Thanks to NetGalley and Wednesday Books/St Martin’s Press for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review. Check out my review for the first book Fable!
Goodreads: Namesake (Fable #2)
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication Date: 16 March 2021
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Trader. Fighter. Survivor.
With the Marigold ship free of her father, Fable and its crew were set to start over. That freedom is short-lived when she 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 her mother was keeping secrets, and those secrets 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.
TL;DR: Overall, a very satisfying and neatly wrapped up conclusion to this duology. If you love stories full of action, a strong female lead, a cast of morally grey characters that you also can’t help but root for (mostly), and a setting in which the sea comes to life off the pages, I would highly recommend checking out these books! Also, major cover appreciation to this set of covers because they’re STUNNING!
If you loved the piratey goodness of Fable then you’re sure to love Namesake just as much, if not more. This was a really great conclusion to the duology and it was so much more of an intense high-seas adventure with the cast of characters coming together beautifully and many delightful twists and turns in the unfolding of Fable’s story. This was a much more plot-driven story compared to the first book, so sadly I found the world-building and character development lacking, although the fast-paced action (especially in the latter half) didn’t leave much time to dwell on it!
The story picks up right where we left off at the cliffhanger of the first book and Fable finds herself in the unenviable position of being surrounded by enemies. Although she’s not entirely sure what their motives are, with her steely determination and sharp wit, she courageously plays their game and does what she needs to do to get back to the Marigold. Fable is such a strong character and it’s hard not to admire how badass she is, especially since if I ever found myself in her position I’d probably die in five minutes tops 😂 I appreciated that we get to see more of her talent as a dredger and as a gem sage. I can’t recall reading about a character that has a talent like Fable’s before, so it was interesting to learn more about. The romance between Fable and West ends up being one of their main driving forces in the story and while I liked how their relationship developed in book one, I felt it was really amped up here and came across as overly intense and a little too angsty (but perhaps that’s just me). West’s dark past is hinted at but sadly, we don’t really get to learn much as the deeper look into character development were generally glossed over.
Aside from West and the Marigold crew, we get a few more surprising characters additions with Koy, Clove, and Holland. We also get to see a bit more of Saint and I wasn’t really sure what to think about his character before but I really came to like him here! He’s still far from perfect but we learn more about what drives his character and it worked to soften me up to him. Another character I was surprised to find myself liking was Koy! He’s determined to see success come to Jeval and while he may be a bit morally ambiguous, he’s unquestionably loyal to his home and the people from it, including Fable. 😉 Holland was an intriguing character that I’m sad we didn’t get to learn more about. As the plot was moving swiftly by that point, the character and relationship development with Holland suffered for it and so she came across as pretty one dimensional.
Just like in the first book, Young’s writing was lyrical and atmospheric. She breathes such life into the ocean and the story all but pulses with the sounds and smells of the wide-open sea. It was so easy to picture the frothing white-capped waves, the raging stormy waters, the endless blue spreading out before the Marigold, and the pressing quiet of the dark depths beneath the surface. It’s treacherous, it’s breathtaking and it’s absolutely magical!
Have you read Namesake or is it on your TBR?