FABLE by Adrienne Young
Updated: Nov 2
From the inside flap:
“For seventeen-year-old Fable, the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home she’s 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.”
1. The world Young has created is incredibly vivid and deep. I loved learning more about the lore and rules of the world as Fable explained them. One of my favorite movies is Pirates of the Caribbean, so this book had that vibe. Sans pirates. Yet, some of the characters might have been pirates for all intents and purposes, ha. I liked the rugged, salty feel of each and every scene, and Young’s descriptions were on-point.
2. I’m a sucker for backstory. Particularly tragic backstory. And this novel has that in spades. I also know there is more to come and to learn, and I’m excited to read the next book to find out the rest of the history of the world, Fable’s past, and the secrets they all keep.
3. Young also did a wonderful job with each of her side characters. Each member of Marigold’s crew felt real and three-dimensional with their own arc. She made me care about them and their plights.
1. To piggyback off the last glow, I felt like Young needed to develop West’s character more. We don’t see much of his personality at all until the very end. I can’t say more here, but you can look in the SPOILERS below to see what I mean.
2. The plot felt formulaic at times. The novel was beautifully written, but it did feel like we were hopping from one event to the next because some outline demanded it.
3. The book also felt a little incomplete because there wasn’t some grand climax. It was a rather soft ending. I’ll explain more in the spoilers section.
GENERAL THOUGHTS + SPOILERS:
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the novel, and I finished it in less than 24 hours. I couldn’t put it down! Fable is a well-written character, and I loved getting to know her and learning just what she cares about. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves Young Adult Fantasy and Pirates of the Caribbean.
Now, for the SPOILERS.
1. I really didn’t buy West and Fable’s romance. I liked the idea of a romance between the two. I wanted it to happen, but it didn’t make sense, so to speak. We hardly knew anything about West, and the only thing Fable knew was that he was the helmsman who would buy her pyre every two weeks. She even says in the book that West was always cold and didn’t really pay all that much attention to her except to trade. After she was aboard his ship, he still didn’t really do anything to make her fall in love with him or anything. He was just there in the shadows, peeking his head out every so often. What do they have in common? The sea? Is that it? We also learn he’s done some dredging toward the very end, so there’s that, but she was head over heels for him before that revelation. Sigh. It was more like insta-love in a sense.
2. The ending. I didn’t have a problem with the cliff hanger. However, it felt like the middle of a book instead of at the end because there wasn’t some huge, nail-biting lead up to it. We had a soft climax with Fable and her acceptance of her father and West’s love confession. It felt as if the entire book is leading to something bigger, which I know will happen in the sequel, but it still didn’t feel complete because of that. Much of the story was like that. I was always waiting for some action-packed something to happen, but it never did. Even during the storm that hit the ship near the beginning, everything was kind of muted. I took this as more of Fable’s storytelling because she’d been through so much in her young life, so she was kind of numb in many ways, but as a reader, I wanted more of an
“on the edge of my seat” feeling to the ending.
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