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Saturday, September 11, 2010

You Don't Need to Be Fairy-Smacked to See Fablehaven 2 Is Pure Magic

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

(Note: While this review will not contain spoilers for Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from its predecessor, Fablehaven. As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.)

After spending a summer at her grandparents' preserve for magical creatures, 14-year-old Kendra figures she's seen it all. Still, when a goblin shows up in homeroom, she's a little surprised. Since no one else can see Casey Hancock's Halloween-mask scary face, she figures it's an after effect of her encounter with the Fairy Queen. Apparently, Kendra's still carrying a little Fablehaven magic with her. With her friends falling all over themselves to attract the outwardly handsome goblin, Kendra knows it's only a matter of time before someone gets hurt. Enlisting the help of Seth and a mysterious (but exquisitely dressed) stranger, she goes on a mission to rid her school of the menace. Only it doesn't go quite as planned. Soon, Kendra, Seth, their grandparents, and everything good at Fablehaven is in serious trouble.

The sanctuary holds many secrets, the biggest of which is a magical artifact. It's so powerful that no one knows its location. Not that that's stopping anyone from searching. Kendra's grandparents have brought in a team of experts - Tanu, a potions master; Vanessa, a trapper of mystical life forms; and Coulter, the Indiana Jones of the magical world - to help them find the treasure before members of Society of he Evening Star can take it and use it for their own nefarious purposes. As Kendra and Seth learn from the newcomers, they make a startling discovery: someone in the house is a traitor. Is it the jolly poisons expert? The beautiful trapper? The curmudgeonly treasure hunter? Or someone much closer to home?

When the double-crosser is revealed, Fablehaven falls into chaos. Seth is missing, Grandpa and Grandma Sorenson are locked in the dungeon, and it's up to Kendra to keep the sanctuary from falling into the wrong hands. With a little help from some surprising allies, she rushes into the foray to save her family, her friends, and the magical world she's determined to protect.

Rise of the Evening Star, the second book in Brandon Mull's popular Fablehaven series, cranks the intensity up a notch. Although it backtracks a little, explaining some details from the previous book, it mostly runs on pure story. Mull brings back our favorite characters, but adds enough new ones to keep things interesting. With all the new faces, plus twists and turns around every corner, it's a fantastic adventure that proves this series is only going to get better. I can't wait.

(Readalikes: Fablehaven by Brandon Mull and other books in the series; The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis; a little like the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling)

Grade: B+

If this were a movie, it would be rated: PG for fantasy violence

To the FTC, with love: Another library fine find

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad to see someone reviewing Fablehaven... wait till you get to the third one though... ACK and GASP!!!!
    I can't wait to read your review, myself, and the folks I know who read it... are still not quite sure how we should feel about it!

    (ps, I have a giveaway for Flora Segunda if you're interested: )


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