They say never judge a book by its cover, but this one beckoned me from the shelf. It felt like a siren’s call. I walked by it twice before picking it up, studying the intricate details, from the freckles on her skin to the reflection of the boat in her eye. The character felt alive in the image, and I wanted to know more.
It quickly became apparent that the author knew her way around a boat. I know nothing about the sea or manning a ship, but the way Young described it seemed masterful. The world she built for her character Fable is just as immersive. Every island was distinct, as were the cultures of the people therein.
Admittedly, I struggled to connect with many of the characters in the beginning, although I believe that was intentional. They were guarded around the main character, and with the story set within the first person the ability to get to know them was limited to the protagonist’s point of view. It wasn’t until about 200 pages in that the personalities of the crew she spent her time with began to develop more, as did the action. But it was worth the wait.
While the plot and dialogue were predictable in many ways, I found the book to be a worthwhile adventure with a cliffhanger that left tantalizing questions only the next book can satiate. The protagonist is likable, resourceful, and brave.
However, Saint was my favorite character. Although mysterious and detached, he felt the most complex – and the most developed. Of all the characters, I felt the most empathy for him, even if I didn’t agree with many of his decisions. I think he did the best he could in the circumstances presented to him, and the last scene between him and Fable was touching.
All in all, I enjoyed the book. If you’re looking for a seafaring adventure, I recommend giving it a shot.