Book Review - Fable by Adrienne Young
Fable by Adrienne Young is a world-delving book of bloody ropes, crystalline shores, rules, survival, and tastes of treasure.
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.
Fable was one of my first pirate books- like a catalyst it threw me into a phase where I refused to read anything which didn’t take place overseas. When I heard about the book, I was overly excited to read it, hearing numerous positive reviews and recommendations. I had high expectations from this book which practically lured me from the first sentence.
Fable has a lovely writing style. The plot flows and every character’s emotions are displayed perfectly. laying the plot, characters, and magic aside – the book held more information than I had come to expect from a fantasy book. It was packed with accurate and useful information about ships, sailing, trade, and gems.
Adrienne Youngs lays it out beautifully and I hardly notice when I am learning about types and ships and the depth of the waters to sail them. She balances it perfectly with the tension and the countless adventure locked in the book.
The plot – The entire book can be summed up as a betrayal, romance, and trade crisis. Unlike most young adult books, where there is a set villain, betrayal, and the lines between good and bad are blurred ever so slightly – this book is riddled with unexpected pathways. Fable took me for an adventure I was unexpected for and the book quite honestly tugged my heart in directions I wasn’t expecting.
The characters – I cannot get enough of each and every character. Each is vital to the plot, and Adrienne Young didn’t make any character disposable, or unwanted. Every character flows and connects with the story – their relationships have been well thought out and developed at a realistic pace throughout the duology. Fable showed how no matter how urgent the situation, mistrust, self-doubt, and abandonment cannot vanish once the immediate threat has been eliminated or the characters falling in love.
I don’t tend to mention physical descriptions, but there is something I must urgently address. Throughout the many fantasy/ young adult novels I have read, why is it that the female pirate always tends to have red hair with blue or green eyes. This does not reduce the love I had for this book or any other book from the same genre- I just felt the need to point it out! And this certainly doesn’t reduce the love I have for its gorgeous cover! Part of me bought the book for its sheer eye-catching nature.
“Like a weary bird flying out over the most desolate sea, I finally had a place to land.”
Fable- Fable is the main protagonist and namesake of this book. I’m going to start by saying she is a typical YA heroine, which a fierce attitude, and need for revenge/ redemption, and as stubborn as a mule. Fable’s main characteristics that stick out to me are her hope and determination.
What makes her stand out from the hundreds and adds vibrance to the book is her sheer determination to achieve anything she sets her mind to, even if she faces problems and the world is seemingly against her. Since her childhood she is taught to no hope, to hope is to get your heart crushed – that hope is a weakness. Yet hope is one of her strongest assets and when the world was crumbling, she kept hope and got through it.
I could honestly keep rereading Fable and remain astounded by the buckets of feuds she overcame.
“He looked at me with a hundred stories lit behind his eyes.”
Romance – West, and Fable are a pair I could talk about for hours. Their relationship in the book is a classic pining and I take great joy in it. It has twists and turns, but their overall development in the story is a slow burn and a heart-warming love story. Secrets, self-harm, redemption, acceptance… everything that is right up my alley.
My first taste of pirates was from To kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo and this book trapped me in an obsession. Able’s description is beautiful, to say the least – no matter the characters or plot or magic, I could get lost imagining the stunning descriptions in this book.
I was able to catch a glimpse of the world under the sea, and with the stunning amount of information I was provided, I learned soo much for an ordinary sentence used to set the scene. Without this book, I would have never looked into other books of a similar type and fallen in love with this genre.
“You weren’t made for this world, Fable.”
Fable has an interesting hint of magic. In the book, Fable has the ability to sense gems and determine how rare they are. When put plainly in a sentence it sounds absurd, random, and not well thought out. Her ability plays a big role in the book and since I love magic in any form and shape, I took great interest when reading.
The ability fits well with their sea-centered world and her lineage; however, I wish her powers were explored more. The delivery to me was rushed and added for the sake of plot advancement. Fable has skills, but during the book, it felt like her value was solely placed on her gem sage abilities.
This is not uncommon, but I wish Adrienne Young had explored more possibilities and shown me other sides of her ability. Even though I was left unsatisfied with the way it was carried out, as a whole the magic adds to the positive aspects of the book.
This book ends in a cliffhanger and the sequel doesn’t disappoint. Namesake is a clever book and adds wholeness to this duology. I cannot read the first book without reading the second straight after.
I would recommend this duology to anyone who is into pirates, sea-faring adventures, trade crises, secrets, and rifts. To conclude, I would give Fable by Adrienne Young a 4.5 out of 5 and strongly recommend this book to anyone 13 and above.
About the Author
Adrienne Young is a coffee lover with a great love for history, traveling, and food! She was born in Texas and later moved to California. She is the New-York times’ bestselling author of The Sky in the Deep, and Fable duologies. She currently lives with her filmmaker husband beneath the West Coast sun.