Review: The Dark Fable by Katherine Harbour

The Dark Fable by Katherine Harbour

The Dark Fable
Katherine Harbour
Published January 30, 2024

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About The Dark Fable

Magical heists. Deadly secrets. Come along for the ride . . . if you dare. This heart-stopping, seductive fantasy is perfect for fans of Six of Crows.

Evie Wilder is an orphan who has gone through most of her life unnoticed . . . until she’s caught up in a dramatic heist and captures the attention of the Dark Fable. They have chosen her for a she can turn invisible. This skill would make Evie a treasured asset to the legendary group of thieves known for spiriting away obscure and occult artifacts.

Evie cannot resist their allure and is eager to join this newfound family. But she discovers there are more skeletons in the Dark Fable’s past than she could have ever imagined. And these secrets might be the answer to her own tragic past.

No one is who they seem to be and the price of uncovering the Dark Fable’s cryptic history just might be fatal . . .

The Dark Fable on Goodreads

My Review

I’m starting to realize that I have a real interest in low fantasy, or stories set in the “real world” with additional fantasy elements, in this case, special abilities. THE DARK FABLE is kind of a single point-of-view SIX OF CROWS but set in Los Angeles? There’s a close-knit team led by a dangerous guy who definitely holds back information and has ulterior plans/motives, committing heists of expensive artwork and artifacts. So there’s a similar vibe. The main character is new to the crew, and she’s got her own past trauma, ulterior motives, and cards she keeps close to the vest.

All of that setup really had me interested in this book. I liked some of the characters a lot more than others. Mad, short for Madrigal, was probably my favorite. She winds up being the main character’s closest ally. I liked their friendship and how she looked out for Evie.

I struggled with two things about the book, and unfortunately, they’re both spoilers. I’ll put them below in a spoiler section for anyone who doesn’t want to see them. One element is kind of a trope that just isn’t one I prefer in stories, so that’s very much a personal preference, and I think unless you have tropes you feel very strongly about avoiding that have to do with when information is revealed, this probably wouldn’t bother you.

The other thing was also just weird to me. The characters keep asking themselves and others this question throughout the entire book. It feels like a deeply important question because of the way they consistently come back to it, like how they feel about themselves and what they’re doing hinges on the answer to this question. I didn’t feel like the question was answered satisfactorily, which made it harder for me to really enjoy the last bit of the book because I kept thinking, wait, what?


I liked the blend of Los Angeles and magic elements. I liked the characters. The plot went in some directions that didn’t always work for me, but I think those amount to personal preferences. I think if you enjoyed FOUL LADY FORTUNE by Chloe Gong or GILDED WOLVES by Roshani Chokshi, then check this one out.

The Dark Fable on Bookshop

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 14 up.

Major characters are white, I think. One heist team member is Black, and another is Indigenous. One is bisexual.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used pretty frequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between a boy and girl.

Spiritual Content
The main character has a guide she pictures in her mind. She also has the ability to disappear. Her allies have other abilities, too.

Violent Content
Situations of peril. Battles between heist teams or mercenaries and heist team members. Evie remembers events surrounding her parents’ murders. Other characters have been murdered or died by suicide– sometimes the truth is unclear.

Drug Content
Characters drink alcohol. One character creates poisons and other solutions that cause adverse effects on enemies, from stunning them to killing them.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support this blog. I received a free copy of THE DARK FABLE in exchange for my honest review. All opinions my own.

Spoilers for The Dark Fable

Read on if you want spoilers on the two things that I struggled with about this book. Select the text below to see it.

The characters in the heist team keep asking themselves, “What are we?” They each acquired a supernatural ability during a traumatic experience. Is this an evolutionary advance? Do they have magic? Did this come from somewhere? They are really interested in figuring this out. Late in the book, like maybe 80 percent through, Evie asks her mentor this question point-blank. Her mentor responds like, “you haven’t figured it out yet? You’re possessed by demons.”

She’s like, it’s no big deal. You’ve got magic power, so enjoy it? Understandably, the team has a hard time processing this, but they come to accept it pretty quickly. I don’t know. I thought it was really weird. Like, definitely the kind of thing that I would have wanted to know earlier in the book so everyone had more time to explore what it meant and how they felt about it. Plus, demons? Really?

The other thing I had a hard time with is more in the vein of a trope. I’ve seen this in other books, but I had a hard time with it then, too. The main character has a whole set of ulterior motives and plans that the reader isn’t privy to until late in the story. It can make for a shocking reveal; it just feels disingenuous to me to have a character in a close first-person point of view hiding THAT much for THAT long. It’s a me thing. If I didn’t mind that, I would have enjoyed the book a lot more than I did.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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