FABLE by Adrienne Young.
Titan Books. ebook. £8.99.
Reviewed by Elloise Hopkins.
It was the third time in a week Koy and the others had tried to leave her behind, despite her always paying for her place on the boat. Fable knows there is more pyre down there and she needs it. A little more to go, and she will have enough to leave Jeval behind her for good. It has been four years since her father, Saint, abandoned her on the island of thieves. Just a little more and she will be able to find him.
Dredging is a dangerous life for someone so young, but Fable has survived this far, despite the others’ suspicions of her. Perhaps she is better off on her own anyway. Fable is an exceptional diver and – though she would never tell anyone – also inherited her mother’s talents for precious gems. She can sense them. Now, with a way off the island so close, her hard work looks to be paying off… but things may not go exactly as she has planned.
It will take all of her wits and all of her skills to survive the journey ahead of her; death will be the result of any failure. But that has been the case in Fable’s life for a long time anyway, and she is still here. With everything in place, and a fixed determination to leave this life behind her, Fable puts her plan into action, not yet knowing that she may uncover more truths and falsehoods about her renowned father than she could have imagined.
Fable is the brilliant and emotive tale of the young protagonist’s journey back to her father, and out of the life he forced upon her. It is a young woman’s exploration of loss and yearning for connection and acceptance. It is a pirate adventure, excellently crafted with just the right amount of tension and emotion driving the narrative onwards.
With this first in a new series, Young has delivered a refreshing addition to the bookshelves, blending a good amount of blood, sweat and grit into a tale that rises above its counterparts of contemporary YA adventure fantasy in terms of its conviction and realism. From the first page, it is very easy to visualise and admire Fable and to be swept along in her desires and disappointments as the story progresses. The second book will be eagerly awaited.