Book Review: Saint by Adrienne Young

Saint (Fable #0.5)
Publisher: Titan Books
Pub Date: 16 December 2022
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)


Jump into the world of Fable with this exciting new prequel to the New York Times-bestselling novel by Adrienne Young. Join Saint and Isolde, Fable’s star-crossed parents, on this adventure with romance, treasure, and heartbreak.

As a boy, Elias learned the hard way what happens when you don’t heed the old tales. Nine years after his lack of superstition 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 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.


Death of parent (recounted), mild violence, murder (recounted, not detailed)

TL;DR: Was this particularly new in any way? No. Did I have a fun time reading it anyway? Absolutely, yes. I haven’t read a marriage-of-convenience book in a while and while this billionaire romance isn’t normally one that I gravitate to often, I’ve been enjoying my fair share of them in the last few months! I enjoyed the dynamic between Vivian and Dante and found their romance pretty entertaining. This was also not as petty and drama-filled as I thought it would be but it had just the right amount of angst to keep me interested.

Before I dive into this review, I want to take a moment to appreciate this cover. Young has blessed us with the covers of her Fable series and honestly, there’s no beating it. They’re one of my all-time favourite covers because there’s just something about the detail of the faces, and in this cover, the detail in Saint’s eye that’s simply *Chefs kiss* give me more, please! Sadly, I read the UK edition of this book and that cover is… Not. It. Why did they have to change it? I have no idea. But I digress… Let’s get back to the review!

I buddy-read this with Julie and Leslie and I’m really glad that we read it together cos it was fun to talk about just how satisfying it was to learn about Saint’s past and his utterly swoontastic romance with Isolde. While this wasn’t a fast-paced book and neither did it have a lot of action, it’s perfect for fans who loved the Fable duology because we get to see where and how it all began! I’d even go so far as to say it (personally) gave slice-of-life vibes as we follow this hungry crew as they establish themselves in this world.

I’ve been looking forward to picking this up since I saw the cover for it towards the end of last year and although this wasn’t the action-packed story that I thought it could be, I still found myself really enjoying it. I think this is in part due to the connection that I’ve already formed with the characters from the previous books. Saint wasn’t my favourite character for much of the duology but my curiosity about his origin story, particularly that with Isolde, only grew into the second book and I ended up really empathising with his character! I would actually recommend reading the duology first before reading this prequel because it’ll definitely be a lot more satisfying that way!

I’ve come to really enjoy Young’s writing and I think that’s a large part of why I enjoyed this book. The story flows very well and the world-building was done so well. It was satisfying to return to the Narrows and the Unnamed Sea, as we follow a young woman running away from a monster and a young man working tirelessly to fulfil his father’s dreams in a cut-throat world full of merciless and power-hungry merchants and traders.

What I appreciated about this book is that we really get into Saint’s head and we see lots of different sides to him that we only get a passing glimpse of in the Fable duology. His backstory is tragic and heartbreaking and it shows in his already hardened exterior, and we already see the deadly ruthlessness he’s known for later on. That said, there’s a softness to his person that was new and heartwarming to witness. That quiet vulnerability mostly applies to a select few people in his life, particularly Isolde and Clover, but it rounded out his character even more. Isolde was a great character who was really easy to root for. She kind of jumps into situations without really thinking ahead and though she’s not very street-smart, she’s strategically smart and a great addition to the Saint and Clove team. Although she’s literally running for her life and trying to survive in a world she’s been (mostly) sheltered from, she’s incredibly tough and is willing to do what needs to be done. She doesn’t run from or push her mistakes onto others but faces them head-on despite her fears and that made me respect her more. She actually reminded me a lot of Fable, which again is bittersweet, but it was so great to see her as a fully formed character of her own in this book!

Aside from Saint and Isolde, I also really loved seeing more of Clove and the origins of his “devotion” to Saint and the life they build together. I also loved seeing how Nash came into the picture and the start of Saint’s partnership with the Rothschild’s. I love how the author connected everything together and although it’s been a while since I read the duology, I still had quite a few of those “aha!” moments that were enjoyable. I could’ve honestly spent days with these characters, following them on their adventures across the seas, building their life together, forming their crew, and earning their formidable reputation as traders not to be crossed. I wished that we got to see a bit more of that part of their life, although I did appreciate going back to the very very beginning of how they started.

Ultimately, it’s a satisfying story and I especially loved how Young ended it with a nice link to the duology.

Have you read Saint or is it on your TBR?

21 thoughts on “Book Review: Saint by Adrienne Young

  1. I agree, this cover is fantastic as are the rest of the series. They are what has tempted me to read this series. I have not, so maybe I should give this novella a try and see if it is something for me. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful review Dini. I agree the covers are all amazing. I thought Saint was such a hard a$$ in the duology, so I loved reading and listening to his story to see what his life was like and how he ended up where he did.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Carla! I totally agree that Saint was a tough cookie to like in the duology although I softened up towards him by the end of the second book, so it was nice to see what he was like before! I’m glad you enjoyed it too 😃

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yay! I would definitely recommend reading the duology first cos I think you’ll connect with the characters in this one more after reading those books. But it’s still a great prequel to the duology if you do end up reading it first! 🙂 I hope you enjoy it!


  3. You’re right, they are some of the best covers ever! I still need to finish the duology, but this one is a must-read, so I’m glad you enjoyed it. ❤


  4. is the TL;DR section for a different book? It doesn’t sound like this one lol

    Anyway, I really want to read this book! I enjoyed her Fable duology so I’m looking forward to this one. I’m glad you enjoyed it!


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