Release-Day Review: Namesake by Adrienne Young (Fable #2)

Namesake by Adrienne Young // VBC Review

Namesake (Fable #2)
Adrienne Young
Published: March 16, 2021 (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 stars

Note: While this review will be spoiler free, it will reference events from the previous book. If you haven’t yet started, check out VBC’s review of Fable.

The end of Fable saw Fable and her newfound family freeing their ship the Marigold from being indebted to Fable’s father Saint—a notorious trader in the Narrows—and ready to start fresh on their own. However, before they can do so, Fable is kidnapped to a fate left unknown.

Namesake begins right away where things left off. Fable finds herself being taken to the port city of Bastian, where she comes face-to-face with the indomitable gem trader Holland. Holland is much more than she seems, and her scheme to use Fable as a pawn to gain more power will force Fable to confront secrets that died along with her mother all those years ago.

I appreciated that Namesake picks up right away, and I think it’s a testament to my love of Fable that I knew exactly where things stood and what was happening that I didn’t need to go back and refresh my memory.

The two stories really go hand-in-hand. You could probably enjoy Fable without reading Namesake but the reverse would definitely not be true.

Whereas the first book dealt a lot with Fable and her relationship (or lack thereof) with her father, I think it’s extremely fitting that we would get more about her mother this time around. It all kind of comes full circle, and you can also see that in how Fable’s life unfolds very similar to her mother’s yet still remains her own journey.

Despite the Marigold being Fable’s new found-family, she still kind of sits on those relationships very precariously, knowing they could be taken away from her at any minute, and this partially stems, I think, from the loss of her mother. Losing someone so important to you at such a young age leaves its mark. So by uncovering these new facets of Isolde’s life, Fable can kind of have a reckoning.

I do wish that the character of Holland was fleshed out a little bit more. I would have liked to have seen more reasons for her motivations, and basically learned more about her life before she decided to become this power-hungry gem trader. She’s a bit of a stock character with so much potential. I understand the reasons why there’s not more focus, because this is Fable’s story through and through, but I certainly wouldn’t mind a short story about Holland’s past somewhere down the line from Adrienne Young.

Also, as much as I enjoyed this book and its predecessor, many of the twists landed pretty softly. I wasn’t thrown or surprised, instead I was content that things worked out pretty much the way I had them pegged to, but I will say Adrienne Young has a wonderful way of keeping the story going and pulling the readers in page after page. Just when I thought we would get to a place and stay there for a bit, things would turn and we would be off in another direction. There’s very little down time, but the moments—mainly some wonderful ones between Fable and West—that were more contemplative were made all the more important because of the time they took to develop.

Overall, I’ve really enjoyed this duology and, as I said, I certainly wouldn’t mind getting a few short stories here and there from other characters’ points of view. Adrienne Young has a reader for life in me, and I cannot wait to see where she takes us next.

 Sexual Content: Kissing; sex

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