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.
Namesake picks up exactly where we left off with Fable. I felt lucky I was able to read this sequel a few months later finishing Fable, as it was a natural continuation without any recap, so it was very easy to fall back into the story.
Fable has been kidnapped by Zola and she is trying to make sense of where he is taking her, and most importantly, for what purpose. Clove, who used to be the closest adviser of Saint, is also on board of Zola’s ship, working for him. The sting of Clove’s betrayal, the thought of West alone and being in the enemy’s hands — everything is another survival test for Fable.
I guess I liked the second part slightly less than the first part. I still love Adrienne Young’s vivid description of the life on board of a ship and life as a dredger. I mean, the descriptions were so detailed I could almost feel the salt in my hair like I was diving in the sea with Fable. Also, Young has this unique talent to bring to words the roughness of life, how life is never black or white, and it is so many shades of complicated.
With this duology, Young achieved perfection. The writing is flawless, and the plot provides insights about more side-characters we met in the first part. Every character had their own story to tell and I found myself having some kind of admiration even for one of the villains of this story, Zola.
However, here’s my two cents about this duology overall and why I felt less intrigued at the end.
First, I felt the crew of the Marigold was left untouched and deserved more space. While we know more about Zola and Holland, the relationship between Fable and Marigold’s crew is not explored in-depth. I also felt after everything was over, after everything this small crew went through during the whole duology, and all because of Fable, there was no resolution among them. No explanation about “how do they stick together now” after all the ordeals. The second part of the story was too centred around Fable and West’s relationship and the others came even after the two main villains.
Second, and I went back and forth with this thought, you need to keep your “pirate-glasses” on, so to say, or look at everything through a pirate’s perspective to fully understand Fable and Saint’s relationship. As someone who has a very complex relationship with a parent, there’s no way that things work that way in reality. I still appreciated that at least Young offered more clarity about their relationship, but I was left with so many questions about Saint.
I am sure that readers who loved Fable will definitely love Namesake as well. It’s beautifully written, the descriptions are outstanding and it has great world-building. Regardless of my personal opinions about the general relationship dynamics, I still loved this story and I highly recommend this duology. I can’t wait to read more from Adrienne Young.