Filled with all of the action, emotion, and lyrical writing that brought readers to Sky in the Deep, New York Times bestselling author Adrienne Young returns with Fable, the first book in this new captivating duology. 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. 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. Fable takes you on a spectacular journey filled with romance, intrigue and adventure.
Fable (Fable, #1)Featured
Fable is 17 at the opening of the book and barely surviving as a dredger on the fictional island of Jeval. The daughter of a notorious trader, Fable keeps her identity a secret to protect herself and the father who dumped her on the island four years earlier. He told her if she could find her way off the island that it would prove to him she could survive life as a trader and he’d give her “what was hers.” So Fable works daily to survive with the goal of getting off the island. With the help of a young trader, Fable gets off the island and sets a course to find her father.
West is the captain of the Marigold, a small trading ship with an even smaller crew. Fable doesn’t really know him. She only knows that if it wasn’t for him, she’d have died a long time ago. Trading with him is the only thing that kept her going the last four years. Now she is on his ship. I like West. He’s loyal to his crew, but beyond that we don’t really know. It’s clear that he has feelings for Fable from the start (why else would he let her on his ship?) and he’s hiding something. Beyond that, West is a mystery to me. I like him, I want to love him, but we will see.
The rest of the crew on the Marigold I love, Willa especially. Each of the crew members bring something different to the story, and each bond with Fable in their own way. I found myself rooting for them to all get along and for Fable to just stay with them, but her goal is not the same as theirs. She is determined to find Saint, her father, the notorious tradesman who rules the Narrows.
Let’s take a sec to just talk about the world-building here. This world seems to be based off the Carribean and time period that revolves around pirates and traders. The best way to describe the traders here are as pirates, at least that’s my opinion. I really pictured them as cutthroat and ruthless. The markets they trade in remind me a little of the markets described in port towns during the colonial days of America. The vivid imagery used to describe both the ports and the diving that Fable does as a dredger put me right in the action. I could feel the cool breeze coming off the water and smell the salt in the air.
Overall, I really enjoyed this one. I decided to give it 4.5 stars (rounded to 5). The only reason I knocked it down a half star is predictability. I had most of the story figured out well before the end. However, that did not lessen my enjoyment. I adored this story and cannot wait for more set in this world. If you enjoy fantasy, slow burn (and I do mean SLOW) romance, and adventure on the high seas, you are in for a treat.
-Fantastic characters and world-building
However, word is spreading among the other dredgers about her coin, and when she is attacked, she flees for her life, heading to a ship she has come to know for trading. Once onboard, her journey is sure to be difficult and certainly unexpected.
What I loved: The world building is lush and the whole book is quite atmospheric. I got lost in this other world with its sea faring trades and intense rules. I loved Fable, her memories, and the way that things are explained as we need them. The story flows so well that I was surprised by how quickly I was moving through the pages. The crew of the ship she finds contained characters that were highly intriguing, and I loved the shroud of mystery around them all. As we learn more about them, I wanted to know everything. Such highly compelling characters are included throughout the book, and it made me enjoy it all the more.
This is the best book I've read by Young yet, and I am so excited that it will be part of a series. As a warning, there is a cliffhanger at the end of this one, so be prepared to eagerly await the next installment.
Final verdict: Lush, atmospheric, and with compelling characters, FABLE is the start to an exciting new YA fantasy series that I cannot wait to continue. Highly recommend for fans of THE LAST VOYAGE OF POE BLYTHE and/or ALL THE STARS AND TEETH.