If you are a fan of fantasy on the open seas, you do not want to miss this duology! I personally love this world. I love the characters, the setting, and the imagery. Oh y’all, the imagery is by far my favorite thing in this series. The descriptions of Fable dredging….I felt like I was right there with her. I could feel the cool breeze coming off the water and taste the salt in the air. Read on for my full review of each book.
I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.Fable by Adrienne Young
Series: Fable #1
Published by Wednesday Books on 2020-09-01
Length: 361 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
For seventeen-year-old Fable, the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home she 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.
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. Fable takes you on a spectacular journey filled with romance, intrigue, and adventure.
I adored this book! Fable by Adrienne Young is the first in a duology about a young woman who is just trying to survive and find her own way in the world. This was my first time reading Adrienne Young, and I could talk for days about her writing. I love it! I will definitely be reading everything of hers I can get my hands on from now on. But I digress, let’s talk about Fable.
Fable is 17 at the opening of the book and barely surviving as a dredger on the fictional island of Jeval. The daughter of a notorious trader, Fable keeps her identity a secret to protect herself and the father who dumped her on the island four years earlier. He told her if she could find her way off the island that it would prove to him she could survive life as a trader and he’d give her “what was hers.” So Fable works daily to survive with the goal of getting off the island. With the help of a young trader, Fable gets off the island and sets a course to find her father.
West is the captain of the Marigold, a small trading ship with an even smaller crew. Fable doesn’t really know him. She only knows that if it wasn’t for him, she’d have died a long time ago. Trading with him is the only thing that kept her going the last four years. Now she is on his ship. I like West. He’s loyal to his crew, but beyond that we don’t really know. It’s clear that he has feelings for Fable from the start (why else would he let her on his ship?) and he’s hiding something. Beyond that, West is a mystery to me. I like him, I want to love him, but we will see.
The rest of the crew on the Marigold I love, Willa especially. Each of the crewmembers bring something different to the story, and each bond with Fable in their own way. I found myself rooting for them to all get along and for Fable to just stay with them, but her goal is not the same as theirs. She is determined to find Saint, her father, the notorious tradesman who rules the Narrows.
Let’s take a sec to just talk about the world-building here. This world seems to be based off the Carribean and time period that revolves around pirates and traders. The best way to describe the traders here are as pirates, at least that’s my opinion. I really pictured them as cutthroat and ruthless. The markets they trade in remind me a little of the markets described in port towns during the colonial days of America. The vivid imagery used to describe both the ports and the diving that Fable does as a dredger put me right in the action. I could feel cool breeze coming off the water and smell the salt in the air.
Overall, I really enjoyed this one. I decided to give it 4.5 stars (rounded to 5). The only reason I knocked it down a half star is predictability. I had most of the story figured out well before the end. However, that did not lessen my enjoyment. I adored this story and cannot wait for more set in this world. If you enjoy fantasy, slow burn (and I do mean SLOW) romance, and adventure on the high seas, you are in for a treat.
#COYER Community: I buddy read this one with Lenore @ Celebrity Readers. For once, we stayed pretty close together in our reading 😆 I enjoyed discussing theories with her as we read. She listened to the audiobook so be sure to check out her review if you are an audio reader for her thoughts on the narration.
I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.Namesake by Adrienne Young
Series: Fable #2
Published by Wednesday Books on 2021-03-16
Length: 363 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
Reading Challenges: COYER 2021
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.
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 the secrets her mother took to her grave 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.
Namesake by Adrienne Young picks up right where Fable left off. If you haven’t read the first book in the series, there may be minor spoilers to it ahead. Fable is now in the hands of Zola. What he has planned for her though is anyone’s guess. With the Marigold free of Saint’s control, Fable can only hope and wonder if anyone will come looking for her. As beautiful as it is deadly, Namesake will take you on an adventure that will leave you both satisfied and craving more.
Fable is one of my new favorite characters! She is fearless, loyal to a fault, and knows what she wants. Her entire backstory has been hidden from her and slowly it comes to light in this book. She finds her origins, where her mother was from, and in the process, Fable finds who she is. I adore her character arc and the journey Young takes us on.
West is a lot darker in this book. His past was hinted at in Fable, but his actions and feelings for Fable allowed me to overlook it. Now, with her taken, his past is coming back to haunt him and not in a good way. Y’all I really struggled to continue to love West. He’s in a dark place when we see him again, and my heart broke for him.
The entire plot of this one is Fable finding out who she is and where she comes from. I love the backstory, the history that is given to this character. Saint returns, and his character arc is just as interesting to me as Fable’s. I already had a soft spot for him, but y’all I totally fell in love with him here. Young expands the world of Fable taking us across the Unnamed Sea to Bastian. The imagery, again, is outstanding. I just wanted to crawl into the pages and live on the ship with Fable.
Overall, I really enjoyed Namesake. Adrienne Young wraps the series up nicely, leaving me satisfied at the conclusion. All the characters from Fable to Saint to even Koy are fully fleshed out and felt real to me. If you enjoy fantasy on the open seas, I highly recommend you grab this one.
Coyer Community: I buddy read this one with Stephanie @ Once Upon a Chapter. I happened to finish before her, and we are still discussing. I will update later what her rating is 😉