Dark fantasy and books about the sea absolutely call to me.
I want them all. This was my first time reading an Adrienne Young book and I liked it! It had the right amount of description and action; heart-punching phrases contrasted with taut action scenes. It really was easy to read too. And it was quite dark. It’s set in this brittle, cruel world of ships and traders, knives and murder, and softness is not only unforgivable — it’ll get you killed. Fable is the kind of character thrown into situations where she should drown, but she just refuses to give up.
Though I swear she ate like two meals the whole book and this child is stressing me out. 🤨🙌🏻 Every time she went diving I was just accidentally holding my breath. So all the points to this book for making me realise my lungs are like little deflated grapes.
note: I read an eARC from Netgalley so I edited the cover in for the photo!
Fable is a dredger, skilled at diving for gems and staying underwater for ages. After her cold father dumps her on the most ruthless and cruel island ever to fight and work her way off, to prove to him she can survive this world, Fable does just that. She also gets tangled up with the crew of the Marigold so the book leans into found-family. It’s not technically about pirates, but definitely has that vibe to it. Lots of ship terminology and sailing. Bit o’ diving. I think the thing I was most surprised about is there’s no grand finale. I’m guessing the story will read like ONE just stretched over two books, but the petering out ending confused me. The ruthless beginning was my favourite.
It was a world poised on the tip of a knife.
The world is really harsh, so all the characters are too. I did end up liking the crew of the Marigold! They’re a bunch of orphans and waifs, teens who are harsh as the sea but loyal as anything to each other. I just…wanted to get to know them better? Was hoping for like Dregs (from Six of Crows) sort of dynamics, but only Will and West get many speaking lines. Fable herself is admirable with surviving the hard world, but she’s not very dynamic and I couldn’t describe her personality. Definitely keen to see what book 2 brings!!
You weren’t made for this world, Fable.
Overall it’s a fantasy of cruelty and loyalty, of survival against a world that wants nothing more than to drag you under.
It felt like a rallying cheer to the underdogs, and definitely suits anyone looking for a sea-themed adventure where love is a terrible risk.
“I’m on the Marigold to crew.”
“No, you’re not.” She sighed, getting to her feet. “You’re on the Marigold to find a family.”
Thanks Wednesday Books on Netgalley for the eARC! Fable by Adrienne Young comes out Sept 1, 2020.
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.
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.
do you like harsh settings and underdog characters?? tell me your faves and what you think of this one? 👀