Adventures on the High Seas and Pirate Politics... ARC Review: Fable

Tuesday, 11 August 2020
Author: Adrienne Young
Edition: St Martin's Press Netgalley e-ARC
Releasing: 1st September 2020
Series: Fable #1 (Duology)
Pages: 368 approx.

**Huge thank you to the publisher for providing me with an e-ARC (Netgalley) of this book in exchange for an honest review.**

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.

I adored this book. I should start this review by saying I'm pretty obsessed with the sea and pirate-esque stories. I don't know where this obsession comes from but ever since I was little, I've just loved the water. One of my favourite memories is from when I was on holiday and I was just swimming and floating about in crystal blue water so clear, I could see all the way down to the white sand below on the sea floor (we were out at sea on a boat trip for the day). I just loved the feeling of how boundless the sea felt around me, water stretching out below and away on either side of me. So pretty much from Fable's first dive, this book hooked me in. 

My favourite part of this book was, without a doubt, how much time we spent on or around the water. I was a bit scared going into the book that the pirate 'life at sea' feel wouldn't play that big a role in the end up but luckily, it did. I loved the images created of Fable on board the Marigold. I've not read many pirate books and this book just solidified my love for them and the worlds they create. I fell right into Fable's world. It was gritty, treacherous and everyone was out for themselves, which made for extremely interesting and complex pirate politics. 

The characters were also another really interesting part of the novel. I loved that Fable didn't come across as a stoic, unfeeling heroine but, instead, her emotions sat pretty plainly on the surface. It provided a nice contrast to the harshness of the book. She just wanted to find a place where she belonged and I really empathised with that and felt for her. The relationship with her dad made for some very gripping, heartfelt moments as well. I do wish we'd got to know West a bit more in this novel but hopefully we'll get to know him better in book two. I also love friendship groups in stories so the fact there was a crew in this book was perfect - there were a host of different character relationships and I'm just so excited to see them develop more in the sequel. 

If anything, I just wish there was a bit more development with West's character and maybe some more development with other members of the crew, but I'm hoping we get that in book two. I also wasn't too sure about the way the ending came about but I do still really want to read on. 

Overall, I really adored Fable. The world of this book was just so rich and ended up really hooking me in - I loved the time I spent on the Marigold with Fable and the crew. The politics of the pirate world were unexpectedly quite complicated and the setting depicted the cutthroat and harshness you'd expect of a pirate world really well. Fable was such an interesting lead and I really loved following her through the book - she showed emotion and I really enjoyed that, especially when it was set against the harshness of the setting. I'm so excited this is a duology as well - I want to be back out at sea with her already!


Until next time,
Happy Reading!!

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