3 out of 5 stars
Admittedly, my expectations for Namesake were sky-high after being blown away by Fable, and while I think this was a good read unfortunately it fell short of everything I had hoped for. I think some key things that I loved so much about Fable, the camaraderie of the Marigold crew was a HUGE one and it was severely lacking in this one. I really missed that. I think I was also a bit disappointed with some of the unanswered questions still lingering by the end. What really drove Isode away from her home and made it something not worthy of mention to her daughter? The full who/what/why of gem sagery in general would have been nice to be explored as well. And ultimately the Fable West love story just fell flat to me in this one. They felt disconnected so much in Namesake and to me I really felt like maybe their story was just a retelling of Saint and Isode’s in a lot of ways which gave it a bittersweet taste. I get it but I can’t say I ended up thrilled about it. I think one thing that really helped Fable feel so magical was even in the face of danger and the unknown, there was still a sense of wonder and joy throughout, whether it was from finding your chosen family or the exquisite beauty of the sea and Fable’s gift. The mood was so dour in Namesake, we only really got glimpses of that here and it took the wind out of my sails a bit.
That all being said, I did like how the end addressed the relationship between Fable and Saint. It felt fitting. I loved the visceral feelings of connection Fable had with Isode. You really felt her presence along with Fable at times and that brought back the wondrous feelings missed in other parts. I was glad to get some of Auster and Paj’s backstory. All in all I enjoyed this story and I am happy to have read the conclusion, I wish I would have managed my expectations a bit going in though.
I received a copy of this arc from Wednesday Books via Netgalley and this is my honest review.