Beyond Books

Fablehaven – Books 1 & 2

by Brandon Mull

I saw this book on another book blog (though for the life of me I can’t remember which one) and was instantly intrigued. A quick search on and I suddenly had extra books on my wishlist. A stop at the local bookshop and I suddenly had extra books in my possession and less on my wishlist. Thrillingly, I was completely enchanted by the books.

Kendra and her brother Seth must stay with their hardly-known Grandparents while their parents are away. Little do they know their Grandfather is the caretaker of Fablehaven, a sanctuary for mystical creatures.

As you can imagine, hilarity ensues and drama unfolds. Due to Seth’s accidental angering of the faeries, things go slightly awry on Mid-Summer’s Eve and Fablehaven is suddenly in danger. A dangerous witch escapes and tries to release a demon who has been trapped in an abandoned chapel on the grounds.

The story is well written, humorous and captivating. I loved Kendra and the others, though I am not so sure about Seth. As all little boys are prone to be, he causes a lot of trouble because he’d rather look for adventure than listen to the warnings supplied by his Grandfather and the two other adults who help take care of the grounds. However as irritatingly irresponsible as he is, he is also written with a sharp, sarcastic tongue and some of the retorts that he comes up with made me laugh out loud.

This was certainly an entertaining read and I was very happy that I had also bought the second book while in the store because I had to start reading it right away – even though the end of book one was not a cliffhanger.

Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star
by Brandon Mull

Believe it or not this book was even better than the first! It is rare that a sequel is better than the first book in my opinion, but this one blew the first one out of the water! It’s also longer by almost 100 pages.

Kendra and Seth return to Fablehaven the following summer. As soon as school is out they are contacted by a man who claims to be acting on behalf of their Grandfather and he needs their help to steal a statue back from an evil man who will use it to harm others. Turns out they were tricked at the man who claimed to be an ally is really the foe.

Fablehaven is in danger of being breached by the Society of the Evening Star and they must do all they can to stop them and keep the sanctuary safe. Something happened to Kendra in the first book that makes her special and also slightly tempting to the bad guys. (I don’t want to post spoilers, so I’m being vague on purpose :)). Once again the children must fight to save Fablehaven, though this time they have the help of both their Grandparents and three others who have special abilities. They are searching for an artifact that the Society of the Evening Star want to help them gain ultimate power.

Once again, the story is wonderfully written and full of humour. The plot wasn’t totally transparent and I found myself trying to solve the puzzles along the way. Seth was once again frustratingly troublesome and a reminder of why I don’t want my own children (ha ha!). But again, he had a sharp tongue and learned his lessons along the way.

THIS book, however, is a sort of cliffhanger and I am trying with all my might to not buy the third book just yet because it is only in hardcover. It’s very difficult because I want to know what happens next and how the children solve the problems ahead of them. If only I had a library with a decent assortment of English books available. Argh! I don’t want to wait a year to read the next book!

I really, REALLY wish these books existed when I was a kid. I would have read them in a heartbeat, over and over again. One of the blurbs on the back relates the books to the Harry Potter series, and I have to disagree with that, except to say two normal children discover a world of magic. Other than that? Completely different. They are light and fun and a lot less angsty than the Harry Potter series. But if you or some young person you know loves fantasy and magic and faeries and mystical things… pick up this series and enjoy every page!

Fablehaven Series

  1. Fablehaven
  2. Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star
  3. Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow Plague
  4. Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary
  5. Fablehaven: Keys to the Demon Prison – out now in  hard cover!
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