Book Reviews

Fable by Adrienne Young: ARC Book Review

This is a spoiler-free review.

Fable by Adrienne Young

Published September 1st, 2020 by Wednesday Books.

My rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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.

Thank you to the publisher, Wednesday Books/St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC of this book. All thoughts are my own.

“It was a world poised on the tip of a knife.”

Fable lives by five simple rules her father, the infamous pirate captain, Saint told her before abandoning her on Jeval, an island on the edge of the world inhabited by thieving mercenaries. The five rules are:

  1. Keep your knife where you can reach it.
  2. Never, ever owe anyone anything.
  3. Nothing is free.
  4. Always construct a lie from a truth.
  5. Never, under any circumstances, reveal what or who matters to you.

Following these rules is what helped to keep Fable alive. But when she escapes Jeval with the crew of the Marigold, a small rag-tag group of traders, in search of her father (who has promised to give her what’s owed to her if she can return to him), she finds her world-view may need some adjusting. And going against Saint’s rules – the ones which dutifully kept her alive for so long – might be exactly what she needs to do to survive.

This book was amazing! What an exciting read!

It’s been a while since I sped through a novel the way I sped through Fable. But I couldn’t help myself. The book was just so good; I couldn’t dare put it down. The world-building! The characters! The romance! THAT CLIFFHANGER ENDING! Everything about it was over-the-top incredible. I adored every single second of reading this story, and I cannot wait to get my hands on its sequel, Namesake, to see what happens next.

The world Adrienne Young creates in Fable is breathtakingly beautiful and bracingly cut-throat. So much lore is captured within its pages. I sincerely hope we get to explore even more of it in the upcoming sequel.

Fable, for her part, is a spit-fire protagonist and a refreshingly strong-willed lead, who knows what she wants and how to procure it. I loved her! The crew of the Marigold easily grow on you, and perfectly fulfill the found family vibes that feel quintessential for a story set in this sort of environment. I sincerely look forward to learning more about each crew members’ histories and the secrets they hold close to their hearts.

“We weren’t supposed to owe anyone anything, but that was just a lie we told to make ourselves feel safe. Really, we’d never been safe.”

If you’re looking for your next great YA read, filled with adventure, intrigue and a whole lot of heart, I can’t recommend Fable highly enough.

What books are you excited to see released soon?

Let me know!

Liza is a twenty-something book blogger who spends way too much time with her nose in books and feels way too much. She loves cooking, baking, reality tv show watching and, of course, reading. She can be found most often with a cup of tea in one hand and a book in the other. Her blog, Literary Liza, features bookish content like reviews, recommendations, and author interviews.


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