Book Review: NAMESAKE by Adrienne Young

Title in red on dark waves
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: YA
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: yes - second book in duology

*SPOILER ALERT: contains SPOILERS for FABLE*

Synospis:

Book cover for NAMESAKE: half of red-haired girl's face with title in white

With the Marigold ship free of her father, Fable and the rest of the crew were set to start over. That freedom is short-lived when Fable 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.

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


Review:

The world expands massively in this book. We leave the Narrows behind and head across the Untamed Sea to Bastion, getting tangled in the politics of trade (cue squealing.) We get to see how the trade agreements shape livelihoods, or destroy them, and Fable’s drawn into the web.

I always love seeing worlds expand, and for it to be in a political direction was just perfect! There are more dredging scenes, and a side character returns from the first book to help. The locations and prizes are new, to help keep them interesting and fresh, and this time there are physical and human dangers to avoid.

It was also fun to see the crew of the Marigold dumped out of their comfort zone, and then West is made to choose what’s important to him. Cue lots of emotional strain on the crew that threatens to break them apart. Plus the hints we see of the Roths (the focus on the companion book) made me very excited for that.

While there is still a lot of focus on Saint (Fable’s father), a lot of time is also spent this book exploring her mother, Isolde. She’s dead, and the absence has had as much of an effect on Fable as her father leaving her for four years. Her mother had so many secrets, and she’s not around to be asked, so Fable is learning all sorts of things about her mother through other’s interpretations, trying to work out who this woman was.

(Aside, I am not sure what to make of the Fable/Saint relationship. She seemed to turn her back on him, as he is NOT GREAT, at the end of FABLE, but then this book is partly her trying to save him, and then seem to end up OK with each other, which felt a bit weird.)

I have to say, I did not quite enjoy this as much as the first book in the duology. I re-read FABLE, and loved it just as much again, but this follow-up doesn’t quite have the same feel. It’s a lovely book, don’t get me wrong, as just as easy to gulp down, but it was lacking the same atmosphere. The writing is great, but it doesn’t have that submerged under water, weightless and muffled feeling, which is really what set FABLE apart for me. It feels a lot faster, and like it’s a book of three stories after another. They are connected and each event set up with plenty of time to sink in, but it feels a little more segmented here.

The companion book, THE LAST LEGACY, has just been released, and I can’t wait to get my hands onto it!


Read my reviews of other books by Adrienne Young:

Young Adult:

Fableverse (this series):

Sky in the Deep:

Adult:

Standalones:

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