I’ve just turned the last page of the fifth novel of the “FABLEHAVEN” fantasy series by Brandon Mull. These books are really aimed at young teenagers, but I’m still young at heart, and I enjoyed every single one of them.
Here’s the extract from the back cover of book 1.
“For centuries, mystical creatures were gathered into a hidden refuge called Fablehaven to prevent their extinction. The sanctuary is 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 order among greedy trolls, michievous satyrs, plotting witches, spiteful imps, and jealous fairies. However, when the rules get broken, powerful forces of evil are unleashed, and Kendra and her brother must face the greatest challenge of their lives to save their family, Fablehaven, and perhaps even the world”.
I am an avid reader, and especially enjoy fantasy fiction. These novels are mainly aimed at teenagers, but, despite my 49 years, I thoroughly enjoyed them. Brandon Mull has created a world where everything seems so real . . . and above all, he creates a strong link between the reader and our human heroes: Kendra and Seth. I think what I enjoyed the most was the decision making . . . throughout the series of five novels, the brother and sister team have to make some very adult decisions and, the reader is sometimes fraught with dismay at some of the decisions made but keeps on reading because he just has to know what the outcome will be. Will things work out this time? or will they land up in an even bigger mess than before?
Another thing I really appreciated – at the end of each book, the author has written some thought-provoking questions for the reader to think about, along the lines of “What would YOU have done?” If both parents and children read these books together, I think it could bring some very lively conversations to the dinner table, concerning why we, the parents, set rules for our kids to follow . . . how important it is to face up to your responsibilities etc.
So I’m going to give Brandon Mull five stars for this set of five books. I bought mine as a box set on amazon but they are available individually as well. If you want to check them out, the books are (in order) Book 1 – FABLEHAVEN; Book 2 – RISE OF THE EVENING STAR; Book 3 – GRIP OF THE SHADOW PLAGUE; Book 4 – SECRETS OF THE DRAGON SANCTUARY and Book 5 – KEYS TO THE DEMON PRISON.
And, because I like the thought-provoking side to these novels . . . here is a little quote from Book 5 (I won’t say by whom, as I don’t want to give anything away) : “Making mistakes is part of learning to choose well. No way around it. Choices are thrust upon us, and we don’t always get things right. Even postponing or avoiding a decision can become a choice that carries heavy consquences. Mistakes can be painful – sometimes they cause irrevocable harm – but welcome to Earth. Poor choices are part of growing up, and part of life. You will make bad choices, and will be affected by the poor choices of others. We must rise above such things.”