I was lucky enough to get eARCs for both Fable and Namesake via NetGalley, so I thought I’d do a double/series/duology review! These books are set in a fantasy world, a group of islands, and are pirate-inspired. They also have stunning covers, especially when looked at next to each other (yes, that is the main reason why I decided to do a double review feature). Sadly the UK versions aren’t as epic..
Many thanks to Wednesday Books and NetGalley for the eARCs and as usual, all opinions are my own.
STAR RATING: 3.5/5 ✶ (Fable) / 4/5 ✶ (Namesake)
PUBLICATION DATE: 01/09/20 (Fable) / 16/03/21 (Namesake)
SYNOPSIS OF FABLE: 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.
SYNOPSIS OF NAMESAKE: With the Marigold ship free of her father, Fable and its crew were set to start over. That freedom is short-lived when she becomes a pawn in a notorious thug’s scheme. In order to get to her intended destination she must help him to secure a partnership with Holland, a powerful gem trader who is more than she seems.
As Fable descends deeper into a world of betrayal and deception, she learns that the secrets her mother took to her grave are now putting the people Fable cares about in danger. If Fable is going to save them then she must risk everything, including the boy she loves and the home she has finally found.
OPINIONS: Fable and Namesake feel less like a duology than like two halves of a whole. They read like one book that ended up split into two parts due to length, and organically meld into one story. Namesake picks up immediately after the end of Fable and continues Fable’s story. These books are a fun, distracting romp across the seas, keeping up the tension and a fast pace throughout. They are not deep literary novels, but great YA reads to get one’s mind off the real world in the current climate – I raced through both of them and if I had them at the same time, I would probably have binged the series.
Fable is pretty much your average YA heroine. Beautiful, smart, with an unusual power and in a precarious situation at the start – oh, and a heir. Fable and Namesake are not hugely inventive books or ones that avoid tropes, but to be entirely honest, for one I did not mind. I was out for entertainment, and Adrienne Young delivered. There is some character depth, but I feel like this series isn’t as strong as Young’s previous work. Much of what happens between characters is predictable, but that makes the books comforting to read in their way.
I really enjoyed reading Fable and Namesake and would recommend them to anyone looking to escape the real world for a while. Add them to your Goodreads (Fable and Namesake) and order them via Bookshop (Fable, affiliate link) or Blackwell’s (Namesake).