Hi everyone! Hope you are enjoying your weekend as much as we are now that we are finally sickness free at our house!
Today I am reviewing Dragonwatch by Brandon Mull. I am so excited about this review! If you remember, last year I reread and reviewed Mull’s full Fablehaven series (you can check out those reviews here. I love those books. In fact, I think they are some of the hidden gems of the children’s fantasy genre. And I can’t recommend them highly enough!
When I found out Mull was writing a sequel series (yes, a full series!!) back in the Fablehaven universe, I was so excited! When my sister got the book, she promised to bring with her to Texas when she visited last week. And she did!
- Wow! Brandon Mull does it again! Another fabulous story in one of my favorite fantasy settings. I devoured this book in just over 24 hours. It is action packed and surprising, just like the original series.
- I love that this story begins right where the Fablehaven series left off. We get more time with characters that we love with a few new ones as well. More on this later.
- I am dying for the Fablehaven series and this novel to be made into movies. I would love to see how the world is created on the screen.
Dragonwatch by Brandon Mull begins a follow-up series to Fablehaven with Kenda and Seth again at Wyrmroost. But this time, they must keep the dragons from taking over the sanctuary and the world. Goodreads summarizes, “In the hidden dragon sanctuary of Wyrmroost, Celebrant the Just, King of the Dragons, plots his revenge. . . . The time has come to break free and reclaim his power. . . . The wizard Agad reaches out to Grandpa Sorenson for help. As Kendra and Seth confront this new danger, they must draw upon all their skills, talents, and knowledge as only they have the ability to function together as a powerful dragon tamer. Together they must battle against forces with superior supernatural powers and breathtaking magical abilities. How will the epic dragon showdown end? Will dragons overthrow humans and change the world as we know it?”
Our favorite young protagonists continue to amaze me with their courage and their power. I love seeing more of Kendra and Seth. They both continue to grow in this novel and have great adventures. With the magical world in trouble, they gain additional responsibility. And they must chose to fight for what they believe in. But I see a change in them. Seth is more responsible, more calculated in the risks he takes. Kendra is more confident, more strong willed to save her family. I think I might like them even more in this series than in the original.
We also get to see some old friends from the original series with a few new faces as well. I have a special place in my heart for Grandpa and Grandma Sorensen. I’m glad we get to see them in this novel. And they aren’t caught in quite as difficult a situation as they have been in the past. Also love seeing glimpses of Raxtus, Bracken, Newel and Doren, and even the Fairy King. Knox and Tessa, Kendra and Seth’s cousins, are some of my favorite new characters. I’m intrigued by how they will play a part in the future books as well. Glad we have more books coming as not all of my favorite characters from the original series made an appearance. But we are left with plenty of potential for them to be whipped into the story in the coming novels. Mull writes engaging characters that are exciting to cheer for and to see develop. I love the complexity of personalities that he created in the original series and hope to see more of that in this one.
Mull writes some of my favorite plot twists in literature. I have raved over the crazy twist at the end of Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary before. It’s one of my favorites ever. And he adds to those in this novel. I kept commenting to my sister on how easily this novel fits in the the Fablehaven universe. The new plots, characters, details, and magic all fit into the original series. The shift to the dragons wanting to take over the world is clever and fits well with the original series. From adventures at Wyrmroost to Seth’s crazy plan to the cliffhanger ending, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. In fact, I ran into the same problem I always do with the Fablehaven novels, I had a hard time putting it down. Each chapter gives us just enough at the end to make you want to keep going. And the adventures just keep building as they travel from place to place and meet new characters–foes and friends. The plots of Mull’s novels are what keep me coming back. I love reading these books because they are exciting and engaging.
Perhaps my favorite elements in this novel is what it teaches about life. Yes, it is set in magical preserves. Yes, there are dragons and wizards and fairies and other magical beasts. Yes, it’s an adventure. But it is also a story with lessons. I love the lessons that can be learned from this novel about good triumphing over evil, fighting for what is right, doing your duty, and protecting your family. The characters are outstanding role models and the stories teach readers (especially young ones) the importance of fighting for what’s right. In fact, I think the best sorts of fantasy novels teach children the importance of loyalty, friendship, courage, and standing up for what you believe in.
I am so pleased that Dragonwatch lived up to my high expectations. And I am even more pleased that THERE IS AN ENTIRE SERIES COMING! I basically cannot wait!! I can’t recommend this novel and the original series highly enough. Fantasy is a special genre to me because it made me a reader when I was young. It is fun to read the start of a new series from a favorite author that will get a new generation of young minds reading. Thanks, Brandon Mull.
What are your favorite fantasy novels?
What novels got you hooked on reading?