Series: Fable #2
Published: March 16, 2021
Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men.
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.
Fable was one of my favorite books I read in 2020 (though I didn’t review it because Krysta did here), so it was with much excitement I picked up Namesake to finish this duology about a young sailor/dredger/trader and her quest to figure out her past and her future. While Fable is the better book, in my opinion, Namesake still delivers action, excitement, and incredible world building that makes me wish I actually knew something about sailing and liked being on the sea.
Namesake has a bit of looser structure than Fable, as the story opens with Fable on the ship she was sailing away on at the end of book 1 but then proceeds to follow her through discovering more about her family history, working through her relationships with the crew of the Marigold, looking for legendary items, and having various adventures that all kind of work together into one major scheme by the end of the novel. There were parts of the book where I wasn’t entirely sure what was happening or why certain things were important, which had the odd effect of being slightly annoying but also making me want to keep turning the pages so I could figure it out. Overall, it was a positive experience, however.
The romance, I think, is the weakest part of the book. I wasn’t entirely invested in it in book 1, and I didn’t love it as it continued to develop here. However, Fable’s other relationships more than make up for it: readers see her continue to deal with her conflicted feelings about her father and her dead mother, and we also learn more about the former navigator of her father’s ship, whom Fable grew up with.
Namesake is just such a wonderful mix of action and adventure with a bit of heart (and a lot of backstabbing and scheming and burning other people’s ships, actually…) that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone who loves a good story.