TIDES & DRIFT by Adrienne Young (COVER REVEAL AND EXCERPT)
Today, we’re returning to Adrienne Young’s world of Fable with an exclusive cover reveal of TIDES & DRIFT
When Auster, a young member of the Roth crime family, meets a deckhand named Paj that he’s been sent to rob on behalf of his infamous uncle, his world is turned upside down. Tides is a tale of first love, heartache and breaking free, following Paj and Auster’s beginnings before the events of Fable and Namesake.
After leaving the only family she’s ever had on the Marigold, Willa has made a new start on a remote island carving out her own stake in the future of the Narrows. She’s found an unexpected business partner in Koy and whether she likes it or not, they are suited in more ways than one. Together they plan to turn Jeval into the farthest-reaching port before the waters of the Unnamed Sea. But when the Saltblood ships docking in their newly minted harbor start bringing unsettling news, the more Willa is forced to rely on Koy, and she discovers that he’s more than an opportunity to create her own destiny. He also just might be the safest harbor she’s ever known.
Now let’s check out the cover!
Tides and Drift is due for release 1st February 2024, you can pre-order your copy on the Titan website
And now as promised, an exclusive taster:
This ship is going to sink.
The thought echoed in my mind each time I swung the adze, driving plug after plug into the hull of the Featherback. The ship rocked against a wave, and I propped my feet against the wood to keep the sling that held me still. The ropes suspended from the deck’s railing above creaked as I waited for the water to settle.
Out of habit, I checked the horizon for any sign of a storm. But the sky was blue and clear, the sun hot on my shoulders. It wouldn’t so much as rain today, and that was good. The roof on the new merchant’s house wasn’t complete yet, and we couldn’t afford to miss any trade. Not when we were still trying to convince helmsmen that a stop at Jeval was worth the day it cost them on their route to or from the Unnamed Sea.
I dropped the adze back into my belt. “Ailee! Pitch!”
The girl’s small frame moved like a scurrying mouse on the dock below as she made her way to the anchored line that controlled the bucket of hanging above me. With quick hands, she lowered it, and when she was sure I could reach it comfortably, she re-tied the line. Her cropped, curly black hair blew across her face as she looked up at me, waiting for my next instruction.
This was the third time the Featherback had docked at Jeval needing to be patched, and by my estimation, the next storm would finish her. It wouldn’t be the first vessel I’d worked on to sink since opening up for business, and it wouldn’t be the last. Crews like this one knew their time was running out—they just wanted to rack up every copper they could before it happened. There were enough arrogant bastards in the Narrows to think that when the vessel succumbed to its fate, that they’d be spared.
The stink of the black pitch in the hanging bucket beside me burned in my nose as I took up the swab and painted it over the last plug.
“What’ya say, Willa?” the helmsman called out from below. He peered up at me, squinting, Ailee posted dutifully at his side.
“Hard to say.” I returned the swab to its bucket, reaching for the knotted lines behind me. In a series of movements I had memorized, I unlocked the pulley and lowered myself down.
He stepped aside when I made it to the dock and I caught hold of the post, pulling myself in. My legs were half asleep from hanging in the sling so long. I could hardly feel the hot wood planks under my feet.
Ailee was waiting with her hands extended as I unfastened the heavy tool belt and draped it over her shoulder. Her curls danced around her sharply cut jaw, her pale blue eyes rimmed in thick black lashes. Two months ago, that face had been hollow, her skin pallid. Now, she was sun-kissed, her bony frame less gaunt. She was small for eleven years old, but that would serve her well as a bosun. Only in the last few days had she stopped swaying under my belt’s weight, and I could see the first signs of strength taking shape in her arms and shoulders. Before long, she’d be able to hoist herself up on the lines.
“Bag’s empty.” I nodded to the canvas pouch that had held the wooden cone plugs. “And the adze needs sharpening.”
She gave a quick nod, turning on her heel and disappearing up the dock.
“Well?” The helmsman waited.
I looked up to the Featherback one last time. The hull was spotted with patches from stern to bow.
Yeah. This ship was definitely going to sink.
“Stay out of the shallows, even when the winds aren’t too high,” I said. “One scrape and that hull will breach. I’d also keep anything valuable you’re trading fitted with floats and tied down up on the decks. That cargo hold is a disaster waiting to happen.”
His mouth twisted to one side, but he eventually nodded. The man wasn’t a fool. “All right. What do I owe ya?”
I pulled the ledger from where it was tucked into the back of my pants, flipping through the wrinkled pages. “That’s eleven shot plugs, the pitch, the work…” I did the math in my head. “Forty-two coppers should do it.”
The helmsman was already pulling one of the coin purses from his belt. He counted, mouth moving silently around the numbers.
Behind him, the harbor was busy. Nine of the fourteen bays were filled with everything from schooners to cutters to a large brig from Ceros stopping on its way to Sagsay Holm. The Jevalis hadn’t been happy when Koy showed up with me and my coin to launch a port on their island, and they hadn’t let me forget it. But there was no denying the transformation underway on Jeval.