Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book
Rate this book
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.

A newer edition of ISBN 9781250254368 can be found here.

357 pages, Hardcover

First published September 1, 2020

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Adrienne Young

15 books9,892 followers
Adrienne Young is the New York Times and international bestselling author of the Sky and Sea duology, the Fable series, and Spells for Forgetting. When she’s not writing, you can find Adrienne on her yoga mat, on a walk in the woods, or planning her next travel adventure. She lives and writes in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

For information on release, appearances, ARCs, giveaways, and exclusive content, sign up for the newsletter at https://adrienneyoungbooks.com/

Instagram: @adrienneyoungbooks

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
25,866 (33%)
4 stars
32,782 (42%)
3 stars
14,734 (19%)
2 stars
2,647 (3%)
1 star
549 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 11,385 reviews
Profile Image for Maryam Rz..
220 reviews2,650 followers
August 7, 2022
No, I wasn’t reading on bed for a day.

I was sailing the grim, deadly Narrows on the mainmast of a shadow ship, a spyglass sharpening my gaze; I was dredging the bottom of the deep blue sea, silence and chaos my companions.

Such is the way of a book so atmospheric.

Isolde was the wind and sea and sky of Saint’s world. She was the pattern of stars that he navigated by, the sum of all directions on his compass. And he was lost without her.

Fable is not a fast paced, fun tale of adventure in line with Pirates of the Caribbean; this fable is grim, and dangerous, and slowly immersive—you might say it’s more in line with the show Black Sails if you’re really looking for a comparison, albeit ill-fitting. This is a book that takes you beneath the sea and into the unknown cold and lets you watch the shadows of all the pain and longing, and makes you secretly hope. I tried my best to capture the vibe of the book in my book playlist, you can listen to that as a side aid ➾ Spotify URL

Credit: Jemlin

To put it best, Adrienne Young has spun a yarn of yearning, made from threads of survival, family, and the meaning of home; of longing for something that seems both the cure and the ultimate, inevitable curse. A yarn where the core is love; love of an abandoned daughter for a distant father and a haunted father for his precious daughter; love of a terrified boy for a fiery girl and a lost girl for a cold boy; and the love of a tortured brother for his little sister and a trapped sister for her looming brother. It is a fable of doomed love that creeps up on your stoic, lonely soul, and the efforts to conceal its warmth in the darkest corners of the treacherous sea.

Because in a world where a father would leave his fourteen year old daughter on an island of backstabbing survivours at fourteen to fend for herself and cross thieves and seas to find her way back to him and prove she has it in her to live and thrive in the ruthless ocean with its greedy guilds of merchants and two faced pirates, in a world where caring is equivalent to giving others power over you, there are only five rules to keep tucked in your heart:

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

These rules make up the very essence of what kind of a tale or world this book goes through, what consequences there are for every action. And with Young’s careful writing, they are so vitally woven into each line of every page that I’m going to have to use them for discussing different aspects of the book:

Tragedy & Brutality
↳ Rule One: Keep your knife where you can reach it.

It wasn’t uncommon for women to crew ships, but they were definitely outnumbered. And the softer you looked, the more likely you were to become prey.

The world of Fable is a ruthless one, as divided by privilege as it is by your ability to cut a throat. Surviving has its own strategies, and you either figure them out and cut yourself a place on the seas, or you’re carrion. This is a lesson every character we meet has had to learn one way or another—that there is a certain amount of darkness it takes to live the life of a trader in the Narrows. And Fay, our main character, was forced to confront this at fourteen when her father, Saint, abandoned her on an island of cutthroat dredgers. And as she attempts to reclaim her own place on the waters four years later, she learns the truth of this life of bloody business firsthand.

“You want something in this life?” She came to stand over me. “You take it, Fable.”

Young paints the hard, grim life of Fable and all the characters with a deft flourish and shows its violence and unfairness not only through every challenge our main cast face but also the choices they make, the violence they themselves carry out for revenge or justice. You always hear there are worse things in life than death, and in Fable you’ll get a quiet but heavy lesson on the truth of life on a ship in the Narrows. You’ll learn sailors have their own evident nightmares that don’t hold a candle to the darker pieces of their lives—you’ll learn there are worse things than a shipwrecking storm.

Plot & Adventure
↳ Rule Two: Never, ever owe anyone anything.

This is not a book one should pick up looking for a fast paced, plot driven extravaganza, because the shining jewel and the centre of gravity to Fable is its savouring of the sea and the cold life of its people, cold as the sea they travel. Of course, that doesn’t mean there is no adventure to be found here, it just means the adventure is slow and silent and dangerous as swimming deep beneath the surface, sometimes exploring and sometimes frantic, and always immersed head to toe in painful, peaceful water and shadows.

Like a weary bird flying out over the most desolate sea, I finally had a place to land.

As a story of seeking your place with your distant powerful father, a near-king to merchants in the Narrows, who abandoned you, all while wondering if you even belong, Fable takes us on an unwelcoming trading ship that is more than it seems and through ports where there is no currency more valuable than information. And her tale of fighting to earn a home is woven with a hushed, grim tone brimming with secrets rather than a loud and joyful one, and it conveys the message the better for it.

Writing & Atmosphere
↳ Rule Three: Nothing is free.

One way or another, you always paid.

Undeniably the most exceptional facet of Fable is the author’s immersive storytelling—it reaches through the pages and grabs your collar with steady, reaching hands, and it pulls; it pulls and pulls and no matter how hard you seek a handhold, no matter if you find one and clasp your bed, your chair, your life, you will fall and fall and fall into the churning waters of a Fable that is not where you were but oh is it where you crave to be.

I imagine this is what falling in love must feel like.

It was unnerving to see the sea asleep when I’d seen how bloodthirsty she could be.

From the nuances of fishing or sailing or listening to the tale of the sea and storm as you venture deep inside them, Young uses every detail in her arsenal to capture the true nature of the elements used in her book. But she doesn’t dump paragraphs of detail on you, she shows you how it’s done and what lives the characters lead by simply having you experience their adventures and choices. It’s this ability to apply the information instead of explaining it, to use the themes she wants to explore as the backbone of the structure she’s building, that made me feel what it is to live this life. Made me feel that there are no favours in this world, and every bit you get is what you earn if you don’t want to find yourself overboard.

Credit: Catherine Crowley

The best way to describe Young’s subtly beautiful and quickly flowing writing is comparing it to sailing. To steal and tinker with Fable’s own words: the rhythm of crewing a ship is like a melody of pushes and pulls, of steadily unsteady ups and downs, of waves in water and waves in hands, and it’s a melody I’ve never known and yet one I shall hum to myself for the rest of eternity—and this I owe to Young. Because not only does she write the rhythm well, her writing is the rhythm. It is constructed of the rhythm’s highs and lows; it carries the rhythm in each word and every syllable. And it is her crime in making me fish and sail and swim between the pages of this book that will keep me forever dreaming of being a dredger diving down to the darkest depths of the drowning deep.

Secrets & Lies
↳ Rule Four: Always construct a lie from a truth.

Anything given freely was probably a lie.

Listen well and listen close, because here is the cutting reality of a trader’s life: it is “a constant game of strategy,” a “never-ending maneuvering to get ahead” and an “insatiable hunger to want more. More coin. More ships. More crews.” Because “in the Narrows, nothing was what it seemed. Every truth was twisted. Every lie carefully constructed.” Yes, I just used a bunch of quotes to explain what I couldn’t word better, because no one can show the duplicity and slipperiness of this life, the inability to truly trust anything in it, better and more finely than Young herself.

“You’re a good liar. Anyone ever tell you that?”
My eyes slid to meet his. Koy had said the same thing right before he tried to kill me.

These characters lie to live because to tell the truth is to lay yourself down, vulnerable for all to walk over. To tell the truth is to yield your hand where truth is the unofficial currency traders dwell in. So what you do is break it into pieces and hand each broken piece to one person to hold, unbeknownst to all else. It’s what a helmsman would do, and it’s what West does. And that is why there is an ocean of lies dragging behind the very ship Fable has paid and begged her way onto. But how far can you go before the wolves catch you? This is the story this book tells, and the rule it abides by.

Characters & Relationships
↳ Rule Five: Never, under any circumstances, reveal what or who matters to you.

Ships and oceans, gems and traders, they are all secondary to the characters and, most importantly, the relationships in Fable, because the weight and meaning of loyalty and love, home and family, in a world as vicious as this is the true essence of this tale.

No matter where I went, I’d never get home. Because home was a ship that was at the bottom of the sea, where my mother’s bones lay sleeping.

Fable: Our protagonist is a wild and unyielding tempest, a brutal girl unconcerned with looks or riches and more concerned with staying alive, swallowing the sea, and most importantly, finding a place to belong. She is lost and unmoored, wandering since the night her life changed, ripped apart so thoroughly when even her father abandoned her in his cursed attempt to save her from himself and his deadly life. That is a father who shaped her despite not being by her side. Because the world he left Fable in, and the rules and expectations of this man whose shadow always loomed over her, are why she became the selfish bastard that she is, enough of a cutthroat businesswoman to use what and who she has to to survive without showing weakness—really, her pride would not even let her.

During this book, we watch as her search for a place in this world is thrown into uncertainty by the question of whether she can even fit inside it. The doubt is as realistic as the reveal of the mettle she was made of as she sinks into the power and danger of the ways of the Narrows and finds a crew she realises she wants as family. You can feel the restlessness in her, see how her world centres around that desperate need for a home that has her flying past any chance of it, until she understands that no home or place is handed to anyone, and she has to play her cards right to carve a place for herself. Her pain and reaching hands were both a familiar song I wanted to escape and an exceptional depth I could not get enough of.

“Nothing comes free, Fable. We both know that surviving means sometimes doing things that haunt you.”

West: Meanwhile our love interest and helmsman is a haunted, guarded young man of few words, impatient and stubborn and coldheartedly dangerous. All intensity and hard edges, uncontrollable yet made of coolly controlled rage. He is only ever pieces, shadows hiding the details, the secrets, his dark side locked behind doors of iron will—a side that, while hidden, always bleeds through somehow. And beneath it all, beneath the shadows and the quiet cold, West is obsessively and possessively protective, his admiration for the demanding boss who saved his life so strong he became a killer and his caring for those he loves so severe it cuts through soaked in desperation and fear. He will carry you on his back, crossing lines to protect what he holds dear, but also to conceal what it is he cares for.

“Don’t.” I shook my head. “The moment you tell me anything, you’re going to be afraid of me.”
“I’m already afraid of you.”

The Romance: This is, to me, perhaps the most surprising part, unexpectedly laying waste to my heart as the line they draw in the sand to stay distant is wiped clean with their growing trust, as he bares himself to her after only allowing her broken pieces of himself, as he softens for her despite being all sharp edges. I think this is less a romance about falling in love and more one of coming to understand the love that had formed between them and futilely attempting to guard against it but failing miserably. Their efforts feel too late, their surrender inevitable in the best way possible. It’s a love that rings desperate, so pent up and intense, so hidden but revealing itself slowly and pleadingly.

Because you see, they live the life of the sea, and there are only two things strictly forbidden and deemed deadly on a ship: love and drunkenness. And when your ship is your life and your life is that of a pirate with enemies watching you for any weakness to exploit, you don’t have the luxury of love. To love is to jump off a cliff and hope you hit water rather than land, knowing even the water will likely drown you. And the characters’ understanding and fear of this is what makes their love all the more decadent.

If we were going to do this, I would have to be his safe harbor and he would have to be mine.

The Crew: This is a crew of youngsters and outcasts, daring to hope, working together to survive against all the odds. I fell in love with the way Young captured their deep understanding, camraderie, and sense of family in a world where everyone is competition to doubt. They each know their places and work in perfect tandem with one another, our MC fitting naturally with them despite not being welcomed. The team spirit in their found family is palpable and vividly experienced. I specifically loved Austers cool support and Pajs bitter, hilarious energy. And oh, Willa, this ferocious, caustic creature tied between love and freedom. Her bloodthirsty delight, her heart wrenching lack of choice in the way of her life, and her longing to be free of it and that love at last made her so thoroughly stand out.

Saint: And last but not least, rarely seen but forever felt, is Fable’s father. It astounds me how fleshed out he is despite his little page time, how constantly his charisma bleeds through every page despite being almost a ghost, and how his drive and motivations are felt despite him mostly being a shadow over our characters’ lives. Saint is a stoic, lonely, hungry fortress of a pirate so in need of control and power he will cut the knees out from everyone so he’d stand taller, and what makes him so complex is his ruthless fairness that earns him love while his guarded heart pushes it all away, never so intensely as with his daughter. Which brings me to...

The Father-Daughter Bond: One might say there is no such bond here, and their dynamic is one of complex push and pull, denying and hiding their love for their fear and not knowing how to show it even if they wanted to, only causing each other pain from a distance. And while I wouldn’t wholly disagree, I’d say that beneath the hurt, beneath the struggle, he is still the dad who believes in her and does everything he does bc he thinks it’ll protect her, and she is still the daughter who proudly follows in his steps and just wants to be by his side. They might keep each other away and feel as if they’ve lost and have to guard against one another, but they still both evidently care and hate that they do.

The only safety that existed was in being completely alone.

In the end, if there was one thing this book had to say, it’d be that people are a whole being onto themselves, out of our control no matter what we do, and to care is to hand over your control, hand over reins with power over you, to those you care for and to all who would use them against you. And in this world, that is something to fear. For West or Saint, people carved from stone with an iron grip, that is the ultimate fear.

My deepest thanks to my superhero for providing me with an eARC through Edelweiss.


Book series playlist: Spotify URL

Books in series:
Saint (Fable, #0) ✰✰✰✰✰
➳ Fable (Fable, #1) ★★★★★
Namesake (Fable, #2) ★★★★★
The Last Legacy ✰✰✰✰✰
Profile Image for jessica.
2,534 reviews32.5k followers
July 7, 2020
AY took a fascination i had with pirates and turned it into a full-blown obsession. this story is EVERYTHING i need to feel like im living a stolen life on the open seas with the salty wind in my hair and a map in my hand.

this book holds masterfully built worlds and perfectly crafted characters. there is such a great balance between who the story is about and the places they navigate. i was constantly enamoured by each character and their motivations, as well as where each scene was set. i just really cant get over how great this kind of storytelling is.

its the kind of storytelling that made me panic when i realised i only had a couple of chapters left because i didnt want it to end. so praise the book gods that theres a sequel coming!

a huge, heart-felt thanks to st. martins press/wednesday books for the ARC! <3

4.5 stars
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,464 reviews9,619 followers
October 1, 2020
September FairyLoot. I don’t like the book over as much as original so now I have to buy that one! Click on the link after the pic to see the goodies. Not too happy with the stuff either but it’s ok, it’s a hit or miss sometimes



This cover is so freaking beautiful!!

That bastard was leaving me again.

That first sentence had me! Although, this being an uncorrected copy, that line might change.

Fable is one of my new spirit animals!! I love her so much! She went through a lot in her young life and she’s just trying to find her way. A few years ago, her father left her on this horrible island to fend for herself. There were other people there but it was a pretty bad place.

At one point she leaves the island to look for her father. She makes a bargain with West, to ride out on his ship. Well, basically she has to but I can’t tell you why.

I fell right in love with each member of the Marigold crew! This journey was not the best or safest journey and there were a few rough things that happen.

And just when you think something good might happen, some twat messes it up!! That being said, there is a major cliffhanger, which is fine.

I can’t wait to add this hardback to my collection! A beautiful, thrilling, evil, loving, sexy book!

*Thank you to Netgalley and Wednesday Books for a digital copy of this book for review.

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

BLOG: https://melissa413readsalot.blogspot....

Profile Image for Vibur (hiatus).
42 reviews230 followers
January 29, 2022
Well, I felt a whole lot of nothing.

First off, there's not… a lot happening to keep the plot afloat. Suuure, the protagonist sails to places, but that's. it. Hell, aside from all the sailing shenanigans, there's about buggerall going on.
"Butit'saboutagirlsearchingforherfather!"—again, the stupidly sentimental side of me tries to pipe up that argument. Huh. You're telling me all that tired mishmash of angst is meant to... mean something to me?
Alright, I'll get straight to it. The plot's nothing more than a protracted character's "arc" set against the high seas, which wouldn't be a problem in itself, if not for the characters (at least the setting sails sells).

The characters are too thin to convince. Though, I guess the problem is less the protagonist, and more the others. Oh, the characters are different enough from each other to sort-of fit together and function-ish, but that's about it. I mean, there's potential for them to be more, to be real-er, but the pity is, there's nothing more to be realised than thin snatches of personality here and there.
Now, what's Fable all about? It's about bargains and debts, about gaining and losing riches and something more precious than that—relationships. It's about how people grow together and apart—and I'd have loved it for that, if that's what it'd showed. The how, that is.
I mean... how? Howinthesevenseas did this person end up giving (or not giving) a single shit about another person, I cannot, for the life of me, fathom (cough, Saint, cough). The thing is, the characters are thin, and the relationships are thinner. There's no depth to them, nope, nada.

What's the point of all this? Is it the setting? I guess the seas are a big place, but all the same, that'd be a stupid amount of pagetime... Is it the plot? That's possible, if there'd been more happening—and if there'd been some sort of climactic payoff. Is it the character's "arc"? Well, I was apathetic to all that, whoops.
(But, uh, the writing's good?)


note: arc generously provided by adrienne young and the publisher, wednesday books, for an honest review.
August 30, 2020

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

DNF @ p.56

Practically all of my friends were singing this book's praises, so I was so happy when I was given an ARC of my own. But then as soon as I cracked open the book, I got a sinking feeling. I even put off reading the book and writing my review, despite my early copy, because contrary to popular belief, it doesn't really feel that great to be the only prominent one-star for a book that everyone loves. Not just on a guilty, personal level, but because people tend to come for you, and demand that you explain yourself further.

Which brings me to two crucial points:

1) I do not "down-rate" books simply because it's popular to go against the grain. I am always honest. If I like a book, I rate accordingly and say why. If I hate a book, I rate accordingly and say why. If I truly feel that I am so biased towards an author that I am unwilling to rate and review their books fairly, I will not touch their books at all. I find it incredibly presumptuous and, frankly, insulting, that people imply I'm such a whore for votes that I would lie about my thoughts.

2) I rate my DNF books because I usually know within the first 10-20 pages what rating I'm going to give a book, and I think if a book is so bad for a reviewer that they're unable to finish it, they should be able to rate it accordingly. I'm not here to pay fan service to authors. I'm here, as a reviewer, to read books and write honest reviews for them. Life is short, and this whole "you must read the book to the end or you're a trash person" philosophy some of you have is not only ridiculous, it's a waste of time. Why force yourself to finish things you're not enjoying? You're wasting precious hours you could be spending on better books.

/rant over

Anyway, FABLE fell short for me for several reasons. The biggest, and most unforgivable, reason is that it's boring. Nothing about the world or the characters drew me in. I looked at some of the negative reviews for this book before posting mine to see if it got better, or if it was worth continuing, and none of them seemed to think so. In fact, I agreed with all of their opinions, and the ones who pressed on seemed to regret it. I went into FABLE expecting a girl power story of rising against the patriarchy, but it's just another basic fantasy story with minimal world-building about a girl we're all supposed to believe as special without any sorts of complexities to actually build that cred.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review! 

1 star
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews155k followers
March 10, 2021
Fable has spent the last four years of her life trying to get off of the horrible trap on an island she was stranded on.

Stranded by her own father.

She's weathered storms, thieves and starvation until she finally saved up enough for passage off of the island.

But then, just when she feels like she can finally take a breath, the real adventure starts.

I know...don't judge a book by the cover but have you all SEEN THIS GORGEOUSNESS????

First time in a long time that I didn't even read the description. I just bought it. And wow. I'm glad I did.

I loved the world that Adrienne created - so wonderfully fleshed out and perfectly visualized. I loved the little bits of imagery she wove in and out along with the sprinkling of magic.

Fable was such a neat main character and I loved watching the world through her eyes. She had such an unique outlook and life.

And the plot! Oh! It was fabulous. So many layers and exciting events.

Definitely a book I'd recommend!!

YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads
Profile Image for Bhavya .
476 reviews873 followers
January 3, 2022
"I’d crossed the Narrows for a man who’d probably never even loved me. For a dream that would never come true."

~ Rating- 3 stars ~

Content/ Trigger warnings- Blood, Child abandonment, Death (parental, off-page), Drowning, Emesis, Grief, Murder, Mutilation, Biting Lip (to the point blood is drawn several times)

-Mention of some of these in the review-

Fable by Adrienne Young, is a Young Adult novel with a unique setting.
Unlike most YA books that I've read before, which are set in a Palace or a war zone, this one is set on a ship. Unfortunately, that's where my praise ends, because besides the different setting, there was nothing else about it that I liked.

First of all, I had a very hard time taking this book seriously. Every time these words showed up, I thought of the following things:



The Lark

"A lark! A spree! It's very clear to see that-"

And The Marigold

Yes, I was picturing a biscuit when it was a ship.

The other major issue I had with Fable was that it made me bored. Reading this book felt like a task, like a job I had to complete, and I read for entertainment and escapism, so when that happens it's never a good sign.

The plot

"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 is the daughter of one of the most powerful men in the Narrows. Four years ago, her mother had died in a storm and her father left her to fend for herself. Fable must do everything she can to survive, and she follows the rules her father had told her:

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

Fable aims at finding her father again, to demand a rightful place at his crew.

“Nothing comes free, Fable. We both know that surviving means sometimes doing things that haunt you.”

The plot of the book was mediocre. The setting was the only thing that made it interesting, but each time I picked the book I expected something better. I expected something more.

I had gone into this book blind, but considering all the hype it has, I had thought I would be mind-blown. I thought it would leave me astonished and make me flip pages and keep me at the edge of my seat. But that didn't happen.

I would say Fable doesn't have a bad plot, but it had a lot more potential that I felt it failed to deliver.

There were a few 'big reveals', but even those moments didn't impact me the way I thought it would. I didn't feel a punch in my gut, and my heart never pounded while reading Fable the way I wanted it to.

In simple words, Fable didn't have me invested at all. It took me 21 chapters to even feel mildly interested in what was happening. It's not that there is nothing happening, as that's not the case, but it was more like I don't care about what's happening. I don't care about Fable and what happens to her. Why? Because the way it was written, I just knew that nothing too bad could happen to these characters.

It's like there is a certain limit till which the characters may be affected, but that's all. I felt the stakes were just never high enough. I can see why this book is so well loved, but I sadly didn't click with it. And that's the plot.

The word building

As I mentioned earlier, the world was the only redeeming quality of this book. I felt it was well-developed, and it was something new to the typical YA stories.

"It wasn’t uncommon for women to crew ships, but they were definitely outnumbered. And the softer you looked, the more likely you were to become prey."

I liked the way it was realistic, and at no point did I feel this world was fictional. If someone told me these places existed I would believe them, and I think that is excellent world building on the author's part.

The writing

I didn't like the writing of this book. This was my first by Adrienne Young, but I think I will still give her another chance.

The main reason I didn't like the writing as I found it to be overly descriptive . Not the whimsical kind of way I've seen with Sabaa Tahir's books, but more in a extra descriptive way.

“I took the cracked abalone shell from my net and dropped it into my shirt before I stood, filling my lungs with air. As soon as the water rose with the crash of a wave, I jumped from the ridge into the sea. It was growing darker with every minute, but I took hold of the rope and followed it down into the shadows of the kelp forest, where the towering, ribbonlike strands reached up from the seafloor in thick, wavering threads. From below, their leaves looked like a golden rooftop, casting the water green.”

I'm someone who personally doesn't care for 'pretty prose' so when each and every action is described in such vivid detail I was bored. (I have underlined the portions I felt could have been made shorter) If you like this kind of writing, this might be the book for you.

The second reason I didn't like the writing was the constant word repetition. I have made a complete list in page one of my comments. Here's some for now-


“Speck gave me a pleading smile.”

“Another smile broke on his face before he ducked his head and shrugged.”

“He gave me a tilted smile as I climbed onto the dock.”

“I smiled back at him.”

“and I smiled...”

“A smile pulled at my lips.”

"She said the words through a bitter smile.”

“... a brilliant smile stretching across his face.”"

“I’d only ever seen [spoiler] smile once...”

“He set his chin on top of her head and smiled.”

"A smile spread across my lips, a small laugh escaping my chest

“I was so surprised to see a smile pulling at his mouth.”

“I smiled to myself"

“resisting the smile that was tugging at my mouth.”

“A wicked smile curled on his lips as he waited.”

“... smiling up at me knowingly.”

“She smiled.”

“He looked at me, his smile spreading wider.”

“I smiled.”

"I smiled, looking around me to the vast emptiness."

"she smiled to herself, shaking her head"

'I took it, smiling at the rare kindness."

"Auster gave me one of his easy smiles."

“a smile pulling at my lips.”

"a wide smile erupted on her face.

"I pressed my lips together to keep from smiling"

"She smiled"

“I tried to smile, but it was weak.”

“She smiled sadly.”

“A smile pulled at Willa’s mouth.”

"but the wicked smile on her lips"

"I smiled"

"A mischievous smile was playing at his lips."

"He smiled"

"A crooked smile twisted on his lips"

"Auster whispered, his smile spreading wider."

"that rare smile reaching up one side of his face"

"The same smile pulled at his lips"

"I smiled"

"I gave him a smile"

"He smiled."

"I answered, smiling to myself."

'I smiled beneath my scarf"

"But his smile turned sad."

"a knowing smile spread on Auster’s face"

"still smiling beneath it"

"He smiled"

"I smiled, climbing up until I was over the rail and my feet hit the hot deck."

Now, I will admit that I am the kind of reader who is very nitpicky about such things, but I feel this was too much here. 'Smile' was only one word, but I saw this with so many more words; namely 'grin', 'laugh', 'biting lip', 'clench', 'nod', 'smirk' and many more I missed. (Check full list in comments) Had this been a debut novel, I would have cut it some slack but it's not so I am pointing it out.

The characters

I felt most of these characters didn't really have much of a personality. This was a crew, and it gave me strong pirate vibes but there was hardly any bonding between the characters. Most of them faded into the background.

Fable is our main character, and once I looked passed the name 'Fable' (at least it's better than America Singer ), I realized she's a well written character.

Fable is strong, determined but still an emotional person. We constantly see her 'biting her lip' and 'hot tears prickle her eyes' for the entirety of the book, but otherwise I liked Fable a bit.

“You weren't made for this world, Fable.”

She gave me some 'not like other girls' vibes, but I think her character has a bit more depth than this stereotype. Telling this book from her POV was a good choice.

“Home was a ship that was at the bottom of the sea, where my mother's bones lay sleeping.”

Saint, is Fable's father. (not a spoiler, revealed in early chapters) He was another character I felt was developed properly.

“Nothing is free.
He wasn’t just talking about food or passage or the clothes on your back. He was talking about respect. Safety. Protection. They were things no one owed you.
And one way or another, you always paid.”

I liked his backstory and the way he loved his daughter and wife, in his own twisted way.

West is the character who is supposed to be the 'love interest'. The only trait I spotted in him was the constant 'clenching of his jaw/fist/teeth'. He gets angry a lot of times, and I guess he is smart but that's all there is to West.

I really felt his character could have been much more, but we didn't get to see that. I would have liked him to be better developed.

The romance

Is it really a YA book is there's no romance?

The romance here was just unnecessary. It could have been done without, and nothing would have changed. I would have preferred it to be a slow-burn, or it could have been better fleshed out. It's also slightly insta-lovey so that's another reason I didn't like it.

Why did I rate this book 3 stars?

Despite the many flaws of this book, I didn't hate it as much to give it a lower rating. 3 stars is an average book for me, and I think Fable fit just that. I will still be reading the sequel, Namesake.

Final thoughts

If you are looking for a YA book that has an almost non-existent plot line, but a great MC and some amazing world building, then this is the book for you. If not, I'd say give it a pass.

Buddy read with Sarah. Thank you for buddy reading it with me!

“Like light cast over the morning water, it became new. Every moment that lay ahead, like an uncharted sea. This was a new beginning.”

Review written in April, 2021.

My ratings and reviews for other books in this series-
Namesake- 3.5 stars

DISCLAIMER- All opinions on books I’ve read and reviewed are my own, and are with no intention to offend anyone. If you feel offended by my reviews, let me know how I can fix it.

How I Rate-
1 star- Hardly liked anything/ was disappointed
2 star- Had potential but did not deliver/ was disappointed
3 stars- Was ok but could have been better/ was average / Enjoyed a lot but something was missing
4 stars- Loved a lot but something was missing
5 stars- Loved it/ new favourite


3 stars or maybe lower

This book was ok. I had higher expectations because of the hype, but it disappointed me. I’m not 100% happy with it, nor am I really invested in anything that much.

It had a unique setting, and the mc was a well developed character, but it felt flat otherwise.

Review to come
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,537 reviews9,793 followers
February 3, 2023
**3.5-stars rounded up**

Four years ago, 17-year old, Fable, was abandoned by her Father on Jeval, a notorious island full of thieves.

For the first time, Fable found herself truly alone, with nobody to care for her. She had recently lost her Mother, as well, during a terrible storm.

Her Father left her with nothing but these parting words: You're not cut out for this life. Those words continue to haunt her.

Fable disagrees with dear old Dad and has spent her time in the proceeding 4-years trying to figure out a way back to him and her rightful place on his crew.

She finally secures her means of escape with a companion she has met through trading, a young man named, West.

West allows Fable to come aboard his ship, the Marigold, for the journey across The Narrows. As we all expect with a sea-faring tale, dangers lurk around every corner and the crew must band together in order to survive.

Fable is definitely a slow burn. It's quite character-driven, but I did enjoy my time learning about Fable, West and the other characters on the Marigold. There's a nice found-family element to it that I liked quite a bit as well.

This reminded me a lot of Daughter of the Pirate King. There's actually more than a few similarities, although I do feel this story feels a bit more mature than that one. I do think if you enjoyed that book, you'll enjoy this one as well.

There are some light magical elements to this that I hope are built out a bit more in the second book. Fable's ability at reading gems is unique and I want to know more.

This left off on such a great cliffhanger; the perfect set-up for Namesake. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys an adventure on the high seas!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Wednesday Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I appreciate it very much!

Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,198 reviews40.7k followers
October 11, 2021
It was a four starred reading but its cover deserves more than five stars! Quite perfect!

I’d like to talk about the heroine at first: I loved Fable! She is favorite kind of heroine: tough, resilient, warrior, loyal, easy to care and resonate!

She was only 14 she was abandoned by her own pirate father, exiled to live in island of Jeval because her mother has drowned aboard the ship and best way to bring out inner warrior of hers is leaving her in the middle of nowhere! He thinks it is the best way for turning Fable into a real warrior who can fend herself. And for 4 years she barely survived but she sharpened her skills at diving for gems and staying under water for a long time. She collected coins for four years to get her passage off for finding her way back to her father. She was ready to prove she improved her survival skills in that ruthless, terrifying island.

Now she enlists the help of young trader named West to get off the island but more she spends her time in ship Marigold, more she connects with the crew: they literally turn into her own family she never truly had. As soon as she realizes her father’s rivalries are bigger threat for her life and West isn’t the person who he seems, only way to survive against the treacherous storm threatens the Narrows is becoming a team.

I liked the crew of Marigold consisted of a group of young and lost teens, orphans , outcasts and Fable is strong, lovable heroine!

I was expecting more exciting, surprising cliffhanger so ending was a little abrupt but I still liked to read the second installment. I loved to read more back stories about crew and learn more anecdotes about life at sea!

Giving my well earned four ship ahoy, crusaders, pirates stars! Looking forward to dive into next book.
Profile Image for Marzuqa.
63 reviews57 followers
January 18, 2021
I’m so glad I judged this book by its cover. It is a beauty inside and out. Absolutely loved every bit of this story!Highly recommend this one to adventure story lovers.
Profile Image for Elle.
587 reviews1,315 followers
June 9, 2021
Now a Goodreads Choice finalist in Young Adult Sci-fi & Fantasy!

This was such a pleasant surprise! Maybe you’re looking at the reviews and the cover and thinking “Oh come on, it’s got a 4.27 star rating and the cover art is gorgeous, how could it not be good??!?” Well hypothetical person I’m responding to, I have been fooled before!! There’s no shortage of YA fantasy books that have striking artwork and a killer synopsis and the best reviews or blurbs, but then you actually begin *reading* said book and it’s just.....meh. The story is either too convoluted or the dialogue is repetitive or the entire plot seems copied and pasted from the last dozen or so fantasy series you started but never finished—it gets tiring!

So I’m happy to report the latest offering from Adrienne Young, author of the Sky in the Deep duology, is an incredible adventure from beginning to end. I’m usually someone who struggles more with starting books than finishing them, but I fell right into Fable from the get-go. The title character, Fable, has been fending for herself for four years after being abandoned by her father without warning. She’s now seventeen and after surviving on Jeval, she’s ready to make her move to leave and seek out the only family she has left. She’s able to narrowly secure passage to the city of Ceros, but the crew Fable finds herself among on that journey end up being different than she’d expected.

What’s most impressive from Young for me was how knowledgeable she seems to be about sailing and shipbuilding. There’s so many references to the mechanics of these huge, now largely obsolete vessels as well as the terminology each crew member’s job, just things I would never even know to ask about. I’m sure she did a lot of research into......something. I don’t know—the history of pirating? See, I wouldn’t even know what to Google!! But if she ended up being raised on a merchant ship herself for her entire childhood I would probably believe it.

Fable has everything you could want in a heroine. She’s clever and skilled, but not infallible. She’s easy to root for and easier to become invested in. Her dynamic with the crew of the Marigold is one of the best things about this book. If you were a fan of the group-heist storyline from Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom, I think you’ll enjoy this. Fable is a much more grounded fantasy than anything out of the Grishaverse, there’s no magic shooting out of people’s hands, but the same kind of camaraderie and not-always-gentle ribbing is present between the characters. And the inevitable plotting the occurs is always fun to follow along with.

And what’s the other best thing about this book? Its sequel is already slotted for an early 2021 release! As of now Namesake is set to be published on March 16, 2021. How will I survive until then with an ending like that?!? 😩😩 I know that’s less than 5 months from now and is a really quick follow-up for a sequel, but I am very impatient!!!!! I can’t wait until I get to read more ☠️ ~* F A B L E *~ ☠️

**For more book talk & reviews, follow me on Instagram at @elle_mentbooks!
Profile Image for Lucie V..
973 reviews1,787 followers
May 24, 2022
The Narrows were the edge of a blade. You couldn’t live here and not get cut.

✅ Gorgeous cover
✅ Pirates/sea adventure
✅ Great main character
✅ Atmosphere
🆗 Romance and love interest
❗️❗️ Cliffhanger
❗️❗️ Trigger warnings: mutilation, murder and child abandonment.

This book is AMAZING. 😍
It’s been a while since I got lost in a book like I did in Fable. It is such a great adventure! Pirates, a strong heroine, and a bit of family drama, what’s not to like?

Fable has spent the last few years abandoned on an island full of thieves and criminals after her father left her there (because she needed to "learn how to survive" apparently) and now that she can finally pay her passage off of the island, she is on a mission to find her father and claim her place by his side. She boards onto The Marigold where she meets a small crew of five young and secretive men and women. After years of barely surviving on her own, she slowly learns to trust again and even to make friends. Plot twist, of course, things are not that easy! Fable needs to prove her worth and find her place in this world of crime and piracy.

There were five rules. Only five.
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.

West (the captain of the Marigold) is mysterious and has some questionable values and moments, but at the same time, he cares deeply for his crew. The rest of the crew is just as mysterious, and it was nice to discover them and their backstories slowly through the book. I would have enjoyed more depth though, we don’t know much about them at the end of the book (I hope we will have more backstories in the next book). Fable is an awesome character. She is strong and determined, and always continues toward her goals no matter how many times she gets pushed down or beaten, yet she is not invincible. She goes through so many emotions in this book, love, longing, despair, and rage to name only a few and I felt every emotion with her.

"I didn't really choose this life. It's just the only one I have."

There is a little bit of romance in this book, but it is subtle at the beginning and it evolves in a sweet and somewhat realistic way considering the characters' situation. There is only the fact that West implies that he had had feelings for her for a while that seems strange since she was a dirty homeless girl for most of the two years that he had known her and they exchanged only a few sentences when they would do business together. He never did or say anything that would let her believe that he cared about her in the slightest, so that "revelation" was surprising.

“I have thought about you every single day since that day. Maybe every hour. I've counted days to go back to the island, and I pushed us into storms I shouldn't have because I didn't want to not be there when you woke up. I didn't want you to wait for me. Ever. Or to think I wasn't coming back." He paused. "I struck the deal with Saint because I wanted the ship, but I kept it because of you. When you got off the Marigold in Ceros and I didn't know if I would ever see you again, I thought . . . I felt like I couldn't breathe.”

The author did a great job when writing the more emotional scenes and she also managed to weave a feeling of tension and underlying fear in every page of this book. Honestly, I just couldn’t put it down. The only reason I did not read it all in one sitting is that I had to get some sleep before I went to work.

"I can’t care about anyone else, Fable."
His meaning filled the small bit of space between us, making me feel like the walls were creeping in. Because I knew why he’d said it. It was in the way his eyes dropped to my mouth sometimes when he looked at me. It was in the way his voice deepened just a little when he said my name. West was taking a different kind of risk by voting me onto his crew, and at this moment, he was letting me see it.
"Tell me you understand."

The world-building is simple so we can focus on the characters and their adventure, but we can still feel the pirate vibe and we definitely need more good pirate fantasy books!

Follow me on Instagram 🙂
Profile Image for Arini.
772 reviews1,615 followers
May 19, 2023

#0.5 Saint — 3.5 Stars (Down)
#1 Fable — 3.5 Stars (Up)

This is such a simple story (maybe because it feels like an introduction, and we haven’t actually gotten to the meat of it yet) that pulls at your heartstrings and encompases a number of relatable YA themes, the most prominent ones being survival, abandonment, and found family. It is also rich in atmosphere and vivid in writing.

There’s nothing like the calm and lulling allure of the sea. The feeling of sands beneath your feet, the wind against your skin, the smell and taste of fresh and salty air, and the sound of crashing waves. I haven’t been to the beach since even before the pandemic. I miss sitting in silence contemplation while gazing into the horizon. This book brought me closer to that place and feeling.


“Home was a ship that was at the bottom of the sea, where my mother’s bones lay sleeping.”

The heroine is a fighter, but she’s also lost. Re-searching for the meaning of home she thinks she’ll find in her estranged father but eventually discovers in someone (or a group of someones) else, she works for everything and doesn’t want to owe anyone anything. You’ll sympathize with her situation, but you’ll be in awe of her tenacity and ruthlessness.

The love interest has a savior complex. He’s one of those quiet, haunted, secretive heroes who takes care of the people under his wings. Meanwhile, the members of his crew are sort of interchangeable. I mean, all of them have their own backstories and they each play a role in the team. However, personality wise, there’s not much else to tell them apart (IMO).

The World and the Plot

“If it hadn’t been my prison, I might even think it was beautiful.”

I like the fact that there’s no magic to fight over, no kings and queens or princes and princesses to form an alliance with, no kingdoms to lay waste, no people to protect, and no rebellions to quell. The world building is limited to just about the harsh live of living on an island and at sea with people mining, trading, selling gemstones and so forth.

It feels different from mainstream YA fantasy books that have complicated magic system but neither well done nor immersive world building. This is like the mundane version of that. Hence, why you might think this book doesn’t have a plot or a purpose—at least not an intense and high stakes one but rather a personal and sentimental one.

This book has a slow build plot. Based on the ending, I’m assuming there’s going to be a BIGGER conflict in the sequel and we might learn more facts and thruths about the heroine’s mother’s death. Also, the writing uses maritime, seafaring, oceangoing, coastal vocabularies. Not intimidatingly so, but you should know in case you aren’t familiar or speak it on the daily.

The Romance

Oh, it’s a heartwrenching one. It creeps up on you. It might even come as a shock to you because the lovebirds don’t interact much, no fun banter and all. In fact, they avoid each other. Come to think of it, the whole entirety of the book is grim and lacks humor. It makes sense though, their love. One of the rules the characters live by to survive this world is,

Never, under any circumstances, reveal what or who matters to you.

They don’t wear their hearts on their sleeves. If you pay attention, the only signal they have feelings for each other is restrained in small gestures or the slight change in their features or postures, for example, the clenching of jaw or fist, the no eye contact, the cold feeling of longing in their hearts, and such. So, it feels abrupt when they suddenly kiss and confess their undying love in the last 1/3 of the book.

“Like a weary bird flying out over the most desolate sea, I finally had a place to land.”

Fable is simply the story of a girl—abandoned, left to fend for herself, and yearning for her father’s love—trying to reclaim her birthright and a group of former street rats emancipating and building a trading business. Together they join forces, go on a voyage, dive for treasures in seabeds, and fight rival dredgers who try to steal from them, hurt their crew, and destroy their ship The Marigold.

Basically it’s like Pirates of the Caribbean but without the monsters and with decent characterization, easy plotline, gorgeous but cutthroat world, tragic father-daughter bond but warm comradeship, and a slightly forced in romance that my romantic heart couldn’t say no to regardless and lowkey reminds me of Kaz-Inej. I think you’re either going to find this book bland or adore it for how feminist-ish and atmospheric it is.

(Read as an Audiobook)
Profile Image for Madita.
522 reviews18.9k followers
March 21, 2023
3.5 stars

This book was a lot of fun but I still think that the romance was a bit too quick for me. The chemistry wasn’t where I wanted it to be especially after the plot twist and the secret reveals.
The overall world is nice but I’m still a bit confused about some of the plot lines
Profile Image for Charlotte May.
696 reviews1,073 followers
May 4, 2021
This was great! I need book 2 but my library doesn’t have it yet 😭

Just good swashbuckling fun!

Fable has been fending for herself for the past 4 years since her father dropped her off and left.

She has learnt not to trust anyone and never to owe anything. Her goal? To make enough coin to go to her father and demand he give he what he promised - a place on his crew.

When her plans go awry and she needs to make a quick escape she winds up on the Marigold, a ship with many secrets.

I enjoyed Fable’s adventures, the romance was predictable but not insufferable, I’m looking forward to book 2.


Library copy available for pick up

The vain person in me is sad we don’t have the pretty US cover. But I am still so excited to read this!!
Profile Image for Mischenko.
1,014 reviews97 followers
May 14, 2021
As a young teen, Fable is quickly rescued from a sinking ship that she once sailed on with her mother and father. After learning that her mother didn't escape, her father drops her off on the island of Jeval and tells her that this how it has to be.

“You weren’t made for this world, Fable. You want to prove me wrong? Get yourself off this island."

He abandons her on the island and expects her to figure out how to survive and essentially get back to him. Life isn’t easy for Fable. After losing her family ship, the Lark, her mother, and now her father, she must work extremely hard to earn a living and save enough coppers to find safe passage to Ceros where her father is. Luckily, she remembers some of the skills her mother taught her. Four years later, after barely surviving, Fable is prepared to make her way back to her father and to get off the island of Jeval once and for all. The thing is: he’s a dangerous trader lord, she has no idea what to expect, and no one can know they’re related. Will he be willing to accept her as a dredger on his ships, or will Fable once again be forced to obtain a life of her own?

Adrienne Young is a new author for me. After seeing this duology floating around the blogosphere, I had to give it a try. The stunning book covers pulled me in! I’ve only read Fable, but I knew after reading it that I'd want to revisit it in the future. It was that good! Even after getting copies to read from my library, I went ahead and purchased both over the weekend.

Now I’m sitting here trying to figure out how I’m going to write a review for this book that I absolutely loved so much, without spoiling it.

What did I love most about this story?

-It’s extremely atmospheric. The writing is so descriptive; I felt like I was right there in this seafaring world that Adrienne Young created. I haven’t read many books about pirates or books that have this type of setting, but the author made this work perfectly for me.

-The characters are amazing! Fable isn’t perfect. She scarred, but she’s also courageous, strong, and persevering. Some of the risks she takes in the story just made me gasp. I was rooting for her throughout the entire book. Other characters like Saint and West are more mysterious, and you don’t really learn more about them until closer to the end. I was still left with so many questions about Saint, but there’s something I loved about nearly every single character, and I was invested and totally connected throughout the entire book. The moment West came into the story I was hooked and couldn’t wait to learn more about him and the crew of the Marigold. The loyalty they have for one another and the dynamics between them is intoxicating. It makes you want to be part of their crew because they’re like a family.

-Books with strong family themes always hook me, and this one has it, along with themes of trust, finding your true calling, and survival.

-The slow and subtle romance in this book was like the perfect build. I was anticipating it for what seemed like forever and wondered if it was going to amount to anything. The first romantic encounter seemed odd because the setting. Thinking about it now, it does make sense because of the rules and how everyone is so adamantly secretive about their loved ones. It turned out perfect regardless.

-I was on the edge of my seat multiple times. It’s like trouble always crept up out of the blue.

What I didn't like...

There wasn’t anything I didn’t love about this book. Well…wait a minute, there was the cliffhanger ending, BUT...I’m willing to overlook it because Namesake is waiting on my shelf. I’m so relieved that I don’t have to wait to read the next book, so it’s probably a good thing that I was late reading the first. This book definitely reminded me of my distaste for cliffhangers though. I’m just so hopeful to love the second book too.

Overall, this was just such a delightful read. I just want to hug it, and I’d recommend this to anyone; in fact, I’m telling everyone about this book. Fable, without a doubt, is my favorite book in the last few years. Most of the reviews from friends on Goodreads rated this book four stars, and some five, but I’d give it even more than five if possible.

This is a young adult novel, but I think it fits any age from teen to adult.


You can check out the author's playlist of songs she listened to when writing the novel on Spotify. Here's the link
Profile Image for Jessica .
2,077 reviews13.3k followers
December 19, 2020
SO GOOD! Wow. It's no secret that I love my pirate romances and this one had so many elements I love about a pirate book. They're at sea, there are bad guys, and you never know who you can trust!

While the romance didn't really come in until the end, I really loved this book and that romance. I loved how Fable had spent years fending for herself and just surviving. The beginning is a bit slow, but once Fable gets off the island, this book is impossible to put down. I loved how she had to prove her worth with the crew and how she was still fighting every day to survive. The relationships between crew members and with Fable were so complex and developed so much throughout the book.

I'm not a huge fan of cliff-hanger endings, but I am so ready for book two! I am so happy I only have to wait until March to get my hands on it!
Profile Image for Sheyla ✎.
1,813 reviews476 followers
March 26, 2021
Surprisingly entertaining!

Fable has been left to survive on the island of Jeval. She was only fourteen when her father, Saint, the famous trader of the Narrows left her there. For four years Fable has been dredging to keep herself fed. Her intention has been to accumulate enough coin to ask for passage on a boat to take her back to her father and ask for what is hers.

During the last two years, she has traded her stones with West, the Marigold's trader. When Fable's life is in danger, she asks West for help off of the island. She soon discovers that West has his secrets but so does she.

Great beginning to the series. The descriptions were so well done that I could picture the waves, the birds, the sails, and the jewels.

I was intrigued by Fable's mother Isolde and also for their affinity to the gems. I like Fable, West, and the rest of the crew of the Marigold.

I want to know more about Saint. I wish I could get a prequel and learn how Saint met Isolde.

I can't wait for the second book that comes out in just a few days.

One last thing, the cover. What a beautiful one!

Cliffhanger: Yep!

4/5 Fangs

MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Profile Image for Lucy.
415 reviews610 followers
October 16, 2020

I really wanted to love this as lots of others have... but I just didn’t- It was pretty mediocre for me.
Profile Image for Danielle.
806 reviews400 followers
December 22, 2021
I enjoyed this pirate-esc story, filled with fighting, treasure and heartache. 😉 It’s definitely got a lot going on and feels pretty fast paced. 🤔 I’m glad I already have part two downloaded, cause that cliff hanger…. 😬
Profile Image for Niloa.
Author 8 books2,508 followers
February 2, 2022


Siempre me han llamado la atención los libros de piratas y en general en el mar. Y este es el primero que he leído (sí, algo tarde tal vez) pero creo que este libro me ha MARCADO. Estoy completamente enamorada de él y os animo muchísimo a que lo leáis porque la historia es ES-PEC-TA-CU-LAR.

¡Hablemos más detalladamente de él!


Nos encontramos con Fable, la cual fue abandonada por su propio padre en Jeval, una isla perdida en el medio del mar, para ganarse la vida después el naufragio de su barco y la muerte de su madre.
El padre de Fable es el comerciante más importante de los estrechos, y le prometió que le daría lo que le debía como su hija si conseguía salir de esa isla. Y así empieza la trama, con la joven Fable siendo dragadora (gente que busca tesoros bajo el mar para poder ganar cobre con el cual vivir) esta ahorrando para comprar un pasaje que la lleve de vuelta con su padre.
Un pasaje que solo le podría otorgar... West.


Desde la primera página, este libro tiene algo atrayente. Cautivador. Estaba deseando leer esta novela porque sabía que sí o sí me iba a gustar. Y mi instinto acertó. Es una novela que me ha hecho gritar con las escenas, la tensión, las peleas, el romance que se construye poco a poco pero que merece tantísimo la pena , y como la protagonista rompe muchos estereotipos. Además de los, por lo menos, 3 plot twist que he podido contar.

Estoy deseando leer el segundo, y la verdad estoy un poco muerta por dentro al ver que todavía no hay fecha de publicación en español. ¡Habrá que ser pacientes!


Ay amigas. Cliché de familia encontrada de nuevo. Y este grupito de verdad que me ha cautivado. He conectado con todos y cada uno de los personajes que forman esta pandilla que he sufrido cuando veía el peligro cerca de ellos. Me ha encantado como cada uno de ellos y de verdad que les amo con todo mi corazón.

Voy a hablar de los que más me han gustado. En la booktalk daré más detalles.


Sabéis que soy más fan de los personajes secundarios que de los principales, pero está chica me ha cautivado. He vivido la historia a través de sus ojos, del alma de una chica que solo quería encontrar una familia. Hacer pagar a aquellos que la hicieron daño. Fable ha sido una sorpresa muy grata, y un personaje que me inspirará como escritora en un futuro. Mucho dirán que no, pero yo sé que estás hecha para ese mundo, Fable.


Sabéis que los protagonistas rubios no son algo que llamen mi atención. Dame un buen moreno y soy feliz. PERO ESTE SEÑORITO DE AQUÍ ME HA ROBADO EL CORAZÓN. Ha sido un personaje que sabía que tenía sus sombras, sus secretos, y el ver como muy poco a poco se ha ido abriendo y ver como en sus gestos, en sus ojos, esos secretos se iban abriendo paso a la luz, ha sido uno de los mejores puntos de la novela.

Quiero un West en mi vida. He dicho.


La quiero proteger de todo mal a la vez que me escupe en la cara. De verdad que uno de los mejores personajes. La amo tantísimo. ¿Merecedora de una novela spin-off? Sí.

Y el plot twist de ya sabemos qué . En shook estaba.

Voy a hacer una booktalk (aka reseña) para mi canal de Youtube. Y en la parte de spoilers me dejaré llevar. Ya sabéis como soy.

En conclusión: estoy enamorada de esta historia, de los personajes y de la pluma de la autora. Deseando leer Namesake

Profile Image for Sandra Hoover.
1,176 reviews188 followers
September 3, 2020
I picked up Fable in a ho-hum reading state of mind hoping to be wowed. Young Adult Fantasy can be hit or miss for me, but I'd only read a few pages when I found myself being sucked in and down into the depths of a story consuming me in a torrential storm of emotion. In a sink or swim panic, I frantically turned pages in an effort to wrap my head and heart around this story while seeking answers. Fable is simply a stunning work of art, folks! Consider me wowed!

After her mother is lost to the sea that she loved, fourteen year old Fable is abandoned by her notorious father on an island known for its thieves, misfits, and cutthroats. Telling her she doesn't belong in his dangerous world, he brutally carves something into her arm and sails away. Finding and proving herself to her father becomes the driving force in Fable's life as she barely survives the next four years as a dredger, diving for gems to trade to docking ship masters for coins with the goal of saving enough to eventually buy passage on a ship. When events take a dire turn, Fable's forced to defend herself against one of the greedy thieves inhabiting the island. It's only a matter of time until others find and kill her. Hiding until she gets a chance to plead her case to ship master West, Fable exchanges her saved coins for passage on the Marigold to the place her now infamous father is rumored to be. The story that unfolds is absolutely riveting - a powerful, epic drama taking place on the high seas and exotic ports. Avoid all spoilers and I guarantee this story will sweep you away to another place and time.

Fable is a dark, gritty story that dwells in a vibrant setting of both beauty and malice, poverty and prosperity, desire and despair. The author creates a resounding world with breathtaking views of sunsets, magnificent ships with sails billowing and gigantic storm waves breaking over the sea with coral reefs and long forgotten shipwrecks hidden beneath. Sea ports are heavily charged with the sights, sounds and smells of markets, slums, and death with an aura of hope and hopelessness. It's a ruthless, visual world of winner take all . . . or thief take all. I won't say more about the story other than it's unique - a combination of suspense, action, drama, and fantasy with a subtle soft side of romance. Young's writing is lyrical - at times surging like an angry sea crashing to shore and other times smooth as glass like a calm sea at sunset. The kinetic plot unravels at a brisk pace propelling readers forward like a tidal wave barreling toward shore. I can't say enough about the lead character Fable - she's strong, driven, spirited, and haunted by the past, dark secrets and a need even she doesn't fully understand. The support characters are simply out of this world - original, dynamic and intriguing in their own right. The emotional turmoil, trials and tribulations encumbering these characters overwhelmed me time and time again as I stowed away on this journey with the Marigold's motley crew.

Ultimately, Fable is a story about overcoming, growing, trusting, surviving, searching . . . for love, family, a place to belong, a reason to exist. I'll go ahead and warn you this book ends on a cliffhanger. It took me by surprise as I had no idea there was a book 2 coming in March 2021. However, I'm thrilled to say that the skillful manner in which this author builds anticipation and suspense while delivering a raw, gutsy, heart-scarring story bringing readers and characters to this point in time - well, it's flawless and totally worth it. I read the final page with my heart pounding, lungs begging for air and an "Oh No!" escaping my lips. I'm composing my email to the publisher pleading my case for an arc of Namesake NOW! I can't wait until March . . . my heart won't stand it. Fans of Young Adult Fantasy will devour this! More than that, I believe fans of adventure, mystery, suspense and epic tales will also be blown away by Fable. This one is special. Highly Recommended! All the stars over The Narrows!
Note: Sept. 3, 2020 - I have an arc of Namesake book 2! I love you Wednesday Books!!

*So many thanks to Wednesday Books for an arc of this fabulous book!
**Review posted at: Cross My Heart Reviews
Profile Image for Phuong ✯.
617 reviews5,101 followers
March 6, 2021
re-read March 2021: refreshing memory for Namesake

#1 Fable ↠ 3.25 stars
#2 Namesake ↠ tbr

I'm a ho for this cover …

… I wished I would've been more of a ho for what's inside as well.

↳  ✧ The plot ✧

Fable was left by her father on an island when she was only 14 years old. Since then she had to fight her way through everything every single day. Four years later Fable has finally enough money to get from that island and find her father. She makes a deal with West to get her to the next destination. On the ship she meets West's crew, a group of misfits, and that's when their adventures start.

"Nothing comes free, Fable. We both know that surviving means sometimes doing things that haunt you."

The book had the potential to be great:

✓ Pirates
✓ Great setting and atmosphere
✓ Found family
✓ Strong heroine
✓ Romance

Becuase that kiss broke open some dark night sky within me filled with stars and moons and flaming comets. That darkness was replaced by the blazing fire of the sun racing under my skin.

While Fable delivered in the first two points in spades, it felt really flat in the following points.

⛵ ➛ the characters

While all the characters are likable and I loved the found family aspect they have on the ship, the only character that was fleshed out was our main girl Fable. West and Willa also got a bit of personality, but the rest of the crew (Paj, Hamish, Auster) didn't really have a distinctive personality. I even had to look up the three names, cause for me they read like the same person. You could have changed their name and nothing about the story would've been different.

"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."

⛵ ➛ the romance

I like Fable and I like West, but the transition in Fable and West's relationship was not natural. They barely have any scenes in the first half of the book. West basically ignores Fable for most of the time when she is on the ship or acts rather cold towards her. Next thing you know is that they're having a underwater kiss. Not that the scene wasn't wholesome, cause it was. I mean UNDERWATER KISS??!! How epic is that? I was still processing the underwater kiss when there is suddendly a love confession and I'm like

Uhmm… hello? That's not how this works!! That's way too fast for me and I'M STRESSED.A girl needs time to process. I need more slowburn. Where is the angst? Where is the development tho?

"The only thing I felt truly afraid of is something happening to you."

⛵ ➛ what happened?

Surprisingly this book is pretty well-paced. There is always something happening, BUT it's a whole lot of nothing, cause the Marigold crew is going from one island to another and trading for coins. Honestly, I was a little bored, but then the last 30% happened and it was good. That's why I'm always hesitant to pick up YA fantasy novels, cause it feels like for the mayority of the time nothing happens until so many things happen at once and then you're left hanging with the cliffhanger.

Overall still an interesting read and I will definitely read the sequel when it comes out. If you liked Six of Crows, you might want to give this one a try.
Profile Image for MissBecka Gee.
1,492 reviews596 followers
March 30, 2023
Reread 2023:
Welp, that was just as delightful as I remembered, maybe more so.
Since I knew what was coming next I was able to slow down and take in all the nuances along the way. I did the audio this time, and while I enjoyed it, I think I like the voice I have in my head better lol. On to Namesake!

Original Review 2020:
This was spectacular!!!
A high sea, pirate adventure with a strong female MC?

I am so freaking excited that this is only the beginning for this motley crew of characters!!!
Much love to NetGalley & St. Martin's Press for my DRC.
💖 Love this cover 💖
My signed copy finally arrived, and with sooo many pretty accessories!!!
Profile Image for booksnpenguins (wingspan matters).
760 reviews2,331 followers
February 11, 2022
After four years, I wondered if he’d even recognize me when I finally showed up knocking on his door. If he’d remember what he said to me as he carved into my arm with the tip of his whalebone knife.
But my father wasn’t the forgetting kind.
Neither was I.


What a lovely surprise and what a funny adventure, this book was!
I picked it up because I was looking for duologies to add to my reading challenge and the sweet Asia recommended this to me. I already had it on my Kindle and the moment I realized the author was Adrienne Young (who also wrote one of my favorite books, Sky in the Deep), I was completely sold.

Four years after witnessing the death of her mother and being abandoned by her father, the most ruthless and powerful trader in the Narrows, Fable is doing whatever she can to survive and to go back to his father to reclaim what's hers, even if it means making some cold-blooded enemies and diving herself into dangerous situations. It's actually one of these situations that brings her to seek help from young trader West and his crew. But some inheritances don't always come in form of gold and gems, and Fable might just be starting to realize that...

I must admit I went into this thinking it was similar to Daughter of the Pirate King (a book that I've read and loved when it first came out but that I had to re-evaluate when I picked it up again a few weeks ago), what with the whole red-haired daughter of a sea dog thing and all, but I'm glad to say I found them to be pretty different, both in terms of writing and plot.
Comparisons aside, Fable reads like an adventure story first and foremost; it's got pirates, traders, ships, treasures, her majesty the sea, intrigues and rivalries, but most importantly, it's got Young's superlative writing that made me feel like I, too, was also beneath a scorching sun, drinking burning rye and breathing in the salt in the air.

Fable is the perfect main character; at least, she's perfect in my book. I found her lack of whining really attractive and I can't wait to learn more about her survival abilities in the sequel.
West is so much more than the love interest, in this case. Again, I hope Namesake will bring me all the answers concerning him that I'm looking for.
Besides, I think the brilliant cast of secondary characters, like the other members of the crew (I loved them all sooooo much!) completely stole the show.
And as far as villains go, I think Zola's a decent attempt at being that guy.
Saints, for now, will be put in the gray zone category, because I can't hate him (yet), nor consider him as bad as Zola or Koy.

I'm gonna start Namesake as soon as I can because I can't wait to read more about Fable, West and the whole Marigold crew.
Intriguing plot, gorgeous writing, interesting characters, impactful setting...a real page-turner! I couldn't have asked for more.

Profile Image for Alaina.
6,316 reviews215 followers
May 5, 2021
I absolutely loved diving back into Fable. Mostly because I'm beyond excited to dive into the sequel. There's just something about pirates and Fable that makes me so happy. She is a bad ass and just wants to see her father again. Even if he is a douche canoe who basically left her to die alone. I get that he was worried about her safety or whatever.. but he's not winning any father of the year awards from me anytime soon.

Back to Fable, I loved hoe she can take care of herself. She is underestimated most of the time but she never lets that stop her. If anything, it makes her want to do anything and everything even more. It's why I loved her. She has spunk and sass. I guess I should admit that I have hair envy at the same time too, right?

Other than that, I'm just going to say it all over again - I am excited to dive into Namesake! So excited! Please be good to me.
I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

First off, Fable is a freaking page turner guys. I couldn't put this book down even if you paid me to. It was addictingly fun to read about and I definitely enjoyed Fable's journey. Now she's lives a dangerous life but has had one thing on her mind: a reunion with her dad.

If you've ever watched any of the Pirate of the Caribbean movies, you would know and love Jack freaking Sparrow. Fable kind of reminded me of him because she found a way to give off an island. I wouldn't call her a pirate but she definitely knows how to take care of herself with all these thieves around her.

Besides Fable, you meet the crew of the Marigold. Now I loved everything about this crew because they were one tight knit family. The only thing that they couldn't agree upon was having Fable on their ship but they had to accept her because she paid for her passage.

Now I didn't expect so many secrets to come out in this book. Which is probably why I devoured it so quickly. I honestly had so many questions about so many things that were said or done.. and now after that cliffhanger, I have even more.

Long story short, I'm dying for the next book. I need answers like SpongeBob needs Patrick.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 11,385 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.