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Release Date
November 29, 2022
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New York Times bestselling author Adrienne Young returns to the world of The Narrows with Saint, a captivating prequel to Fable and Namesake.

As a boy, Elias learned the hard way what happens when you don’t heed the old tales.

Nine years after his lack of superstition got his father killed, he’s grown into a young man of piety, with a deep reverence for the hallowed sea and her fickle favor. As stories of the fisherman’s son who has managed to escape the most deadly of storms spreads from port to port, his devotion to the myths and creeds has given him the reputation of the luckiest bastard to sail the Narrows.

Now, he’s mere days away from getting everything his father ever dreamed for him: a ship of his own, a crew, and a license that names him as one of the first Narrows-born traders. But when a young dredger from the Unnamed Sea with more than one secret crosses his path, Elias’ faith will be tested like never before. The greater the pull he feels toward her, the farther he drifts from the things he’s spent the last three years working for.

He is dangerously close to repeating his mistakes and he’s seen first hand how vicious the jealous sea can be. If he’s going to survive her retribution, he will have to decide which he wants more, the love of the girl who could change their shifting world, or the sacred beliefs that earned him the name that he’s known for―Saint.

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enthralling YA fantasy
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SAINT is a riveting and consuming YA fantasy, written as a prequel to FABLE and NAMESAKE. The story takes the reader to Saint and Isolde, telling the story of how they met in alternating perspectives. Isolde is the daughter of Holland, a wealthy gem magnate whose relationships are all about utility. After her father's death, Isolde knows she needs to escape her mother, no easy feat considering her far reach. She plans to hitch a ride on a ship to the Narrows, working as a dredger. She finds someone who makes the connection, using the fake name Eryss and signing a contract. However, she is soon to learn that the ride she thought she was getting comes with dangerous strings.

Saint has plans for the Narrows, and he wants to obtain a trading license, something that seems illusive and requires skirting the rules. He sails with his close friend and confidante, Clover, and they are closer than they have ever been to achieving what they have been working towards - and then they meet Isolde. As things get more complicated, Saint's carefully laid plans will need to change, potentially putting everything he he has worked for in jeopardy.

What I loved: The writing pulls the reader in immediately and keeps the pages turning quickly. The alternating perspectives immerse the reader in Saint and Isolde's stories. While the title and synopsis suggest that the story focuses on Saint, this story really felt like Isolde's. Isolde is learning about the broader world, the truth of her mother and her reach, and what she wants for her own future. She is clever, bold, and learning quickly. While her main goal has been to escape her mother's reach, she is redefining what that means for her and her own future. This path is complex and composed of small decisions, but Isolde begins to reach further and reconsider what her longer-term paths may include.

Saint has complex morality with rules mostly being flexible but some feeling sacred. His life was forever changed by his father's death and the responsibility he feels for it and the people close to him. He is shrewd in business and seems very regimented, but the reader also uncovers his passion for the people he cares about and for a feeling of justice. The Narrows are his, and he is determined to improve them, as well as his and Clover's own prospects.

While this seemed like an origin story for the person who was partially the villain in the original books, it's so much more than that, breathing life into these characters who seemed larger than life in Fable's story. This is really the start of a great love, self-discovery, and the plots that created the legend. This was a really quick and highly consuming read in part for the themes around poverty, morality, corruption, human trafficking, found family, and the way love changes everything.

Final verdict: With compelling characters and consuming prose, SAINT is a thrilling, can't-miss YA fantasy. Highly recommend picking up this enthralling read.
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