• Well Red


Title: Fable

Author: Adrienne Young

Published: 2021

Publisher: Titan Books

Rating: ****.5

Genre: Fantasy, YA

Setting: Multiple (The Narrows)

Difficulty: Easy Pages: 352

Always spoiler free. Includes references to violence.

So…I went on a bit of a book buying spree. This pretty, pretty book has been all over bookstagram, so I bought it and then ended up with the other cover(!). I bought it alongside three other books and was surprised at how short the book was, compared to the others I had bought. This turned out to be a good thing, as it encouraged me to read it while I was in a bit of a reading slump.

Fable is the daughter of Saint, one of the most notorious Captains (or Traders) in The Narrows. Abandoned on an island after the death of her mother, Fable has spent four years plotting her way off the island to return to her father. Recruiting the help of the crew of the Marigold, Fable discovers that once off the island, nothing was what she was expecting.

I really enjoyed this book. This is everything I hoped Cinderella is Dead would be. I’ve realised recently that I’m not loving YA books anymore. I think it’s because they are too simplistic – I don’t need more ‘grit’ (YA novels nowadays are pretty explicit!) but the writing styles generally don’t give me enough depth. I’m after something more complicated like Gideon the Ninth, or YA books that write up to the audience.

Fable is definitely a YA novel, but I liked it. The writing wasn’t especially complicated, but it also wasn’t simplistic. The plotline was interesting and had a good pace, although there were areas where I wanted more information or world-building.

I do find sometimes that YA plot lines are too rushed, or too simple, not giving enough of an arch or establish relationships properly. There was an element of this in Fable, but not enough that it distracted me terribly. I know that this is something that is common across YA books, they aren’t adult books and shouldn’t be written as such, but still. Simple plots can get a bit boring.

Anyway, back to Fable. I liked the characters. I liked the world. I liked Young’s writing style, which is quite lyrical, but mostly I enjoyed her imagination. I read the book in one go (quickly too, maybe two hours or so?), which shows you how good it is!

The best books are those that capture your imagination and take you on a journey. They don’t have to be complicated, clever or masterpieces. Some just have a good story. This is a bit subjective (not everyone is interested in the same thing), but Fable definitely captured my imagination, and I enjoyed every moment of the book.

Well Red Reviews

Would I recommend this book? Yes!

Favourite quote(s):

Night fell over the sea, painting the Marigold black except for the white sails stretched against the dark, clouded sky. The stars and moon hid, giving no sign of where the sea ended and the sky began, and I liked the feeling. Like we were floating in the air. The west wind was warm, finding its way onto the ship before it ran back to the wake on the water behind us.

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