Book Review: “Fablehaven” by Brandon Mull

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When their parents inherit a luxury cruise upon the accidental death of Mom’s parents, Kendra and Seth reluctantly go to spend the summer with their other grandparents on a secluded country estate in New England. There is reluctance on their Grandpa’s end, too; since he inherited Fablehaven, he hasn’t held much with visitors. But provided the children live by his rules, he promises they will enjoy their summer in the vast gardens of Fablehaven.

Grandpa, however, doesn’t reckon on Seth’s inability to live under rules. Kendra and Seth, for their part, are little prepared for the true nature of Fablehaven, which they discover a short while into their vacation. For the place is as good as its name, a haven for creatures thought to exist only in myth, fairy tale, and fable. One of few such preserves still standing in spite of a series of attacks and betrayals around the world, Fablehaven is about to face one of the direst tests in its long history. If it fails this test – and if Kendra and Seth are not destined to be its next caretakers – it will fall into a darkness ordinary people would shudder to imagine.

For it takes more than ordinary people to deal with fairies, witches, kelpies, and whatever other things inhabit the deep, dark woods around Fablehaven’s manicured gardens. It takes people who can see magic. It takes people of tremendous courage, audacity, and self-sacrifice. And when a terrible mistake on the most dangerous night of the year threatens to unleash an ancient evil no one in the world can fight, it takes more cleverness, goodness, and willpower than Kendra ever knew she had to save the lives of everyone she loves.

If you like fairies with attitude, this is your book. Filled with suspense and dread leading to a powerful climax, Fablehaven is loaded with all the vitamins that have been missing from your diet since your last taste of Harry PotterFaerie Wars, or Foo. Plus, lucky you, this book begins a series which continues in Fable Haven: Rise of the Evening Star and, coming in April 2008, Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow Plague. Brandon Mull has also authored the interesting-looking book The Candy Shop War.