Tuesday, 22 February 2011
Review: Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
Released: April 24th, 2007
Grade rating: B+/A-
For centuries mystical creatures of all description were gathered into a hidden refuge called Fablehaven to prevent their extinction. The sanctuary survives today as one of the last strongholds of true magic. 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 keep relative order among greedy trolls, mischievous satyrs, plotting witches, spiteful imps, and jealous fairies. However, when the rules get broken -- Seth is a bit too curious and reckless for his own good -- powerful forces of evil are unleashed, and Kendra and her brother face the greatest challenge of their lives. To save their family, Fablehaven, and perhaps even the world, Kendra and Seth must find the courage to do what they fear most.
Up until a few months ago, I had never even heard of the Fablehaven series. I've been reading a lot of fantasy recently (Especially anything with faeries. I want recommendations!), so I asked my good friend Cat at Beyond Books for some help on what to read next. Being the fantasy and faerie expert that she is, she recommended this series. Thanks, Cat! I loved the first book, only putting it down so I could go to work. I mean really, who thought up the concept of work? Didn't they realise there would be reading to be done? *shakes head*
Fablehaven is exactly my kind of fantasy. It has mystical creatures galore, including faeries, imps and satyrs, wonderfully endearing characters, and a magical setting I wish I could visit. I was excited the whole time I was reading this book, and kept updating my dad on all the goings on. He too likes fantasy and small creatures, which is obviously where I get it from.
The idea of a sanctuary for fey folk and other creatures is pretty genius in my opinion. I'm sure it's been done before somewhere, but I've never come across it. I also like how the faeries of Fablehaven seemed like dragonflies and butterflies at first, and it wasn't until Kendra and Seth gained the sight that they realised they were actually faeries of all different kinds. I'm holding out hope for this happening in my own garden, but I don't think it will. Bah humbug.
Kendra and Seth were great characters that I liked instantly, though poor Seth could be a bit stupid. I lost count of how many times I shouted at my book, willing him to not be so daft and to stop opening the bloody window! He didn't hear me though 'cos he did it anyway. Boys will be boys, eh? I thought he'd learn from his first mistake, but no. He didn't. Instead he endangered Fablehaven and himself far too many times, much to the chagrin of his sensible sister. Kendra was like the voice of reason in the story, though even she too fell under Fablehaven's spell a few times. It seems curiosity is something that can't be avoided.
Fablehaven was a thrilling read, and I'm really looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Rise of the Evening Star. I can't wait to see what happens next, and am particularly excited to see if any new faeries will arrive on the scene. Brandon Mull set up some intriguing stuff in Fablehaven, and I have no doubt it will cause some trouble for Kendra, Seth and their family. I'm glad there are another 4 books for me to read, 'cos this is just what I was after!