book reviews, middle grade

Fablehaven by Brandon Mull

44652Title: Fablehaven
Author: Brandon Mull
Source: Secondhand
Edition: Paperback
Publication: April 24th 2007 by Aladdin (first published 2006)
Pages: 351 pages
Category: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Magic


For centuries mystical creatures of all description were gathered into a hidden refuge called Fablehaven to prevent their extinction. The sanctuary survives today as one of the last strongholds of true magic. Enchanting? Absolutely. Exciting? You bet. Safe? Well, actually, quite the opposite.

Kendra and her brother, Seth, have no idea that their grandfather is the current caretaker of Fablehaven. Inside the gated woods, ancient laws keep relative order among greedy trolls, mischievous satyrs, plotting witches, spiteful imps, and jealous fairies. However, when the rules get broken — Seth is a bit too curious and reckless for his own good — powerful forces of evil are unleashed, and Kendra and her brother face the greatest challenge of their lives. To save their family, Fablehaven, and perhaps even the world, Kendra and Seth must find the courage to do what they fear most.



On the cover: The cover is green with a witch at the centre. The witch is a character which is very important in the series. I love the type of lettering which was used for the title and the name of the author. The actual cover has a shiny and sparkly finish which makes the book look magical. This book is marketed to children ages 8 to 12 so I think that this cover is spot on in attracting this age. The design is a mixture of mystery and it hints a little about the story.

On the story plot: The story is about Kendra and Seth who needed to spend two weeks with their grandfather and grandmother on their father’s side. They don’t know that their place is a magical preserve known as fablehaven. It is where magical creatures can live peacefully. However, not all magical creatures are on the good side. Seth and Kendra learn that there is a fine line which separates good and bad magic. Also, the preserve has laws and treaties which guard mortals from danger. However, if the mortal does something mischievous a high price should be paid, an example is what happened to Seth. For a first book a lot of things happened. Their grandfather was abducted. They were able to find a cure for their grandma but they freed the witch from her prison. A lot of bargaining happened in the story. They were able to find allies in the fairies who punished Seth. It was surprising how the fairies fought the bad guys. They kissed the imps who eventually turned back to fairies again. Also, that they were strong enough to bind the bad guys. In the story a lot back story was explained but not the whole story. Since Kendra was able to see the magical creatures with out the help of magical milk, I’m expecting a lot from the second book. It was a happy ending for the first book, the siblings returned safely to their parent but nothing was the same. They are both expected to come back because they are potential heirs for the positions of their grandparents.

On the characters: Kendra is the sister who like order. She does not take risks to the extent that she becomes a scaredy cat. Also, she is the on who was not happy with the arrangement of her and Seth staying with their grandparents. She uses her brain more than emotion. On the other hand, Seth is the total opposite of Kendra. He takes risks to the extent that it could hurt him in the end. Also, he is very mischievous and cunning which lead him to become a Walrus. Their grandparents are the care takers of Fablehaven and they know basic magic. They are able to keep the peace in Fablehaven by respecting the different rules and treaties of the place. All characters are very interesting that character build up is definitely a must. There is also a group which is called the evening star. They are the main antagonist in the story but they haven’t shown up in this story. I assume that they would show up in the second book, thus something to look forward to.

All in all: This is the first book of the fableheaven series. It is a middle grade book which has magical creatures in it. A lot of character build up and universe build up can be made in this series. It was a fun read. Kendra and Seth were nice protagonists, however Seth annoyed me a little. This is because he does things without considering others. It was nice to see that he learned his lesson in the end. I gave this book a three hearts rating because I still expect a lot to happen. It was a nice beginning and I would like to continue reading it. There is a lot promise for this series and I’m willing to read it. The battle scenes were good and that Kendra and Seth’s journey as care takers for Fablehaven interests me.


“Smart people learn from their mistakes. But the real sharp ones learn from the mistakes of others.”
― Brandon Mull, Fablehaven

“Let’s worry about fixing the problem instead of the blame.”
― Brandon Mull, Fablehaven

“break the rules pay the price”
― Brandon Mull, Fablehaven

“In their youth, mortals behave more like nymphs. Adulthood seems impossibly distant, let alone the enfeeblement of old age. But ponderously, inevitably, it overtakes you.”
― Brandon Mull, Fablehaven
“A bar of gold means much more to a pauper than to a king”
― Brandon Mull, Fablehaven

“A man with a brave tongue should support his words with courageous actions.” – ―Brandon Mull, Fablehaven


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