I knew I would be sucked in the moment I saw this stunning cover! So beautiful and so much emotion communicated in just one half of a face. This was my first Adrienne Young novel, and it certainly won’t be my last. Her prose is magical without being overly flowery, with just enough to give you vivid pictures to go along with the story at hand.
I love seafaring books, but this is the first fantasy book I’ve read that deals with diving – and it may have taken over as one of my top plots. As a certified diver and someone who’s been snorkeling and diving my whole life, it was refreshing to see this hobby turned into such a major part of a fantasy plot. While I would NEVER be able to free dive like Fable (and there are very few, if any that can) it was a fantastic element for the story.
We quickly learn that Fable was abandoned by her father on the island of Jeval to survive on her own amidst cutthroats and thieves. She’s been scraping by and biding her time to leave by keeping her head down and squirreling away enough money and pyre to buy her way on a ship. She’s dead set on confronting her father and essentially proving to him that she is worthy of being part of a ship’s crew under his captain. While she is mostly looked down upon by various characters for being a woman (and a dredger) in a man’s world she is determined to prove them all wrong.
In a moment of desperation, she’s able to buy herself passage across the Narrows on the Marigold, Captained by West – a handsome, slightly roguish trader. He’s reluctant to help her and his crew also keep their distance. What transpires on their journey is a life-changing opportunity for all of them – only if they can stay together and learn to trust each other.
As much as I loved the vibrant descriptions I think I loved the characters more. Fable is the ultimate heroine who is strong, determined, and self-reliant despite her less than stellar circumstances. This book isn’t steamy and would be appropriate for a younger audience and I think Fable would be a great role model for many girls. In addition to Fable, the Marigold’s crew is equally dynamic and their backstories captivating.
I’ll be (im)patiently waiting for Namesake to see how all of our seafaring friends navigate the problems they’ve dredged up in Fable!