A young woman unravels her hidden past and finds her true family and home in this sequel to Fable (2020).
Fable had believed that the treasure she salvaged for her crewmates would be enough to free them from her father, the sinister trader Saint. But now she’s a prisoner, delivered across the sea to an even more ruthless adversary: her fabulously wealthy and powerful grandmother. The only way out is to use her skill and magic to locate a legendary gemstone that may not even exist. This sequel barely pauses for breath before plunging immediately into a convoluted plot dense with romance, political intrigue, seafaring adventure, double- and triple-crosses, and graphic, bloody violence. While all this should be gripping, it too often fizzles into anticlimax. Still, the poetic, sensual prose creates a richly imagined maritime world, grim and cruel but also occasionally wondrous, diverse in culture, class, and sexuality. The first-person narrative is so deeply immersed in Fable’s perpetually angry, desperately affection-starved perspective that it is a repeated shock to be reminded that those for whom she lies, cheats, and betrays are objectively horrible people—power-hungry criminals and stone-cold murderers—indistinguishable from the putative villains. The resolution may be rather trite, but it’s hard to begrudge a safe harbor after such a stormy passage.
Fans of the first volume will be pleased with this duology closer.(Fantasy. 12-18)