Updated: Aug 22, 2021
Fable (Fable #1) by Adrienne Young
Publication Date: September 1st, 2020
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
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.
Like many, I fell in love with Adrienne Young’s first book Sky in the Deep. It was so unique and full of everything I could want from a Viking tale that I knew I would pick up whatever she would write. Also, like many, I fell in love with this cover the moment it was released and could not wait to get my hands on it. I haven’t been reading much in terms of young adult anymore but Adrienne Young is one author of that genre that I will continue to read.
Fable itself was a very fast-paced read where the story just kept going and didn’t stop. While I did feel it was simply written, it worked well and I think I just notice that more in terms of comparing to other genres.
Something Young was able to get across effectively in her writing was the feeling of being in the water. Being under water, swimming, dealing with sailing in tumultuous situations, etc., she could really make you understand how it felt as you read each of those scenes. I also loved how magic played into the story. It just felt so… natural. It didn’t feel forced or like an after thought or that it didn’t fit in to the world. Everything was included with intent but also felt effortless and that is a sign of a great writer.
Fable as a character was also so great to read. She was dealt a hard hand having been abandoned and her sole purpose in life was to get back to her father and that driving force kept her alive and going. I’ve yet to fully pinpoint her age definitively but all of the characters from her group could read as early 20s (which is something I tend to look for when reading young adult). In addition to Fable, we have her group of sailors who have many secrets of their own and the family that they created between all of them is perfect. You can tell they all of history and a code they live by before Young even had to tell the reader anything specific. The character who Fable ultimately sparks a relationship with actually managed to catch me off guard and I will leave it there because it was kind of a treat to be surprised when I probably shouldn’t have been but I think not really knowing ages threw me off.
There were many levels of conflict throughout Fable as well which was great to see. There wasn’t just one ‘big bad’ that need to be defeated. There are liars, thieves, murderers, unsavory types, shady dealers, and every member of a ship’s crew is flawed. There’s no really good or bad in this world, just the lesser of two evils and surviving. I’m excited to read the sequel and figure out what’s going to happen after that cliffhanger ending!