Review | Fable by Adrienne Young

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.

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.

“You weren’t made for this world, Fable.”

I’ve had a fascination with pirates ever since I watched Pirates of the Caribbean, and this has led me to pick up every pirate-adjacent tale that comes onto my radar. Fable is one of the darker ones that I’ve read; within its pages is a world of traders and treachery, a place where softness is weakness and any weakness can get you killed.

Fable was a very sympathetic heroine, abandoned as a child and trying to survive against the odds. She’s desperate for a family, and this colours every decision she makes; as a result, I loved seeing her growth over the course of the book. Her complicated relationship with her father and ruthless trader, Saint, is something that I can’t wait to explore further – especially if it involves more of his backstory.

The secondary characters were interesting, but less developed than I expected. I enjoyed the “found family” relationship and deeply held loyalty of the crew of the Marigold, but didn’t feel that I got to know them very well as individuals. Hopefully that changes in the sequel!

The ending of Fable surprised me, as there wasn’t a conclusive scene; instead, this cliffhanger ending occurred mid-scene. I imagine the sequel will pick up right where this left off, but it was a little jarring – especially since the sequel isn’t out until March 2021! I’ll definitely need to re-read this when I get my hands on Namesake to see how well the respective books flow into one another.

Overall, Fable was a thrilling read that sucked me in from the first page – the next thing I knew, two hours had passed and I was at the end of the book, desperately wishing the sequel was out already. I can’t wait to read more from Adrienne Young.

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