In my desire to read as widely as possible in the genre, I grabbed this. It’s been a successful series which now runs to five books, this being the first.
I ended up liking the story though I almost lost my way at the start. Seth and Kendra are shipped off to their estranged grandparents when their own mother and father go on a cruise. They discover that their grandparents are caretakers of Fablehaven, a sanctuary for magical creatures and the home of a secret and important magical artifact.
To start with, the story has little if any direction. The children explore Fablehaven, discovering things and getting themselves into trouble as they predictably do almost everything that they are told not to by their grandfather. It’s only much later in the book that potential (and then actual) conflict appears as they begin to learn about the Society of the Evening Star and an ancient demon is unleashed.
It’s well written, the setting is indeed magical and the story is best appreciated for the pictures it paints in your mind than it is for the actual story arc which, as I say, appears rather late on in the tale. If you like fairies, satyr’s, golems. witches and demons, this book is for you! In some ways, it very much reminded me of the Spiderwick Chronicles.
I’m guessing that the next four books will have very much less preamble and will get on with developing the main conflict in the story and unveiling more secrets about Fablehaven. I’m looking forward to that and will definitely be grabbing the next installment!
Rating out of 5: ♦♦♦♦
Suggested age: 5 -12 (younger ages, 5-8, will most likely need it read to them)