Fable by Adrienne Young – Did It Live Up to the Hype?

Hello everyone! I’m back with another review, this time for Fable by Adrienne Young. There’s been so much hype surrounding this book in recent months, but did it live up to the hype?

I received a copy in the pirated-themed September Reel Bookish Box, and read it as part of their read-along. (I even got to host one of the read-along discussions! Check out my Instagram account for that post.)


About the Book

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Title: Fable

Author: Adrienne Young

Publisher: Wednesday Books

POV: 1st Person

Genre: YA Fantasy

Release Date: 9/1/2020

Page Count: 357 pages

Goodreads

Synopsis: 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.


Pros

  • Fun Seafaring Adventure Novel!
  • Strong female proagonist
  • LGBTQ+ Character Representation
  • Great Worldbuilding
  • Character Relationships!
  • Slow burn romance that didn’t get in the way of the story
  • Unique family dynamics

Cons

  • Abrupt cliffhanger ending
  • A bit slow and boring at the beginning
  • Nothing special about the language used in the book (nothing felt particularly quotable or memorable)

Fable was such a unique book! It’s the start of a duology, which is a structure that I’m still getting used to in YA novels. (Trilogies used to seem like the only option aside from standalones or longer sagas!)

I personally found the start of the novel to be a bit slow. It opens with Fable surviving alone on the island of Jeval, where she must stand for herself against hostile dredgers who want to steal her coin, pyre gems, and quite possibly even her life! While the scenes on Jeval were necessary to show where Fable has been living surviving for years, I found that they were a bit dull at times. Fable doesn’t do much talking during these scenes as she mostly sticks to herself. Adrienne Young is great at writing banter and conversations between characters, but we lacked that in early scenes.

Once we get aboard the ship The Marigold and meet our main cast of characters, things get more interesting! I loved that all of the characters had their guards up initially, but they slowly came down as situations drove characters together. Everyone has their secrets and things/people to protect.

I thought that the overall structure of the novel was great. It didn’t exactly follow the standard “Freitag’s Pyramid” structure but I constantly felt like we were working toward something big, even at the end of the novel, which I’ll get to in a moment. There was constant action and a looming sense of something bad coming around the corner.

Without spoiling the ending, I’ll say this: I wasn’t the biggest fan of how the book ended. It was very abrupt and jarring, and while it sets us up perfectly for the next book, Namesake (which I suspect will pick up right where Fable left off) I just wish that there was a bit more of a calmer ending after such an action packed book.

In the end, I really enjoyed reading Fable, despite the slow start and abrupt ending. The relationships between the characters, worldbuilding and the unique storyline made for a great start to this duology. In the next book, I hope to hear more about the antagonist characters and Fable’s parents!

4 star read! I’d recommend it to fans of sea-faring fantasy novels like All the Stars and Teeth and Seafire, as well as to fans of books with strong female protagonists, like The Cruel Prince and Kingdom of the Wicked.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thanks for reading! Are you planning on reading Fable (and the upcoming sequel, Namesake?) Let me know in the comments below!


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