Parents' Guide to

Fable: The World of the Narrows, Book 1

By Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Tough-as-nails girl hero makes grim seafaring tale a gem.

Fable book cover: Half the face of a young woman with red hair stares straight ahead; inside her blue eye sits the detailed image of a trading vessel

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Seafaring adventure stories don't get much better than this gem about a tough-as-nails dredger named Fable who scrapes her way out of hardship with the help of a secretive crew. The secrets everyone holds—about family and alliances and even illicit trades—keep the reader guessing. No one ever shows their hand too early, and we stumble along like Fable does in this grim world that she desperately wants to conquer.

The best part of Fable, by far, is the titular main character. Adrienne Young has a talent for creating memorable, layered female characters. Not once does the author put her in a frilly dress. When her luck starts to turn for the better, she's not suddenly dressing like some pampered princess. Fable finally owns boots instead of going barefoot, but never once does she actually bathe. Everything about this consistently scrappy character is like the free dives she takes for treasure: very calculated, very physical, and desperate. In the dives, it's a desperation for air, and in her life, it's for the connection that she always thought was too dangerous to allow. This story will connect with all kinds of readers looking for high-seas adventure with a fantastic main character—a real treasure.

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