February 8, 2023

REVIEW Saint (Fable #0.5) by Adrienne Young

Saint (Fable #0.5) by Adrienne Young
Rating: 5 Stars
Release Date: November 29, 2022
Format: Audiobook (Personal Library)
Publisher: Wednesday Books 

Saint by Adrienne Young is the prequel to Fable and Namesake, and it's one of the few books I can think of where readers basically badgered the author and the publishing house into making it a reality. Thankfully, all the effort was well worth it! I loved getting to explore the Narrows and the Unnamed Sea again from Isolde and Saint’s perspectives, and get to see the moment when they first met. 

The book does an excellent job with allowing readers to learn more about two characters from the original Fable books that have loomed so large (one with a physical presence in the action, and one who appears only in stories). Saint and Isolde come from entirely different backgrounds. Saint came from nothing, working his way up to be one of the most legendary helmsmen to sail the Narrows with his faithful navigator Clove at his side. His reverence for the sea earned him his nickname, and has been instrumental in getting him closer to the trading license he so desperately wants. Isolde, on the other hand, came from privilege as the daughter of a wealthy gem merchant in the Unnamed Sea. With her rare talent as a gem sage, she’s desperate to escape her mother’s grasp and finds herself crossing paths with Saint early on in the book. Their mutual attraction is immediate, and the romantic tension between the two was palpable. 

As a fan of Fable’s story, I was so excited when this book was announced. Saint was my favorite character in the original books, and I needed to know his origin story. As with many of Adrienne’s other titles, it’s an immersive read that makes you want to keep turning the page. There isn’t quite as much action in this book compared to the others set in the world of the Narrows. However, the feeling of forward movement in the story is maintained through the character development and the worldbuilding the author brings to life with her words. It was fun to get to see some characters I was familiar with from the original books. It was also nice to be introduced to some new characters. Some of the big reveals were shocking, and I’ll be going back to re-read Fable and Namesake once I have a chance to see what other easter eggs and connections I might have missed. 

Ell Potter and Will Damron did an amazing job bringing Isolde and Saint’s perspectives to life in the audiobook version of Saint. While the book is written such that it’s accessible by those who haven’t read Fable or Namesake, I think it would be most enjoyable for those who are already familiar with the world of the Narrows and the Unnamed Sea. 

About the Book
As a boy, Elias learned the hard way what happens when you don’t heed the old tales.

Nine years after his lack of superstition got his father killed, he’s grown into a young man of piety, with a deep reverence for the hallowed sea and her fickle favor. As stories of the fisherman’s son who has managed to escape the most deadly of storms spreads from port to port, his devotion to the myths and creeds has given him the reputation of the luckiest bastard to sail the Narrows.

Now, he’s mere days away from getting everything his father ever dreamed for him: a ship of his own, a crew, and a license that names him as one of the first Narrows-born traders. But when a young dredger from the Unnamed Sea with more than one secret crosses his path, Elias’ faith will be tested like never before. The greater the pull he feels toward her, the farther he drifts from the things he’s spent the last three years working for.

He is dangerously close to repeating his mistakes and he’s seen first hand how vicious the jealous sea can be. If he’s going to survive her retribution, he will have to decide which he wants more, the love of the girl who could change their shifting world, or the sacred beliefs that earned him the name that he’s known for―Saint.

Author Adrienne Young returns to the world of The Narrows with Saint, a prequel to Fable and Namesake.

About the Author

Adrienne Young is the New York Times, USA Today, and Indie list bestselling author of the Sky in the Deep duology, the Fable series, and the forthcoming Spells for Forgetting. Her books have been published in over twenty-five countries around the world and Fable had the honor of being selected as a Reese’s Bookclub YA Pick. 

Young is also the creator of the continuously sold out Writing With the Soul Workshop and numerous initiatives to support women and youth storytellers, including the Fable Grant. Her first nonfiction project is the soon to be released The Storytellers Workbook, in collaboration with artist and author Isabel IbaƱez. 

When she’s not writing, you can find Adrienne on her yoga mat, on a walk in the woods, or planning her next travel adventure. She lives and writes in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

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