Book Review

Saint

Saint

  • Author: Adrienne Young
  • Genre: YA Fantasy
  • Publication Date: November 29, 2022
  • Publisher: Wednesday Books
  • Series: The World of the Narrows #1

Thank you to Wednesday Books and Goodreads for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

CONTENT WARNING: mention of death of a parent, violence, blood, mention of murder

New York Times bestselling author Adrienne Young returns with Saint, a captivating standalone novel set in the world of The Narrows.

As a boy, Elias learned the hard way what happens when you don’t heed the old tales.

Nine years after his lack of superstation got his father killed, he’s grown into a young man of piety, with a deep reverence for the hallowed sea and her fickle favor. As stories of the fisherman’s son who has managed to escape the most deadly of storms spreads from port to port, his devotion to the myths and creeds has given him the reputation of the luckiest bastard to sail the Narrows.

Now, he’s mere days away from getting everything his father ever dreamed for him: a ship of his own, a crew, and a license that names him as one of the first Narrows-born traders. But when a young dredger from the Unnamed Sea with more than one secret crosses his path, Elias’ faith will be tested like never before. The greater the pull he feels toward her, the farther he drifts from the things he’s spent the last three years working for.

He is dangerously close to repeating his mistakes and he’s seen first hand how vicious the jealous sea can be. If he’s going to survive her retribution, he will have to decide which he wants more, the love of the girl who could change their shifting world, or the sacred beliefs that earned him the name that he’s known for—Saint.

As someone who fell hard for the Fable duology, there was no way that I could possibly resist this book. I wanted to know more about Saint before the world got to him too much, and to see more of his backstory. Right from the start, we get to meet a new character who plays a major role in Fable’s story as well: her mother, Isolde.

We start the story off with Isolde running away from her cushy existence in Bastian, after discovering a devastating fact about her ruthless mother. Holland is the woman who basically pulls all the strings of the gem trade in Bastian, and even beyond that, so Isolde takes some desperate measures to get away from her by running to the Narrows, where she hopes her mother’s influence can’t reach her. Fortunately, she does have some usable skills as a dredger, even if she is holding on to some secrets that could be devastating if found out.

Saint is a young man with lofty goals, and he’s hustling his hardest to make his dreams come true. He’s well on his way to making those goals into reality when he crosses paths with a mysterious girl who throws a wrench into his plans, and causes him to experience some feelings unlike any he’s ever known. Although it has tinges of insta-love, there’s some kind of connection between them that doesn’t necessarily feel unrealistic, as strange as that sounds. 

These two are the epitome of star-crossed lovers. While Isolde signed a contract with Zola, who happens to be Saint’s competition, that competition quickly turns from friendly to something darker and more dangerous when Isolde gets between them. Saint’s dream of getting a license is hanging on a razor’s edge, and he’s always flirting with not having the finances to back his endeavors. On top of all of that, he’s responsible for multiple innocent lives, and it’s not easy to keep a secret in the Narrows. 

The story is slower-paced than I expected, but it allows us to really get to know Saint and Isolde better. It’s told through both of their POVs, and while it wasn’t always easy to differentiate between the voices, it lets us get into their heads and see what they’re thinking and feeling, and it was more of a character-driven book. Although I don’t usually love character-driven stories, I really did enjoy this one, perhaps because I had already read the other two books in this series, and was very curious about Saint and Isolde. I also enjoyed seeing the connection build between these two, and how they worked together and fit into each other’s lives and goals. Overall, this was a great book that I really did enjoy.

People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.

Gasp Factor: 8

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