Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Review: Namesake by Adrienne Young

Namesake by Adrienne Young
Book One of the Fable series
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication Date: March 16, 2021
Rating: 5 stars
Source: Copy provided by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

Trader. Fighter. Survivor.

With the Marigold ship free of her father, Fable and its crew were set to start over. That freedom is short-lived when she becomes a pawn in a notorious thug’s scheme. In order to get to her intended destination she must help him to secure a partnership with Holland, a powerful gem trader who is more than she seems.

As Fable descends deeper into a world of betrayal and deception she learns that her mother was keeping secrets, and those secrets are now putting the people Fable cares about in danger. If Fable is going to save them then she must risk everything, including the boy she loves and the home she has finally found.

Filled with action, emotion, and lyrical writing, New York Times bestselling author Adrienne Young returns with Namesake, the final book in the captivating Fable duology.

What I Liked:

I read Fable in early 2020, and I knew it would be a hit. I loved the book; it pulled me right out of the reading slump that I had been in, since my father passed away in 2019. Fable hit me at the right time. I received Namesake to read in Fall 2020 and I dove right back into the intriguing, mysterious world of the Narrows. Namesake is the conclusion to the Fable duology, and it's easily one of the best conclusion novels I've ever read.

Namesake picks up pretty much right where Fable left off, which, if you remember where Fable left off, you remember being pretty upset. (I was, anyway.) I won't state too much about that, since Fable published only six months ago, and I will try not to spoil anything regarding Namesake as well. 

The world of Fable becomes so much larger in this book. Adrienne Young expands the world, the schemes, the politics, the characters. A wider cast of characters is brought into play, and even more political machinations, deals, risks, and revelations. Some characters who were briefly mentioned in Fable become critical players in Namesake. No specifics, but believe me, the plot thickens! I love the Pirates of the Caribbean vibe of this series. That alone was enough to make me pick up Fable, but the excellent writing, fascinating characters, and slow-burn, tension-filled romance made me fall in love with the books.

One thing I will say vaguely is that a giant Easter egg in Fable manifests in Namesake. I was pretty sure I knew what the Easter egg was when I was reading Fable, but I wasn't quite right. It's not exactly what you'd expect. Adrienne Young is so sneaky, she had us thinking one thing, when in fact it was a completely different thing! I have listened to so many of her virtual tour events and Instagram live events, and she was SO sneaky about this Easter egg. Several months after reading Namesake (I'm writing this review in February 2021), I'm still delighted by the Easter egg.

Let's talk about the romance! Fable and West are such an adorable, heartbreakingly beautiful pair. I love the romance of this book, and series. This series - actually, this book (Namesake) has the most romance on page of any of Young's books. I love the slow-burn in Fable, and the pure yearning in Namesake. The romance of this series is one of my all-time favorites of the Young Adult books I've read.

Other relationships are just as important as the romance between Fable and West; for example, Fable's relationship with her father, Saint. But also, Fable's relationship with her mother, Isolde. I can't say anything more about that but... while Fable (book one) was more so about Fable and her father, Namesake is about Fable and her mother. In a way, but not in the way you think. You'll see!

I truly love the characters that Adrienne Young has written. Fable, a smart, brave young woman. West, a selfless, mysterious man with a heart of gold. Saint, a trickster father who keeps his cards close. And the crew of the Marigold, who is the family that Fable never knew she needed. I love the characters of this book, even the "villains", who have such compelling backstories.

Tropes: slow-burn romance, a hint of enemies-to-lovers romance (kind of? between West and Fable), found family, "chosen one"... kind of. You'll see what I mean.

I won't say anything else because I don't want to spoil the book, but I will say that the book ended really well. The series wraps up wonderfully. Adrienne Young proves that you don't need mass chaos and bloodshed to end a series (I'm looking at you, Game of Thrones). I'm not saying there is NO violence at the end, but, the ending is really good. My heart was full, after reading this book. This book is absolutely worth the (short) wait, the marathon binge-read, or however you'll read this series.  

What I Did Not Like:

I have no complaints! This book was such an excellent follow-up to Fable, and an amazing conclusion. I feel like I can't wait always say that about sequels or conclusion novels. 

Would I Recommend It:

If you read Fable, you HAVE to finish this series. Namesake is so easy to read - I finished it quickly, once I started getting into the story. I didn't want to put the book down. This series is such a riveting fantasy series, and it has good crossover appeal to young adult readers and adults. It's a favorite for sure - the series is a favorite in general!


5 stars. There was no doubt in my mind that Namesake would be just as incredible as Fable, if not more. Adrienne Young has not disappointed me yet; I can't wait to see what she publishes next!

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Read my review of Fable HERE!

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