Fable or Legend? : A “Fable” Book Review

…home was a ship
that was at the bottom of the sea,
where my mother’s bones lay
sleeping in the deep.”

Pre-reading – I was already a fan of Young’s ‘The Girl the Sea Gave Back’, and I honestly went into Fable knowing NOTHING about the book. The cover was gorgeous, the author was one I enjoyed and a book about a girl trying to find her father are the things that hooked me.

Post reading – this book is a must read!

★ ★ ★ ★

Author: Adrienne Young
Format/Source: eArc

From GoodReads:
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.

“Never, under any circumstance, reveal who matters to you.”

Plot: ★★★
World: ★★★★
Writing: ★★★★★
Character Development: ★★★★

Fable – much like the character in the book- is strong, resilient, and scrappy.

Let’s take a look at that cover again! I absolutely adore the little details laced throughout the cover – including the ship in Fable’s iris. I am not usually one for people on covers but this cover (and Namesake’s) is stunning. I cannot wait to have a FC in my hands!

Young takes a world that is commonly visited (pirates) and turns it on its head, immersing us in a world were thievery, lies, and deception keep you alive.

Fable, left on an island with nothing but a scar from her father at the age of 14, is thrust into a world where men dominate and where being honest about who you are could legitimately get you killed. For several years she scrapes by, making her money on a talent for ‘hearing’ gems that not many possess and trading those gems for coin until she is able to buy passage to find her father on one of the most cutthroat islands in their seas. As Fable boards the Marigold, she forms friendships she didn’t know she needed, and a sense of family that she yearned so badly for, and discovers that the people she has started to trust are not all that they seem.

With a cast of characters that are both loath-able and lovable, it creates complex and layered relationships throughout. Sometimes at odds with each other, sometimes in each other’s good graces. Though her newfound crew commits horrible acts, Fable knows they are good people- sometimes giving her more kindness than she deserved. The representation on the crew – and the world – was something I really enjoyed. Strong women, queer(!!) relationships, and a mix of so many types of people through out the small world they inhabit. These elements added to the quality of the story overall.

“My mother had loved Saint with a love that could set fire to the sea.”

One of the things that made FABLE so unique for me was the grittiness of the story, yet it wasn’t something that I would be nervous exposing students to. The novel is very heavily character driven. The arc focuses on Fable’s emotions and the journey she goes through to embrace her true self. It’s a testament to the story Young is taken us on.

However, there is enough action to continue to propel the story forward – scattered throughout with an array of climaxes, both minute and propelling – all that serve a purpose. Young has once again taken her story telling to another level and uses every scene and statement to push forward Fable’s story.

The start of this duo is a high octane kick off, with a cliffhanger that I slightly expected but was entirely unprepared for. (But I don’t have to wait too long for Namesake!!) This book will keep you reading far past your bedtime! Great for people who enjoy dark/grim tales!

About the Author:

Adrienne Young is a born and bred Texan turned California girl. She is a foodie with a deep love of history and travel and a shameless addiction to coffee. When she’s not writing, you can find her on her yoga mat, scouring antique fairs for old books, sipping wine over long dinners, or disappearing into her favorite art museums. She lives with her documentary filmmaker husband and their four little wildlings beneath the West Coast sun.