fable duology review! // my thoughts on fable + namesake

I haven’t really done an overall series review before, but I put up a poll on Twitter and this format won so here we are! Let’s do this! Also, it was my 18th birthday yesterday and I’m mourning the loss of my childhood. Luckily, I’m still quite immature so it’s only half a loss!

I am viscerally obsessed with these two covers. They’re gorgeous and vibrant and quite the match. Wednesday Books just does not miss with covers. Anyways! Onto the actual books! Fable is a return to the Adrienne Young that made me fall absolutely in love with her writing. You all know that I adore her debut Sky in the Deep very much, but Fable might be even better! I didn’t love Namesake quite as much but the ending of it is an absolute work of art.

Fable is a girl who just wants to return to her home and crew for her father Saint, who abandoned her on the dangerous island of Jevall four years ago. It’s only with the help of young captain West and his crew on the Marigold that Fable can make the journey to find her father and hopefully reclaim her birthright. Fable is bright, tenacious, clever, and overall one of my favorite characters. The rest of the crew is so much fun too! Auster, Willa, West, Podge…I smiled so much at the found family dynamic they brought to the table.

“He looked at me with a hundred stories lit behind his eyes.”

– Fable

Oh! Oh! Adrienne Young is literally the queen of atmosphere! I was swept away into a complex world of traders, seaports, open seas and small cities. I actually listened to the audiobook for the first one on the beach and it was perfect. Namesake might have more of a port-style feel but the atmosphere is still perfectly written. Some reviewers have said this and I 100% agree with them: Adrienne Young knows how to name things. Sure, this wasn’t a pirate book but the way everyone and everything was named was distinctly…sea-worthy. I can’t quite describe it. If you love any sort of high-seas open adventure, you’ll love this!

I’ll be perfectly honest with y’all: I wasn’t totally in love with romance. Half of it came out of the blue, and it was just sort of there. But because it wasn’t the main focus of the story, it didn’t really end up bothering me too much!

I love books with family drama and found family. Guess what? This duology features both! I literally couldn’t stop grinning throughout much of Fable and Namesake because I love a good family drama where you’re not sure if the parent loves their child (please don’t @ me) and when the character finds a family among a ragtag group of characters. That was a long sentence that some English teachers might call “run-on” so the gist of it? Basically, that family drama is good. All family drama.

“It was one long series of tragically beautiful knots that bound us together.”

– Namesake

I adored almost everything about Fable, but Namesake is a more complex story. The first novel is such an adventure! The second is definitely slower-paced, a bit more character-driven. I didn’t fall totally in love with Namesake until the end. And if you’re wondering why I keep talking about the ending, it’s because I am too emotionally driven by them. Adrienne Young wrote the last few chapters of this duology knowing the emotional impact they’d have. I was literally sniffling into tissues the last thirty minutes of the audiobook.

That’s it! I’d give Fable 5/5 stars, and Namesake 4.5/5 stars. Tell me: have you read this duology? What are your thoughts on it?

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