Hi everyone! Sorry to be so MIA this week. We are having a busy week and added nasty head colds on top it all. So it’s been a lot of reading and movie watching at our house. But I am finally kicking this cold and I am excited to write!
I’m currently about 3 reviews behind! I have been reading a lot lately but I haven’t felt well enough to write a full and coherent review. Until now!
Tonight I am really excited to review the final book in the Fablehaven series. I have raved about this series for several months now. And this reread has simply solidified and increase that love for this series. Read my other reviews of the first books here: book 1, book 2, book 3, and book 4.
A few initial thoughts:
- This book is long (over 500 pages) but it reads so quickly. I flew through it with all the excitement and plot twists.
- I love the ending of the book and to the series. Brilliant!
- I recently learned that a new sequel to the series is coming out fall 2016! And now I’m dying for that book!
Fablehaven: Keys to the Demon Prison by Brandon Mull is the concluding novel in the NY Times Bestselling Fablehaven series. It brings together all the characters we have met in the previous novels and creates an epic finale to the action in the world of magical creatures. The novel begins with Kendra and Seth recovering another artifact to the demon prison. But the experience does not end well–Seth and several others are captured and taken to the Sphinx’s secret home on the fifth secret preserve. Kendra and others set up a rescue mission which does not end as planned. What follows is a twisting and turning adventure taking the siblings across the world and ultimately to the demon prison itself. Along the way they meet new and old friends–a unicorn, Patton Burgess, their grandparents, –and foes including Graulas, a dark wizard, and the demon King. Can they save the world? And can they even save themselves?
Seth and Kendra go on quite a journey through the series culminating in this final book. Seth continues his incredible and infuriating growth in this novel. He makes some huge mistakes in this book but also shows incredible courage and strength. I nearly screamed with frustration at Seth’s stupidity but then applaud his efforts to make amends for his mistakes. Kendra also impressed me in this book. She is often rather fearful and timid in the earlier books. But she shows intense emotion and courage in this novel as well. I am also glad she gets a new love interest in this novel. And that we know Bracken is a true and loyal friend (and potential boyfriend 🙂 ) Without giving away too much, I am impressed by the people both become and the way they fight for their family and their freedom.
I think Trask sums up their journey well in this quote:
“How do you prepare for an adventure like this? You can’t fully prepared. You do your best to acquire diverse skills. You try to learn from your successes and mistakes over the years. You try to assemble a team with varied talents and expertise. Mostly, you arrive to stay calm under pressure. You try to use the adrenaline for focus rather than panic. You stay on your toes, ready to improvise. And you hope for the best.” ~Trask
Fablehaven: Keys of the Demon Sanctuary, page 74
The action in this novel is incredible and engaging without going over the top. One of my least favorite tropes in literature is the “whole world is a conspiracy” twist. I never read it done well. I think it is difficult to write a series with action that continues to grip and excite readers. And one that becomes grander in scale as the series progresses. But Mull has done it well! As the action continues to escalate in this novel, we are transported throughout the world. But we remain in the realm of Fablehaven and the people connected to it. We witness a grand scale battle at the demon prison, but with the focus remaining on about ten main characters from the series. I am very impressed by the captivating action that finishes this series strongly!
I forgot how connected this novel is with so many interweaving parts and people. Seth and Kendra are separated for much of the novel on separate adventures. They must protect the Eternals, search for the sword Vasilius (sword of light and dark), and ultimately meet at the demon prison for the final battle to save the world. I don’t want to give away what happens in that battle. Because it surprises and excites me every time a read it. I always hope good will triumph over evil. But the way it comes together is truly awesome. Ahh, I love the ending.
I also appreciate the morals in this novel, as with the others in the series. This novel’s focus is on choices and the value of making things right after we make mistakes. I appreciate Patton Burgess’s advice to Seth after he makes a grave mistake affecting Fablehaven. Burgess says,
“The purpose of life must be to learn to make wise choices. …. In my opinion, good choices are not always safe choices. Many worthy choices involve risk. ….. 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 …. Poor choices are part of growing up and part of life.”
Fablehaven: Keys of the Demon Prison, page 286
I think this is wise and apt counsel. We all make mistakes, some graver than others, but what is more important is how we seek to make things right and how we react to the choices given to us. The other moral that stands out to me in the series is how good can always triumph over evil. Bracken gives a rousing speech to his army before the battle at the prison. I love this quote from his speech:
“No star can abide the light of the dawn, nor has evil ever loved light. After their long incarceration in darkness, let our enemies come against us with the sunrise at our backs!”
Fablehaven: Keys of the Demon Prison, page 541
Ultimately, that speech proves that fighting for goodness and freedom and family gives you a greater reason to be victorious. And what a victory it is.
If you are looking for a fantastic fantasy series full of likable characters and a driven plot, I highly recommend Fablehaven!
And now there are 7 months left in the year.
Which fantasy series has 7 books in it that I could read to finish the year? 🙂