Fablehaven by Brandon Mull is a book that I had seen in bookstores a lot but I’m always hesitant to invest in hardback books without really knowing much about them or without having read them before. So when I saw Fablehaven at the library it was perfect chance for me to finally get my read on.
“For centuries, mystical creatures of all description were gathered to a hidden refuge called Fablehaven to prevent their extinction. The sanctuary survives today as one of the last strongholds of true magic in a cynical world. Enchanting? Absolutely! Exciting? You bet. Safe? Well, actually, quite the opposite . . .
Kendra and her brother Seth have no idea that their grandfather is the current caretaker of Fablehaven. Inside the gated woods, ancient laws give relative order among greedy trolls, mischevious satyrs, plotting witches, spiteful imps, and jealous fairies. However, when the rules get broken, an arcane evil is unleashed, forcing Kendra and Seth to face the greatest challenge of their lives. To save her family, Fablehaven, and perhaps the world, Kendra must find the courage to do what she fears most.”
I’ve read enough fantasy books that sometimes books feel a little too bit been there done that, but luckily Fablehaven didn’t have this problem. Mull puts some really interesting twists on the ideas of fairies and other classic magical creatures. Of the main characters, I really liked Kendra. As a kid I was a rule follower, so it was nice to see a character that younger me would have connected with. That said I wanted to football punt Seth into a lake. I could understand Seth breaking the rules once or twice, but he eventually breaks a major rule DESPITE the consequences of this being clearly laid out in advance and being told just how dangerous this was. And then terrible things happen because he does the thing anyway and then he blames himself and Kendra tries to tell him that its not his fault so he shouldn’t blame himself. No Seth, it really is all your fault.
The plot was a little slow to start but once it did I really liked the evolution of the plot and how the climax played out. It would have been nice to see a little more of the day to day management of the preserve, but maybe we get more of that in the sequels. The book is targeted to younger readers, and while I enjoyed it, I think a younger me would have been very taken with this book. I found the sequel at the library, so let’s see if the next one is good too!
Stay magical readers!