Author: Adrienne Young
Published: September 1, 2020
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Filled with all of the action, emotion, and lyrical writing that brought readers to Sky in the Deep, New York Times bestselling author Adrienne Young returns with Fable, the first book in this new captivating duology.
Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men.
As the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home seventeen-year-old Fable has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.
But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive.
Fable takes you on a spectacular journey filled with romance, intrigue and adventure.
I’ve seen a couple of reviews that said this book is flat, and I get that. It’s not a deep book. The premise is simple and the plot isn’t crazy, but I really enjoyed this! I’ve read a couple of books this summer that have had either rave reviews or incredibly low DNFs. This is another one of those books. Again, I really liked this. It’s got pirates, ships, traders, a fight for survival, a daughter scorned, and a slow romance that doesn’t overtake the narrative. Many YA novels out there are so focused on the romance that the rest of the plot falls very flat. This was the opposite, incredible plot development with just enough romance. Honestly, I didn’t realize it was happening until something romantic happened.
Loved Fable as a character. She learned from her past, became stronger, and ultimately pursues the thing for which she is destined. Lots of female main characters wallow in pity at their plight, but Fable soldiers on and adapts. The crew of the Marigold were fantastic people with which to go on an adventure. West was probably my favorite character, though just edging ahead of Fable. He was interesting, had enough secrets to keep me guessing, and in my head he is fine as hell. Very good character development in this YA novel.
I was all in on this world. The Unnamed Sea, the Narrows, Ceros, Dern, Javal….all such great place names! I almost wanted more lore about Saint, his shipping operation, and the political structure of the world. This is duology, so that may be forthcoming in the next book, Namesake. I felt the world building, though a bit minimal, was very well done. Not a lot of information dumps and the bits of information the reader learns are tactfully presented through the narrative. It definitely helped that one of the rules was that everything is partly true or at least based on truth. This made me interrogate the information I was learning, just like Fable did in the narrative!
Overall, this is a solid seafaring YA adventure that I would recommend to fans of Adrienne Young (the author), Leigh Bardugo, V. E. Schwab, Sabaa Tahir, and others! A great book and I am looking forward to the thrilling conclusion! Thank you to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for the eARC! I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.