I missed this series when it first came out, but I’ve heard it mentioned so many times that I had to read it for myself. Wow! What an awesome middle grade fantasy series! I was hooked in the first chapter. I checked all five books out from the library this summer then had to battle my high school daughter for them. I’m also considering reading the series aloud to my boys for homeschool this year, their considerable length being the only drawback. We’d be reading them till Christmas!
Instead of a book-by-book plot outline, I’ll just summarize the series. Kendra and Seth Sorenson visit their grandparents’ house and learn it is a secret preserve for mystical, immortal creatures. The preserve is governed by an ancient treaty, and if visitor or resident breaks the terms, they are subject to danger and retribution. The kids also learn there are five powerful, magical objects that have been hidden all over the earth. Together, they would open the gate to Zzyzx, the demon prison. There is a secret group called the Society of the Evening Star that is working to see that happen. Kendra, Seth, their grandparents, and a few trusted friends must make sure that never happens.
The language in the Fablehaven books is completely clean; I don’t recall even one tiny profanity in 1,830 pages. And the content gets my stamp of approval, as well. It’s a battle of good vs. evil, so there is a dark element, but I found it totally appropriate for ages 8+. The “demons” that feature in basically fit into the mystical, immortal creature category. They’re the most powerful of the creatures. The series never descends into anything resembling witchcraft or possession. Also, the line between good creatures and bad creatures can be blurry. For example, most fairies are snotty and vain, and one demon proves very helpful several times. But for the most part, you know what side everyone’s on. And good always wins.
Fablehaven is an incredible page-turner with abundant imagination, kid-pleasing details, adventure, and magic. It celebrates family, courage, honor, good choices, loyalty, and friendship. And it does it with a perfect track record. I liked this one so much, I’m granting a Squeaky Award!
Books in the series include:
Rise of the Evening Star
Grip of the Shadow Plague
Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary (my favorite!)
Keys to the Demon Prison