Review: Adrienne Young's FABLE.
Q: what’s some of your fave YA fantasy lit.? Drop them below and help a woman out!
Wow. I’m going to start with some of the typical words I see in fantasy reviews but honestly, Adrienne Young’s Fable *is immersive. I did feel transported. And a little awed, tbh.
Like the other books of Young’s I’ve read, Fable features a strong young woman (major understatement) who has to fight for herself. Her food. Her shelter. Her life.
Years before, after her mother died, the man that no one knows is Fable’s father dropped her off on a thieves’s island & never came back. Now she’s a dredger, someone who dives underwater & finds pyre that she can sell to traders. Every block she brings back to the surface is working toward her ticket off the island & back to her father.
When things go pear-shaped Fable makes an earlier exit than she planned—on the ship of West, a helmsman who regularly purchased her pyre & the closest thing she has to someone she can trust (but that’s still a long way off). He & his crew want nothing to do with Fable. But they’re all drawn together in ways they probably don’t want to be.
Some fantasy books have the worldbuilding down beautifully but they lack the emotional component that makes a book really stick for me. But Fable has both & her story grabbed at my heart.
I love love love that Fable is a female character who makes her own way, even as my heartstrings were pulled at what she’s gone through & how visceral those images are. Her life’s been all about strategy & survival since her father left her but she’s still soft in some ways. Still able to be shocked. Still able to care.
The only aspect of this book that feels a little thin to me is her relationship with West. I watched it develop rapaciously & gobbled up every little sign but I’d love to see more emotional intimacy between them. Hopefully that will come in the second book!
Fable is far from a lighthearted read. It’s sometimes violent & sad & scary, but it also made my heart happy.
Fable is out on 09/01. Thanks to St. Martin's Press and Netgalley for my complimentary ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
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