Review: Fable by Adrienne Young (Fable #1)

Fable by Adrienne Young // VBC Review

Fable (Fable #1)
Adrienne Young
Published: Sept. 1, 2020 (Wednesday Books)
Purchase at: Amazon or Bookshop
Review Source: Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars

Fable was born and raised on the sea. The daughter of a notorious trader father and a dredger mother—someone who dives for precious gems hidden beneath the water’s surface—Fable was stranded by her father the day after a storm sunk their ship and killed nearly everyone on board.

Now, four years later, Fable wants more than anything to get back to her father. To show him she’s a survivor, and to get what he promised her when he abandoned her. She enlists the help of the Marigold and its helmsman West to get her back to her father, but the journey through the Narrows will prove more difficult than she bargained for. Her father’s business enterprise has grown exponentially since she’s been away, and so has his list of enemies, and Fable begins to questions the secrets West and his crew are determined to keep close to the chest.

Adrienne Young has now done for the swashbuckling pirate story what she did for Vikings in her debut Sky in the Deep. She has a penchant for writing solitary characters who find themselves in precarious situations, often fighting for their lives, but injects so much heart and perseverance into the story that I cannot help but compulsively read.

Fable is another such heroine. I loved her characterization, all the characterizations really. This is a world where you look out for yourself and any and all connections, relationships, loyalties are dangerous because they show vulnerability to any and all that would expose such. Fable herself would use someone else’s vulnerability if it meant saving her life or the lives of the people she cares about, but you also know that she’s not unnecessarily cruel. It’s an interesting dynamic.

One that is especially highlighted in the interactions between Fable and Saint—her father whom she’s discouraged from claiming. Typically, I would find a father who abandons his young daughter to fend for herself or die trying rather abhorrent. But in Adrienne Young’s hands he becomes a man who has lived too long in his role and has lost so much along the way. Their relationship is so rocky, yet I cannot help but see glimpses of love that are overshadowed by fear of losing again. It’s something I hope we see develop more in the sequel.

Not to be outdone of course is the tentative alliance between West and his crew of the Marigold. I loved this small group of traders each with their own story who have grown into this quasi-family due to the fact that they rely upon each other to pull their weight and do their job on the ship. Fable kind of thrusts herself into their orbit by enlisting their help, and as much as she tries, she can’t keep herself from being curious about this crew. But in the Narrows it’s a curiosity that could cost someone their life. So proceed with caution.

I’m just going to say it: Fable ends on a pretty major cliffhanger. I was just thinking how it’s been awhile since a book has ended in such a way where I felt that gut punch, but I felt it here. Luckily, its sequel Namesake will be out in March with plenty of mysteries left to unravel. Not too long to wait. Right?

 Sexual Content: Kissing

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