I am super excited to be back with a review of Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary–the 4th book in the Fablehaven series. I always remember this one as my favorite in the series. And it definitely has been this time around!
A few initial thoughts:
- I love this book so much. The action is exciting and the intricacies of the details is incredible.
- The book has the craziest plot twist. More on this later.
- I have no desire to visit a dragon sanctuary ever. But visiting Fablehaven would be totally awesome!
- And when will they make movie adaptations of this series?!
Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary by Brandon Mull continues the stories of Seth and Kendra Sorenson–grandchildren of the caretakers of Fablehaven, a secret preserve for magical creatures. The Sphinx has been uncovered as the leader of the evil Society of the Evening Star. He is moving to collect more artifacts to open the demon prison and the Sorensons attempt to stop him. Kendra is kidnapped by the Society, Seth becomes a shadow charmer, and both join a special operative force that enters Wyrmroost–a dragon sanctuary that is not inviting to humans. They seek a key to the vault that houses another specialized artifact. They rely on the knowledge and adventuring of themselves, their companions and their friend (and ancestor) Patton Burgess as they traverse the deadly terrain and encounter fierce creatures in search of the key. Can they all make it out alive? And who can they trust?
This novel starts with quick paced action and does not let up even through the final apge. And I love it. We have Kendra and Seth on separate adventures, their preparation for and travel through the dragon sanctuary (where they get separated at least twice), and their return home to Fablehaven. The novel is action packed but it is not overwhelming. I was able to keep all the stories and characters straight easily.
What I love about this series is how it builds a large plot through all 5 books. You need to read this series in order, because we learn more and more details that become more complex as the novels progress. For example, this book talks about things learned in books 2 and 3 about the artifacts and what they each do. We also learn more about the complexities of running different types of magical preserves (an idea first introduced in book 1). Of course, the final book is the climax of the action but I love the excitement and intensity of book 4 best.
It has been really neat to see Seth and Kendra progress and change through the novels, especially as I have been trying to pay extra attention to their character journeys this time around 🙂 Seth starts as an incorrigible, immature, and rather stupid 10 year old. He opens that window on Midsummer’s Eve that causes the (almost) downfall of Fablehaven in book 1. But in this book, he takes more calculated risks. He thinks before he acts. And he has come to care deeply about Fablehaven and saving the world. I also love his friendly manner and silly jokes that seem apt during several tense and seemingly lost times in the novel. Kendra has also changed. She always follows the rules and tries to keep Seth in line. But she has also become more brave and more bold during the series. She is not as terrified to go to Wyrmroost as she was when she begged the Fairy Queen for help in book 1. She even tries to carry out their mission alone before she learns that her team is still alive. I am impressed by how well she combats so many intense andpotentially fatal moments in this novel.
As I continue through the series, I love the little morals that come up. I find myself writing down a lot of great ones. This series teaches such great morals and creates situations where we can learn about right and wrong, light and darkness, good and evil. Here are a few of my favorites from this book:
“Curiosity doesn’t make you evil.”
“I do know there is a difference between hearing and listening.”
“Of course, most decisions are simpler in hindsight.”
“All power can be used for good or ill. This power is already yours. I will merely help you harness it better. Use it how you like.”
“That does not mean that we lack true allies. We can trust each other. . . . We can’t stop trusting each other, or our enemies win.”
Fablehaven: Secret of the Dragon Sanctuary, pages 159, 160,177,224,and 523
I love when books forward good morals. And this series is one of the best at it!
This book has one of the most incredible plot twists I have ever read. Its right up there with Harry is the master of the Elder Wand and Ender’s last simulation against the Buggers was not a simulation. I won’t share the specifics because I actually want you all to go read this series. But seriously. Mind. Blowing. It’s one of those twists that catches you completely off guard. You don’t expect it. And yet it perfectly ties into the story and blows your mind. It gets me every time I read the series.
That plot twist happens at the end of the book and the final words of the novel leave us on a true cliffhanger. Luckily I don’t have to wait for the next book to come out. I just have to grab it off my bookshelf 🙂
Have you read Fablehaven yet? Check it out!