“A battle for what she loves, Namesake continues Fable’s story of wanting more than to survive, but to live.”Cecelia Beckman, Sheaf & Ink
Fable is held captive by one of her father’s enemies, the evil Zola. Although not entirely a prisoner, Fable must work to stay alive and dredge gems for her eventual freedom. And having realized one of her father’s most trusted allies was now employed by her captor, Fable is running out of options to get off the ship and find her way back to safety, her crew, and her home.
My Review Namesake
Adrienne Young vividly brings readers into the realm of The Narrows. You can taste the salt on your lips. Hear the waves crash against the ship like cymbals colliding together in a symphonic storm. Smell the brine and sweat of days work. Your belly aching for something more than fish and rye. Feel the prickle of something amiss when the clouds begin to shift. A storm brewing. Ready to flood your senses. The atmospheric nature of Namesake drives the story and is a force of its own.
Young’s duology is one that will have readers ensnared by the shear beauty of the cover. And though the cover for both novels are stunning, I feel Young could have explored and delved deeper into this last novel. I didn’t feel as connected with the narrative as I did with the first novel.
I felt I was taking longer pauses between chapters. Given that the pacing was uneven, as I mentioned in my review of the first novel, it was the main reason I kept setting the book down. There are moments though where things do pick up. But because it’s not consistent it was distracting and off-putting.
And when the story does pick up like a gale of wind during the onset of a tempest, you begin to wonder if it will be Fable’s last dive. Will she find enough gems or “the” gem in order to have a future of her own. Then, sadly, right as things manage to pick up, the story begins to slow to a crawl, particularly on land scenes when the stakes aren’t as high, except for the end.
A Few More Thoughts
If I was given a wish list for this book I would have wished that the book had been written into two sections. The first focusing on Fable’s apprenticeship with her mother and the second with present day.
By showing how Fable learned to become a gem sage and her relationship with her mother would have added to the layers of Fable as a character. Her magic seemed to play a major role in the novel.
But it never felt fully realized or developed. As we don’t get a full idea of how Fable attains her ability as a gem sage, besides hearing the hum of the stones. And without that backstory, Namesake lacked the full magical depth of how one becomes a fully qualified gem sage.
Further, the relationship between Fable and her father was one I felt defined the story. Had Young sectioned this off into Fable’s childhood and present day, I think the ending scene would have felt more powerful rather than a cloying sentiment that didn’t feel completely genuine.
One Last Thought
A race across the sea. A girl finding herself and her way home. Namesake is a book with romance, twists, all wrapped in a gorgeous cover that will have readers hooked and anxious to read the end of Fable’s tale.
Happy Reading ̴ Cece
RATING: – Satisfyingly Inked
Author: Adrienne Young
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication Date: March, 2021
Audience: 12 and up
Jacket Design: Kerri Resnick
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Sheaf & Ink has reviewed a number of Young Adult novels in fantasy like Namesake. Read Fable and A Golden Fury and Kingdom of the Wicked reviews to find your next favorite book and join the conversation. We love hearing from you.