'Namesake,' book two of the Fable duology from Adrienne Young, picks up with Fable in Zola's hands.. headed for the dire straits of the Unnamed Sea.
Having successfully freed the Marigold from Saint, Fable and its crew had big plans for their autonomy. Unfortunately, others have different ideas of their own for her. Though there's a familiar face aboard Zola's ship, it seems clear she's been betrayed.
Caught in the middle of multiple schemes, she's the common denominator in all of them. In order to get home and save those who mean the most to her, Fable must agree to work with Holland.. a vicious woman who runs the Unnamed Sea's gem trade.
If you loved the first book, the second is even better. The story hits the ground running, as things are already out of hand and Fable isn't sure what her future holds. She's surrounded by people she doesn't trust, many of whom look at her like they'd rather kill her than co-exist beside her.
I liked that as the story opened, as a reader.. I felt off-balance myself. There's an adjustment period that we get to experience along with Fable as she's trying to get her bearings and read her situation. She knows she's in trouble, what remains to be seen is how much.. and what the results of that are going to be.
She's still a fighter though and she doesn't whine or complain about what's happening. Rather, she spends her time trying to observe as much as possible and plot a way out.. be that through escape or leverage. Honestly, she's exactly the kind of female protagonist that I don't think we get enough of.
Sure, she makes mistakes and gets herself in deeper sometimes, but she never stops trying. Every time life throws her a complication, she grits her teeth and gets to problem solving. There's no assumption that she's defeated, no polite resignation. She strategizes and tries again.
The story builds continuously throughout, as the circumstances spin further and further out of control. Eventually, there's so much potential for things to go wrong, that you just know something is going to and you find yourself trying to decide what you could let go of if given the choice, while hoping to keep it all.
As for the cast of characters, we do get to see more of her father. He's so closed up in the first book that I was really curious about him. West is still amazing, as is Auster.. and though I still feel like all of these characters could benefit from a lot more detail, it was wonderful to finally get the Auster/Paj origin story.
Now I'm just sad that it was only a duology.. because I desperately want a book three or a bunch of side novels for the supporting cast. Something, anything! I just need more!
Anyway, plenty of action and drama.. lots of familial intrigue.. and some suspense. 'Namesake' is a choppy ride on an angry sea and I loved every minute of it.