Series: Fable #1
Author: Adrienne Young
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Published: September 1st, 2020 (Wednesday Books)
Synopsis: 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.
“The only safety that existed was in being completely alone.”
A day after her mother drowns in a storm at sea, Fable is abandoned on the island of Jeval by her father who runs a powerful trading business. Alone on an island of thieves and with no resources, Fable slowly learns to survive in this hostile environment, determined to find a way back to her father and demand her rightful position on his crew. Four years later, Fable is finally able to negotiate with a young trader named West for passage across the Narrows, but in these years, her father’s enemies have only grown, and far more dangerous things than storms lie in her path ahead. It is starting to look like Jeval might have been a safer place for her all along.
I’ve been wanting to read something to do with pirates and sea faring adventures lately, and Fable definitely fit the bill. It somewhat reminded me of the Daughter of the Pirate King duology, actually, in terms of setting and atmosphere. There is not much in terms of world-building which makes this a simple one to grasp even if you’re not very familiar with books set at sea. Not much was mentioned about the history of the world or its lore, but I’m really curious to know more about gem sages and their abilities, since Fable is apparently one.
Fable was a great protagonist, and the harsh environment she has had to grow up in has made her a survivor able to think on her feet. She is a likeable character and an easy one to root for. One thing I found unusual about this book for YA was that the focus of the story is very clearly and entirely on Fable. This book is all about following Fable on her journey and it was nice for once to read a book without multiple POVs and having to keep the thoughts and plots of several characters straight in my head. The other characters were pretty standard, I felt, except perhaps West, of whom I hope we’ll be seeing more in the sequel. What we got to know of his background was quite interesting, and I’m looking forward to learning more.
Although I do like Fable and West, there wasn’t enough of a build-up for the romance so I don’t feel nearly as invested as I would be otherwise. The other thing was that despite the speedy pace, there were fewer action scenes than I expected and most of the dangers the crew faces doesn’t feel all that dangerous. I’m also not all that happy with how this book ended. Cliffhangers usually build up the anticipation for more whereas this one mostly annoyed me. The conflict we’re being drawn into for the sequel is one that, in my opinion, was not delved into enough to actually matter to me as a reader.
Overall, Fable was an interesting start to a new duology. This is my first time reading a book by this author, but I enjoyed her writing style which made this a fast-paced, easy to read, delightful adventure. The sequel is coming out surprisingly quickly (March 2021) and I’m really excited to have an ARC for it already – it’s so rare that I read a series back to back anymore!
Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments below!
Other reviews in this series: