Winter is back in full force around here. I could do with a bit more snow though 🙂 Hope you are staying warm and finding joy this cold winter afternoon.
Today I am so excited to finally share my review of Champion of the Titan Games by Brandon Mull–book 4 in the fantastic Dragonwatch series. I love this series so much! As a sequel series to Fablehaven, the Dragonwatch books get us back in the fantastic magical creature world of Kendra and Seth with more incredible creatures, surprising twists, and the most engaging plots in middle grade fantasy. I love these books!
I knew this book was coming out in October. But life was a bit hectic in October with a small baby so I didn’t get on my library wait list until it was very long. Instead, I asked for it for Christmas and was so excited to get it and devour this new story. Now the only problem is I am dying for the finale and it won’t come out until later this year (no title or anything yet!).
- Fablehaven is one of my most frequently recommended series. And I see Dragonwatch as simply a continuation of that same story. The only dangerous thing is there will be 10 books total so once you start, it will be hard to stop. 🙂
- I enjoyed the new fairy tale of sorts called
As this is book 4 in a multi-book series, there are more spoilers than usual in this review. If you haven’t read this series (or Fablehaven) I suggest reading those first!
According to Goodreads, “Who will win the battle between Dragons and Giants?
As the war with the dragons intensifies, all eyes are turning to Titan Valley for help. A dragon sanctuary unlike any of the others, this one is home to enslaved dragons ruled by the powerful Giant Queen, one of the five monarchs of the magical world. In addition, it houses the arena for the Titan Games, a series of gladiator-style battles presided over by none other than Humbuggle, the demon who stole Seth’s memories!
Seth is seeking for his memories. Kendra is seeking for Seth. And everyone is seeking to stop the dragons from taking over the world—everyone but Ronodin, the dark unicorn, who has his own devious agenda. In the monstrous battle between giants and dragons, who wins? In the race to retrieve a magical talisman that could help win the war, can Kendra trust Seth? Will they find the answers they desperately need in a realm of trolls and titans? Or are more betrayals imminent?“
There is something about Brandon Mull’s stories that can just grab readers and not let go until the final page. I can’t put them down. You get dropped right in the middle of the action, and it doesn’t stop even when the book is done (I need book 5 now!!) The plot twists and turns in the most surprising ways. I am continually impressed that Brandon keeps surprising me. I have read all his Fablehaven books and yet the Dragonwatch books celebrate the best parts of that series while establishing new story lines and characters. There continue to be plot twists that I don’t expect. I have long said that the character reveal in Fablehaven book 4 is one of the craziest I have ever read. This book gives that one a run for best twists. The Fairy Realm! The Singing Sisters! Seth’s Memories! A new quest! Giants and super giants! The list goes on and on. It’s incredible how much happens in this book! And the ending is crazy leaving us on a major plot cliffhanger. Have I mentioned I need book 5 yesterday? 🙂
I love the journeys that our protagonists go on in this book and that we finally see those journeys connect. Seth’s story is my favorite in this book. Finally we get some answers to what happened to him in book 2. It’s very satisfying to get some closure about that. And I was glad to see him fighting for the Dragonwatch side of things and relying on his courage and conscience as he discovers who he is again. Pretty crazy! Kendra comes a long way in this story as well. She sees the flaws and mistakes others make and also makes some herself. I appreciated her growth in this book. And I was so glad that she and Seth worked together for a while. It’s felt strange to have them at odds with each other in this series. Finally we are coming to a climax with them both (hopefully) on the same side. Also it’s fun to have Knox and Tess involved in the plot in some important ways. They have felt like unnecessary side characters for a bit (obviously very important in book 1). But I liked seeing how crucial they were to the success of Dragonwatch in this book and Seth’s upcoming mission. Of course everyone is separated to end the story but I enjoyed when they overlapped and can’t wait to see how it all comes together in the end.
I appreciate that everything doesn’t work out perfectly for all the characters. Brandon Mull like JK Rowling isn’t afraid to have characters make fatal mistakes or live with completely changed circumstances. We have Reggie the dirt man and his true identity, Vanessa’s experience in the Dragon Temple, The Fairy King, The Giant Queen, Seth and more. So many characters have to learn to live differently. I appreciate that he allows there to be sorrow and joy, victory and defeat, celebration and mourning.
This is another clever setting in a new magical preserve at Titan Valley. I loved the new details of life with Giants, a new Dragon sanctuary, the fallen Fairy King, Humbuggle’s arena and games, and more. This is a completely unique magical preserve with the addition of a large group of giants. And it was interesting to see how dragons are treated at this preserve. In many ways, they are slaves and treated quite poorly. That leads to some of the action later in the book. The war against dragons is becoming a worldwide fight (and beyond) but I still felt grounded in Seth and Kendra’s stories. There is a lot more to come in the finale. How will it all end in just one book? I feel like Dash at the end of The Incredibles…
This book is fantastic! One of my favorites from Brandon Mull period. Can’t wait to finish the series! I’m thinking I need to reread all of Fablehaven and Dragonwatch in preparation for this book to come one. It’s going to be epic! Can’t recommend these highly enough!
What are your favorite fantasy series?
Any Brandon Mull fans out there? Which series should I read next from him?