Fable by Adrienne Young
Book One of the Fable series
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication Date: September 1, 2020
Rating: 5 stars
Source: Copy provided by the publisher
Summary (from Goodreads):
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.
What I Liked:
It has certainly been a while since I reviewed a book. But there was no way I wasn't going to write a review for Fable. I've been reading - no, savoring - Fable for months. This book was exactly what I needed to pull me out of a deep reading slump. This novel is full of high risks, adventure, friendship, found family, and a swoony slow-burn romance.
Fable is the daughter of a powerful trader (Saint), who abandoned her on a dangerous island just hours after her mother drowned during a storm at sea. Surviving on this treacherous island hasn't been easy, but Fable has been honing her skills as a deep-sea dredger to collect precious stones and gems to trade for money, so she can get off the island. But circumstances can change at the turn of the tide, and Fable finds herself in a desperate situation to get off the island. With the reluctant help of a trader, West, Fable gets off the island, and she is determined to find her father and demand her rightful place on his ship.
I had a feeling that I would love this book before I picked it up because the summary is so intriguing, but I also had read other books by Adrienne Young and I was expecting another excellent story. Young absolutely delivered on this. This story gave me Pirates of the Caribbean vibes in the summary, and I definitely got that feeling as I was reading. The atmosphere is exciting, but also eerie/threatening/dangerous, in a sense. I love the undercurrent of danger that runs through the story, and ratchets up at the climax. One thing Young does so well is building that tension throughout the story.
From the first page, I really liked Fable. She is a heroine that is easy to like and relate to (even if you aren't in a situation like she is - most of us aren't!). She is such a strong young woman who has been put in an incredibly difficult do-or-die situation for most of her life. She is so resilient - but she isn't perfect. Her own mistakes lead her to scrambling off the island, which leads to more problems. Fable "enters" this story as a clever, tough, determined individual, but she becomes even more so as the story progresses. She opens her heart to the strangers of the Marigold, which could be a big mistake. In doing so, she finds a family that she has never had, even when her parents were in her life.
You won't just fall in love with Fable - you'll love West, and the rest of the Marigold crew. West is such a mysterious character with so many layers of backstory and tragedy. I am terribly fond of characters who aren't who they seem, and who don't trust anyone, and who have had to make awful decisions in the past. Both West and Fable are this type of character. The other members of the crew are mistrustful of Fable at first - especially Willa - and with good reason.
There is slow-burn, sweet romance in this book, and I love it so much. I shipped this couple from their initial interaction of the book, and I want them to get a happy ending so badly. There is also another romance between secondary characters which I loved.
The ending of this book is a pretty intense cliffhanger, so be prepared to be screaming for book two when you get to the last page. I personally hate cliffhangers and I appreciate the heads-up, so that I can binge-read the series when it is published, but I read this book so early (back in January) and had no idea about the cliffhanger. The good thing is, Namesake publishes in March!
Fable is one of those stories that lingers in my mind, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. I am so happy that the book has lived up to its predecessors and the hype, and I can't wait to read the conclusion to the series.
What I Did Not Like:
Like I said, I personally don't like cliffhangers. Even in a series, I love it when the author wraps up each book, but perhaps the "big picture" plot hasn't been quite wrapped up, or something like that. I understand the need to "hook" the reader, but cliffhangers are so mean (especially when a series gets cancelled or more books are never published, for whatever reason!). As far as cliffhangers go, this is a pretty intense one, so it's a great type of cliffhanger but readers are going to be upset that Namesake isn't available yet. Hang in there!
Would I Recommend It:
I absolutely would recommend this book - especially as someone who has been in a months-long reading slump. If you're looking for action/adventure with a slow-burn romance in the background, this is a great book to read. It has crossover appeal so I would say that adults, young adults, and maybe even upper middle grade readers could read and love this book.
5 stars. I will read anything Adrienne Young writes. Fable has cemented that. I can't wait to read Namesake!
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