Monday, November 30, 2020

fable by adrienne young - the one where there really should be pirates but sadly there are none


by Adrienne Young

Pages: 357
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication Date: September 1st, 2020

Cover Comments: 
This bighead cover is mostly redeemed by the cool ship graphic in Fable's eye.

First Lines: 
"That bastard was leaving me again.

               GoodreadsδΈ¨ Amazon
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.

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. Fable takes you on a spectacular journey filled with romance, intrigue, and adventure.


I’ve now read Sky in the Deep, The Girl the Sea Gave Back, and Fable, and I am disappointed to say that Adrienne Young is very hit or miss for me. Sky in the Deep was great; The Girl the Sea Gave Back was my least favorite Young novel, and Fable hits somewhere in the middle. I was attracted to Fable for the same reasons as many others: a sea-faring adventure is usually fun and the idea of traveling the oceans during the time of quarantine is very enticing. However, sailing is pretty much all that happens in this book until the last quarter. Would a pirate battle have been too much to ask? Fable is a pretty standard YA main character. She’s capable, with a troubled past and a stubborn streak, and she has a special gift that she tries (poorly) not to reveal. She’s basically on her own, with a father who left her alone on an island and a mother who died years before. The other characters are similar trope-y types, especially the brooding and mercurial West. The single coolest part of this story happens pretty far into the book, and involves a map being revealed under mysterious circumstances, and a bit of a treasure hunt. This is where I began to be pulled into the story, only to immediately be thrown off by a relationship taking a turn with no indication that it was going that way (the Fable/West kiss, COMPLETELY out of nowhere). I liked the direction, but the lack of build-up made the moment rather lackluster. Finally, the story ended with a twist, but unfortunately, it was one that I wasn’t particularly interested in. I’ll read the sequel because I am a completionist, but I wasn’t blown away by this first installment. I would recommend Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller for a similar vibe that is better executed. 


*Thanks to Wednesday Books and the author for the chance to read Fable before its publication date.

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