their curiosity and questions, continually sharing events from their personal lives.  I listened to their concerns and joys, their speech patterns and dramas and angst, and they helped form characters in my heads.  I listened to tales of their vacations and siblings and awkward dates, their parents and sports teams, and I listened to what they loved about literature and what they hated.

You see, young people have little agency when it comes to the literature they consume.  If they are lucky enough to have free time, they may be able to read one or two books each semester.  Yet if they are like the vast majority of high school students, their free time is spent whirling between extracurricular activities because their goal is college, and college applications ask if students are in track or choir, not how many books they read.  So reading falls to the wayside, at least reading for pleasure, and students only consume the required texts for class.

And honestly, many required readings are boring.  Well, they’re not boring so much as inaccessible.  So much of a teacher’s time is spent simply trying to get students to understand a literary work – its archaic language and antiquated allusions – that there is little time left to actually discuss and appreciate the text.  As a high school teacher, I soon found myself moving away from traditional “this word means this” and “here is another metaphor” education strategies and back to my creative writing roots; we discussed characters’ motivations, plot structure, conflict, arcs, and in doing so, we enlivened our learning environment and made a deeper connection with the literature because we could actually relate to the stories.  The students learned how to make literature come to life: the characters became real people with whom they could relate, and the students in turn took control over their literary education.

I would like to say this strategy of combining writing theory with literature worked and that I had one of those “Captain, my captain” moments, but the truth is that I quit teaching high school after two years.  As I said, it’s difficult.  Like many K-12 teachers, I could not endure the long hours, stress, and inadequate pay, so I instead moved to the community college where I still teach.  Now, my focus is more on the literature itself and less on the students simply because our classes are shorter and transitory, so I instead appreciate and explore conventions like syntax and setting and listen less to stories about my students’ pets and parties.  But I still often find myself thinking back to the time when I began my teaching career.

Remember that teachers are the bridge between young people and knowledge.  A teacher’s job is to take basic understanding and mold it into lasting, deep comprehension.  But it is also their job to turn young people into kind and functioning adults.  So every day, teachers build worlds inside students’ heads and motivate dramatic personal change, much the same way that authors create new civilizations and develop dynamic characters.  Teachers and writers are one in the same, in many ways.

My advice is simple: if you are a teacher and want to become an author, think about your students.  Be inspired by them.  Consider what they enjoy about reading and what they observe when they read.  By doing so, you can create characters that speak to young people like your students, and you can spur students into listening to texts and to themselves.  Also remember to never stop learning, or imagining.

 

Purchase Cauldron’s Bubble

Amazon

FREE on Kindle Unlimited

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Meet Amber Elby

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Amber Elby was born in Grand Ledge, Michigan but spent much of her childhood in the United Kingdom.  She began writing when she was three years old and created miniature books by asking her family how to spell every, single, word.  Several years later, she saw her first Shakespearean comedy, Much Ado About Nothing, in London.  Many years later, she studied Creative Writing at Michigan State University’s Honors College before earning her Master of Fine Arts degree in Screenwriting at the University of Texas at Austin.  She currently resides in Texas with her husband and two daughters and spends her time teaching, traveling, and getting lost in imaginary worlds.

 

Connect with Amber

https://www.amberelby.com/

Goodreads • Twitter • Facebook • Instagram

 

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Q&A with Author Adrienne Young

Alright loves! This Q&A was sent to me by the lovely Brittani Hilles. I did not personally interview Adrienne Young, but do not let that disappoint though.

I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I got reading over this, especially the last question here because I HAD NO IDEA!! Keep reading to find out…

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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 thisyear?

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!

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SKY IN THE DEEP
By Adrienne Young
Published by Wednesday Books
**On Sale April 24, 2018**
Hardcover | $17.99

ISBN: 9781250168450| Ebook ISBN: 9781250168474
For more information or to set up an interview with the author, contact: Brittani Hilles at brittani.hilles@stmartins.com or 646-307-5558

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Blog Tour: Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

*Named “One of the Most Anticipated YA Novels of 2018” by
Bustle, BookBub, Justine Magazine, EpicReads and Bookish*

“Unlike the slew of lethal (but tormented) young ladies populating young adult literature, Eelyn is an unapologetic warrior, mercifully neither anachronistic nor modern-minded… Young’s staccato prose matches her fierce fighters, but

the raw emotions and rapid pacing belie a well-honed voice and taut narrative. A rousing saga and moving coming-of- age tale, perfect for those who appreciate the wild and the wildlings, strong female protagonists, and cinematic battles.” —Kirkus Reviews, STARRED review

“Young has woven a Viking tale of blood, gore, and love that keeps the pages turning. The author has taken Norse mythology and made it accessible to young adults. The characters are all fully developed, and teens will be rooting for them to succeed. With a little bit of a love story, there is enough action, blood, and gore to engage reluctant readers. A refreshing tale where life is tested and people have to overcome their differences to fight a bigger foe to survive. A fast-paced, action-filled fantasy for all YA collections.” —School Library Journal

“Young’s brutal, emotional debut is set in a land that is as unforgiving as its people. The strongest aspect of Young’s work is the world building; she packs it with details that viscerally pull the reader into Eelyn’s world. Young has also populated this world with complicated characters who evolve as readers get to know them. Even better, the theme at the core of the story—overcoming prejudice and unifying to fight a greater threat—resonates with current real-world issues. With its gorgeous prose and epic battle scenes, fantasy lovers will be easily satisfied.” —Booklist

“Drawing on Viking history and lore, debut author Young crafts an exciting, at times heart-wrenching story centered around 17-year-old Eelyn, her Aska clan, and their centuries-old war with the Riki…Young’s often poetic writing forms a stark juxtaposition with her vivid descriptions of battle and bloodshed, creating a clear picture of the brutality of war.” —Publishers Weekly

“Eelyn is a relentlessly fierce warrior, and even her romance with a Riki fighter doesn’t quite soften her; indeed, the two find that their lust for blood is almost as strong as their lust for each other… The action on the battlefield and the rising political tensions between the clans will easily keep readers involved through the final page.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

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SKY IN THE DEEP

By Adrienne Young

As the news cycle broadcasts a new era of fierce feminists, Adrienne Young’s young adult debut novel SKY IN THE DEEP (April 24, 2018; Wednesday Books) dives right into this feminine power with a ferocious young girl warrior at the forefront. Drawing from the hugely popular YA fantasy genre, Young takes Eelyn, a young girl driven by family loyalty, and puts her among the ranks of Wonder Woman as a fearless leader in an action packed Viking adventure.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Brittani Hilles, Publicist, St. Martin’s Press
Brittani.Hilles@stmartins.com | 646-307-5558

 

Synopsis

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient, god-decreed rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: train to fight and fight to 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.

Eelyn loses her focus and is captured. Now, 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 settling in the valley, 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 tried to kill her the day she was captured. 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 find a way to forgive her brother while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

Reading SKY IN THE DEEP will make you want to pick up your own battle axe and run straight into battle with Young’s heroine. A must read for any fantasy addict, action lover, or fan of addicting stories, this debut embodies “Ond Eldr” or “breathe fire” as Eelyn inspires the reader to attack problems with courage and power.

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About the Author

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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.

 

SKY IN THE DEEP
By Adrienne Young
Published by Wednesday Books
**On Sale April 24, 2018**
Hardcover | $17.99

ISBN: 9781250168450| Ebook ISBN: 9781250168474
For more information or to set up an interview with the author, contact:
Brittani Hilles at brittani.hilles@stmartins.com or 646-307-5558

 

More early praise for SKY IN THE DEEP:

“Young has built a detailed culture into in which her characters thrive. This intensely authentic story will appeal to adult readers as well as teens.” –Romantic Times, 4 1⁄2 Stars Top Pick!

“Young’s SKY IN THE DEEP is full of bloody action and eternal feuds but it is Eelyn’s halting, painful transformation and the tender depictions of loving human bonds in all their iterations that make this novel truly ond eldr: ‘breathe fire.'” – Shelf Awareness

“A brutal new viking inspired fantasy, SKY IN THE DEEP brings us one of the most badass new main characters we’ve ever read…She knows what she believes in—just like how we believe that you need to read this book!” – EpicReads, “The 12 Most Exciting Books Coming in Spring 2018”

“Readers looking for a fierce heroine who isn’t afraid to be ruthless will fall head over heels for Eelyn.” – Bookish, “Spring 2018’s Most-Anticipated Young Adult Sci-Fi & Fantasy”

“Adrienne Young’s SKY IN THE DEEP is a YA Viking fantasy like nothing you’ve seen before.” – Bustle

“Fearless in its exploration of family, forgiveness, loyalty, and love, THE SKY IN THE DEEP is fierce, vivid, and violently beautiful. This book will wage a war with your heart as brutal and as bold as the battles inked in its pages.” – Stephanie Garber, New York Times Bestselling author of Caraval

“Bleak, beautiful, and deadly, SKY IN THE DEEP is both a gritty, gut-wrenching tale of war and a thoughtful meditation on identity, family, and faith–a story with the ferocity of its main character as well as her raw and tender heart.” – Traci Chee, New York Times Bestselling author of The Reader

“SKY IN THE DEEP is a delicious tale filled with fierce battles, shocking betrayal, and a slow-burn romance that’s as hard fought as the wars raging between the two clans. Readers will welcome this vivid gift to the fantasy genre, as will fans of darkly lush historical settings. Wholly unique and instantly addictive, I was captivated from its opening lines.” – Kerri Maniscalco, New York Times bestselling author of Hunting Prince Dracula

“Brutal and beautiful, with breakneck pacing and starring a heroine that will make you want to run into battle with her, SKY IN THE DEEP is a stunning debut that will leave readers enchanted and breathless all at once.” – Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen

“With SKY IN THE DEEP, Adrienne Young has brought to life fascinating, multi-dimensional characters in a starkly beautiful world. Everything is rich and evocative. The ice melts against your skin at the same time the adrenaline takes hold of your heart. This is a gripping story, richly told.” – Renée Ahdieh, New York Times bestselling author of The Wrath & the Dawn

“Heartrending, heart-mending: this book broke my heart into a thousand pieces, then put it back together even stronger than before.” – Kayla Olsen, Bestselling author of Sandcastle Empire


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