Gold Star Award Winner!
It's very rare, in this day and age of Harry Potter mania (and yes, I admit I'm a very devoted victim!) to find a fantasy story that can actually hold your attention. With FABLEHAVEN, though, new author Brandon Mull manages to do just that from the very first page to the last. Not to mention, thank the fairies, that there's already another book planned in the series.
The premise is simple enough: two siblings, thirteen-year-old Kendra and her eleven-year-old brother, Seth, are relegated to spending time with their paternal grandparents, Grandma and Grandpa Sorenson, while their parents enjoy a seventeen-day Scandinavian cruise. At first glance, that might not seem so strange, but you have to understand that their family's relationship with the grandparents Sorenson is sort of an odd one. They don't visit much, they don't call; in fact, Kendra and Seth don't really know their grandparents that well at all.
This is a forced, mandatory vacation though, so the kids don't have much choice in the matter. And when they finally reach Fablehaven, where, unbeknown to them, their Grandfather is the caretaker, they're a little overwhelmed. First, there were the No Trespassing and Private Property signs that gave way to one that said Certain Death Awaits. Now, they find out that however pretty and secluded Fablehaven may be, there's no television, no radio, and a ton of rules -- not all of which make sense.
What follows is two weeks of more adventure, trouble, suspense, and magic than the kids could have ever dreamed of. When their rash actions, and disobedience to some important rules, leads to retribution from the magical world of Fablehaven, Kendra, Seth, Grandpa Sorenson, and even Grandma, who seems to be missing, are in for a ride.
FABLEHAVEN is a great fantasy novel perfect for everyone, from young adults to those young at heart. With a cast of characters ranging from witches to fairies, satyrs to imps, strange chickens and conniving trolls, there's definitely something for everyone. I plan to give my copy of FABLEHAVEN to my ten-year-old son to read next, and I'm pretty sure he'll enjoy it as much as I did (not to mention my mom, who gets it when he's done!). Kudos to Mr. Mull for such a great debut fantasy novel, and for giving me something absolutely wonderful to read during my Harry Potter-deprived winter. I can't wait for the next book in the series!
Reviewed by: Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius"