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Fablehaven #1


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Trespassers will be turned to stone

For centuries, mystical creatures of all description were gathered to a hidden refuge called Fablehaven to prevent their extinction. The sanctuary is 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 their grandfather is the current caretaker of Fablehaven. Inside the gated woods, ancient laws keep order among greedy trolls, mischievous satyrs, plotting witches, spiteful imps, and jealous fairies. However, when the rules get broken, powerful forces of evil are unleashed, forcing Kendra and Seth to face the greatest challenge of their lives, to save their family, Fablehaven, and perhaps even the world.

351 pages, Hardcover

First published June 7, 2006

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About the author

Brandon Mull

107 books9,674 followers
Brandon Mull resides in a happy little valley near the mouth of a canyon with his wife and three children. He spent two years living in the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile where he learned Spanish and juggling. He once won a pudding eating contest in the park behind his grandma’s house, earning a gold medal. Brandon is the author of the New York Times bestselling Fablehaven series and The Candy Shop War.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 12,097 reviews
Profile Image for Mario the lone bookwolf.
805 reviews3,866 followers
March 6, 2022
Now that´s a magic wildlife reservation one just wants to visit with a competent guide and not late at night

I´ve seen the 2 kids get dumped at the grandparents' house by their parents trope many times, but this is one of the far best executions of it. Not just because the siblings are a perfect match for many funny and dangerous situations, but because the old idea of comes in shiny new clothes. The whole thing is also a bit like the exposition for , because this will become the driving force of the other parts.

Magic creatures aren´t good
I can´t overemphasize this enough, unicorns aren´t gently playing around with gnomes under rainbows, they rip flesh out of the dying victims they stabbed with their horns. Ok, this may be a bit exaggerated, but Mull serves a perfect balance of white and grey morality
with focus on the darker sides. Enough for suspense, not too extreme, just the perfect dose to give the thing some thrill.

Give me more
I´m totally looking forward to reading the other parts, Mulls´style and combination of good characterization, witty dialogues, and great worldbuilding just screams to be read and he avoids lengths, unnecessary exposition, or any other plagues of the fantasy genre. And, for the flying spaghetti monsters sake, once something without paranormal psi superhero detectives in depressing dark noir big steampunk cities. Nothing against you, kids and YA detective fantasy, it´s just a bit of a trend like vampires and kind of overrepresented and overhyped, even a bit redundant with the constructed wit and everything, as if the crime and thriller genre had assimilated the whole section for younger readers. Fablehaven feels like such a good, refreshing alternative, just as a long vacation in the countryside.

Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph...
Profile Image for Shannon.
3,097 reviews2,383 followers
August 4, 2016
This book was mediocre. The author has some good ideas but the execution is terrible. His writing is amateurish and frustrating to read. None of the main characters are likable. Still though, I find myself wanting to know what will happen next, strange as that seems. I didn't hate this book but I'm glad I didn't spend money on it.

Seth and Kendra's parents are going on a cruise and they need to dump their kids off at their grandparents' house. Of course, Seth and Kendra are grumpy for being left behind while their parents get to enjoy a vacation, and they prepare themselves for two weeks of boredom spent with grandparents they don't even really know. Once there though, they realize that their grandparents' home and the land it sits on is not at all ordinary and proceed to get themselves in all kinds of trouble with fairies, witches, and even a few satyrs.

My single biggest problem with this story is every main character is either unlikable, irresponsible, or both.

First off, I wanted to smack Seth on more than one occasion. He's selfish, stupid, and a horrible brat. Seth is the type of kid that takes out a magnifying glass to fry ants. Even when he does something wrong he barely gets reprimanded. And no matter how many times he's told not to do something he does it anyway, getting himself and others into trouble. Many of the problems that the characters encountered could have been avoided if Seth wasn't such an idiot.

Kendra isn't much better though. Her main personality trait is not getting into trouble. She's a flat character that comes off as bossy and know-it-all. She also avoids trouble by making her brother do dangerous things that she doesn't want to do. Kendra uses Seth as a guinea pig for things that could kill him, for real, and she barely thinks twice about harming her younger brother.

I think the main thing that bothered me about this book was the relationship between Kendra and Seth. I don't know if my younger brother and I just got along better than most siblings, but a lot of the things that Kendra and Seth say and do to each other are downright mean. It really made me like both of them that much less.

The kids' grandpa is the most irresponsible one of the them all, considering some of the minor and a few of the major problems could have been avoided if he had been more upfront and honest with Seth and Kendra. He either doesn't trust them or thinks they're on a need-to-know basis, but whatever the reason he keeps them in the dark throughout the novel which results in plenty of mishaps. He even says that "what you don't know can hurt you" but still doesn't tell them the whole truth most of the time. This was very frustrating.

The mythologies and legends told throughout the story are convoluted at best. The author tries to blend these things together and it just ends up a mess with naiads, fairies, witches, demons, and ogres running around. Nothing gets developed really well and it just seems like the author through in creatures that he liked or wanted to write about, not ones that would necessarily make sense.

I was surprised about the amount of violence, death, and nudity in this book. Not to mention; giant teats. Kendra even drinks blood at one point. I honestly don't care, but I can imagine some parents wouldn't be happy about it.

I plan on trying the next book against my better judgment. I'll be getting that one from the library as well though, I can't justify spending money on this series. I want to know what's going to happen with some of unresolved storylines enough to pick up the second book. Here's hoping the series improves.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews50 followers
December 30, 2021
Fablehaven (Fablehaven #1), Brandon Mull

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.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز سیزدهم ماه ژانویه سال2012میلادی

عنوان: آشیانه افسانه کتاب اول؛ نویسنده: براندن (براندون) مال (مول)؛ مترجم: میلاد فشتمی؛ تهران، بهنام، سال1389، در374ص؛ از مجموعه پنجگانه افسانه - کتاب اول؛ شابک9789645668639؛ چاپ دوم سال1391؛ موضوع داستانهای کودکان و نوجوانان از نویسندگان بریتانیا- سده21م

کتاب: «آشیانه افسانه»؛ داستان ورود یک خواهر و برادر، به منطقه ای حفاظت شده است؛ منطقه حفاظت شده ای که گونه های گوناگون جادویی و اساطیری، برای جلوگیری از انقراض نسلشان، به آنجا پناه برده اند؛ در این پناهگاه، تمام موجودات، به لطف عهدنامه ی تأسیس منطقه، از مصونیت برخوردار هستند، و هرگونه سرپیچی از قوانین، عواقبی را برای موجود خاطی در پی دارد

چکیده: (پدربزرگ و مادربزرگ «لارسن» به «کارولینای جنوبی» رفته بودند، تا به یکی از اقوامشان که در یک کاراوان زندگی می‌کرد، سر بزنند؛ در اثر نقص فنی کاراوان، گاز نشر کرده، و همگی در خواب مرده بودند، مدت‌ها پیش از این رویداد، پدربزرگ و مادربزرگ «لارسن» وصیت کرده بودند، که پس از مرگشان تمام فرزندانشان به همراه همسرانشان، به خرج آن‌ها با یک کشتی تفریحی «اسکاندیناویایی» به مسافرت بروند؛ اما نوه‌ ها به این مسافرت دعوت نشده بودند)؛

نقل نمونه متن: (فصل اول: تعطیلات اجباری؛ «کندرا» سرش را به شیشه پنجره ماشین تکیه داده، و به تصویر مبهم گذر شاخ و برگ درختها، خیره شده بود؛ هنگامی که سرعت حرکت تصویر بیشتر شد، دخترک چشم به درختی در دوردست دوخت، و نزدیک شدن آن را دنبال کرد، تا اینکه درخت به تدریج در پشت سرشان محو شد؛ چقدر شبیه زندگی بود؛ میتوان به آینده چشم دوخت، و یا بازگشت و به گذشته نگریست، اما حال سریعتر از آن میگذرد که بتوان جذب آن شد

شاید این قانون در مورد بیشتر مواقع درست باشد، اما در مورد امروز نه؛ امروز که در بزرگراه دو لاینه ی بی انتهایی، در قلب تپه های جنگلی «کنکتیکت» به پیش میرفتند، «ست» غرولند کنان گفت «چرا نگفتین پدربزرگ سورنسون تو هند زندگی میکنه؟» برادرش یازده ساله بود، و سال آینده به کلاس ششم میرفت؛ از بازی کردن با بازی کامپیوتری دستیش خسته شده بود، و این خود دلیل خوبی برای اثبات این نکته بود، که مدت زمان طولانی را در سفر بودند؛ مادر به سمت صندلیهای عقب برگشت؛ - دیگه چیزی نمونده عزیزم؛ از منظره لذت ببر؛ «ست» گفت: «من گشنمه.» مادر در سبد خوراکیها را باز کرد؛ - بیسکویت با کره ی بادوم زمینی میخوای؟ «ست» به جلو خم شد تا بیسکویتها را بگیرد؛ پدر که در حال رانندگی بود نیز مقداری شکلات بادامی میخواست؛ کریسمس گذشته به این نتیجه رسیده بود، که شکلات بادامی شیرینی محبوبش است، و باید در طول سال نیز از آن بخورد؛ و اکنون که تقریبا شش ماه از آن روز میگذشت، هنوز هم بر تصمیمش استوار بود؛ - تو چیزی میخوای «کندرا»؟ - نه، ممنون؛ «کندرا» بار دیگر توجهش را به گذر شتابان درختها معطوف کرد، پدر و مادرش قرار بود به همراه تمام داییها و خاله هایش به صورت رایگان با یک کشتی تفریحی «اسکندیناویایی» به مسافرتی هفده روزه بروند؛ نه به این دلیل که برنده ی مسابقه ای شده بودند، بلکه به این خاطر که پدربزرگ و مادربزرگِ «کندرا» خفه شده بودند! پدربزرگ و مادربزرگ «لارسن» به «کارولینای جنوبی» رفته بودند، تا به یکی از اقوامشان که در یک کاراوان زندگی میکرد، سر بزنند

در اثر نقص فنی کاراوان، گاز نشر کرده، و همگی در خواب مرده بودند؛ مدتها پیش از این اتفاق، پدربزرگ و مادربزرگ «لارسن» وصیت کرده بودند که پس از مرگشان تمام فرزندانشان به همراه همسرانشان، به خرج آنها با یک کشتی تفریحی «اسکاندیناویایی» به مسافرت بروند؛ اما نوه ها به این مسافرت دعوت نشده بودند؛ «کندرا» پرسید: «هفده روز رو یه کشتی روی آب خسته نمیشین؟» پدر از آینه نگاهی به «کندرا» کرد و گفت: «میگن غذاش عالیه؛ غذاهای دریایی، صدف، خاویار، و کلی مخلفات دیگه.» مادر با ناراحتی گفت: «راستش ما خیلی هم از اینکه به این مسافرت میریم خوشحال نیستیم؛ فکر نمیکنم اون موقع که پدربزرگ و مادربزرگت این وصیت رو کردن، حتی به ذهنشون هم خطور کرده باشه که ممکنه این جوری بمیرن؛ اما به هرحال سعی میکنیم ازش لذت ببریم.» پدر موضوع بحث را عوض کرد و گفت: «همش که رو آب نیستیم؛ کشتی تو مسیرش تو بندرهای مختلف لنگر میندازه و میتونیم از کشتی پیاده شیم.»؛ «ست» پرسید: «نکنه این ماشین سواری هم قراره هفده روز طول بکشه؟» پدر گفت: «دیگه تقریبا رسیدیم.»؛ «کندرا» پرسید «مجبوریم این مدت رو پیش پدربزرگ و مادربزرگ سورنسون بمونیم؟» پدر گفت: «بهتون خوش میگذره؛ میدونین؟ شما باید احساس غرور کنین؛ اونها تقریبا تا الآن هیشکی رو دعوت نکردن که پیششون بمونه.» - دقیقا؛ ما خیلی کم میشناسیمشون؛ تارک دنیان؛ پدر گفت «خب، به هر حال پدر و مادر منن؛ ولی من یه جورایی جون سالم به در بردم.»؛ جاده ی پرپیچ و خم جنگلی تمام شد و به یک شهر رسیدند؛ هنگامی که پشت یک چراغ قرمز ایستادند، نگاه «کندرا» به سمت خانم سنگین وزنی برگشت، که مشغول پر کردن باک ماشینش بود؛ شیشه ی جلوی ونش کثیف بود، اما به نظر قصد تمیز کردن آن را نداشت؛ «کندرا» به شیشه ی ماشین خودشان نگاه کرد؛ با اینکه آخرین بار که برای بنزین زدن توقف کرده بودند پدر آن را تمیز کرده بود، اما اکنون کثیف بود، و حشرات مرده ی زیادی به آن چسبیده بودند؛ مسافت طولانی را از «روچستر» تا آنجا پیموده بودند؛ «کندرا» میدانست که پدربزرگ و مادربزرگ «سورنسون» آنها را دعوت نکرده بودند؛ گفتگوی مادرش با پدربزرگ «سورنسون» را در روز خاکسپاری شنیده بود، که مادر خواهش کرده بود بچه ها این هفده روز را نزد آنها بمانند؛ یادآوری روز خاکسپاری لرزه بر اندام «کندرا» انداخت؛ شب پیش از روز خاکسپاری، در مراسمی مخصوص، پدربزرگ و مادر بزرگ «لارسن» را در تابوتهای شبیه هم دیده بود؛ «کندرا» اصلاً دوست نداشت که پدربزرگ «لارسن» را با آرایش ببیند؛ کدام دیوانه ای این سنت را پایه گذاشته بود، که برای آخرین دیدار شخص درگذشته با نزدیکانش، باید یک متخصص تاکسیدرمی استخدام شود، تا مرده را آرایش کند؟ «کندرا» ترجیح میداد آنها را زنده به یادآورد تا آن نمایش عجیب و غریب مرده ها در بهترین لباسهایشان، آخرین تصویری باشد که از پدربزرگ و مادربزرگش در ذهنش باقی میماند؛ «لارسنها» جزوی از زندگیش بودند؛ تعطیلات طولانی و مسافرتهای بسیاری را نزد آنها گذرانده بود.)؛ پایان نقل از متن کتاب.؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 07/10/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 08/10/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Jennifer Wardrip.
Author 5 books489 followers
November 18, 2012
Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo.com

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!
Profile Image for Kimberley doruyter.
813 reviews95 followers
July 17, 2019
why can't i stop re-reading this series?

no matter how many times i re-read this i still love it
and i have got the boxset, a b-day present from my mom.

i love the whole series so much, i must buy myself the boxset.
Profile Image for Kathryn.
4,348 reviews
May 26, 2008
It was hard to determine what rating to give this book--I think 2.5 is my verdict. For "interesting concept" I'd give it four stars--but for execution/delivery only two stars. On "fulfilling expectations" I'd give it one star. This is one of the most disappointing reads I've come across. Thankfully the final few chapters were decent, so that saved the book from being a dismal failure in my mind.

Without giving away too much of the plot, I must say that this book is NOT really about caring for magical creatures on some sort of enchanted preserve. It is rather about all the stupid things the kids staying there do that messes things up, gets other people in trouble, unleashes terrible creatures, and makes things pretty crummy. And, yes, I felt that most of the characters were pretty dumb--certainly not very likable. Even the Grandpa--I think he was supposed to be wise, as he is in charge of the whole preserve--doesn't really have a clue what to do half the time. And his half-truths and lack of confidence in the children leads to many problems that could have been avoided had he been more open--and also if the kids had been less obnoxious, selfish and stupid. Alas, I really didn't care if an evil beast ate up the little brother after he went wandering through parts of the preserve that he had been warned not to go. Unlike the kids in Harry Potter, who usually have very good reasons for disobeying rules, Seth is just being a troublesome little boy. Many of the "deep" issues of the tale are never resolved, like how only immortal creatures have no morals...

The writing style was also not that great. A few of the scenes were quite good, but most of the story lagged. Also, a few parts just seemed a bit creepy/weird and I wondered at the appropriateness for children. That is:

******SPOILER ALERT: The children see their grandmother naked--at another point, she teaches them how to give a massage to a troll in order to send him into a state of ecstasy. In another part, the kids have to slide down the utters/tips of a giant cow. Was this supposed to be funny? It just seemed a bit icky to me.******

All in all, it was a decent enough story for me to finish but I really wished the writing and character development had been good enough to really deliver what promised to be such a neat story. There are much better fantasy books out there!
Profile Image for jenny✨.
578 reviews842 followers
July 18, 2020
The summer I was twelve, my best friend Grace pedalled furiously to my house on her bike, balancing something on her handlebars. There's something you gotta see, gotta read! she said.

It was this book.

The first time I picked up Fablehaven was June 1, 2010—almost exactly 10 years ago today. Grace and I were wrapping up seventh grade at separate elementary schools, both daunted and excited about the prospect of starting high school in the fall (in Vancouver, high school begins in eighth grade; we don't have middle schools or junior highs).

We were almost exactly the same age as Kendra, and it was also around the same time—summertime—that this book took place. And the escape of Fablehaven was exactly what we craved: immersion in a wholly novel and lush world, just close enough to our own realities for us to devise stories and games about spectacular creatures and secret missives. Grace and I were lifelong best friends, and our shared marvel at this world only cemented that.

“In their youth, mortals behave more like nymphs. Adulthood seems impossibly distant...”

Today, Grace is interning at Google, alternating between California and BC. I'm starting my Master's at the University of Toronto in September. It's been a long time since I've visited the world of Kendra and Seth's Fablehaven—a world of satyrs, demons, fairies, ogresses, witches, and spectral entities—and it still manages to snatch my breath away. I'm more appreciative now than when I was at age twelve of Brandon Mull's brilliant pacing, each chapter building on the last, adventures and encounters with new creatures flowing one into the other.

And I continue to be utterly enchanted by the magic within these pages.
Profile Image for Eric.
37 reviews11 followers
March 1, 2016
At first I was thinking, "Oh great, not another story about fairies." But after a while I realized that Mull puts some very interesting twists in his version of fantastical creatures. His adds some great morals and gives the reader a chance to see how great kids can be, as if we somehow lose sight of their potential when we become adults. A great read!
Profile Image for Calista.
4,080 reviews31.3k followers
August 26, 2018
This is one of the best kept secrets out there. This series is amazing and it's my favorite series after Harry Potter. It's surprising and twisting and you are just cheering by the end. Divergent and Hunger Games are great, but this is better. Check it out

This is about a magical creatures reserve run by an elder couple. Their grandkids have to come live with them in the summer and the fun is the kids discovering the magic surrounding them. Each step is wonderful and each book gets better and better. There are fairies all over the yard and the world and so this book is so dear to me. I love it.
Profile Image for Sara Bow.
236 reviews1,033 followers
February 11, 2023
Definitiv eher für jüngere Leser - trotzdem wunderschön geschrieben und konnte mich super unterhalten. Den zweiten Band muss ich aber nicht unbedingt lesen
Profile Image for Kimberley doruyter.
813 reviews95 followers
June 16, 2020
reminds me of the spiderwick chronicles just better.

i have just noticed how much of a drama queen kendra is.
Profile Image for Bookishrealm.
2,086 reviews5,082 followers
March 20, 2023
Whew! I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks this was a rough start to the series. It definitely wasn't what I was expected, but at the time of writing this review I can say that the second book is a lot better than this one.

Fablehaven is the first in this middle grade fantasy series that follows main characters Kendra and Seth as they are whisked away to their grandparents estate after their parents are offered the opportunity to go on a luxurious vacation. While at their grandparents, Kendra and Seth learn that their grandfather is the caretaker of magical creatures in an area called Fablehaven. Due to their reckless behavior, Seth and Kendra must risk danger to save both Fablehaven and their grandparents.

What Worked: The world building was really interesting in this one. I've read quite a few middle grade fantasy books, but it's been a while since I've read one with such extensive magical creatures. There were some that were familiar to me and others that I've never heard of before. It kept me invested in the story and how it would ultimately unfold. Mull also has a knack for writing a fast paced plot. There wasn't a dull moment in any part of the book. I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I moved through the book despite it's length.

What Didn't Work: The character development in this one was atrocious. I mean absolutely horrendous. As an adult reader, I'm very mindful of age appropriate behavior as it applies to main characters. I try to be both understanding and aware; however, Seth is probably the most unlikeable middle grade character that I've come across in a while. He literally listens to nothing that he is told and quite frankly he's the reason why Fablehaven falls apart. It's tragic. And he never seems to learn his lesson. It took me out the book more than once and caused me frustration. There were also parts of this book that don't hold up well. I didn't realize that these books were published before I even graduated from high school, but there were references to racial and ethnic backgrounds that didn't sit well with me. I understood that Mull was attempting to be inclusive, but it comes off as harmful stereotypes.

I'm not going to lie, this was a rough start for the beginning of a series, but I'm invested enough that I'm interested in seeing where the story is going to go in the next few installments.
Profile Image for Ksia_zkowe Oliwia.
347 reviews381 followers
November 20, 2022
To było prześwietne. W wieku prawie 20 lat jestem zachwycona, a co dopiero gdybym czytała to będąc trochę młodsza 🙈
Profile Image for Angela.
388 reviews
August 1, 2010
.I adored this book! Absolutely gripping and wonderful. Wonderful fantasy and strong characters without being too goody goody.
Recommended to everyone!
Profile Image for Jolie.
95 reviews67 followers
May 13, 2008
My daughter, Sarah, (8 years old, but a great reader) and I have loved this book, as well as its sequel, Rise of the Evening Star. She is currently reading the third, Grip of the Shadow Plague because she snatched it up before I could! Brandon Mull (another LDS author...they seems to be everywhere...) has created a vibrant fantasy series with great characters and snappy dialogue. Because there are both a brother and sister at the center of the intrigue, this will appeal to both boys and girls (the sister is older, and the most central character, but the brother is brave and boasting and thoroughly delightful). The kids are farmed off to Grandma and Grandpa's house, only to discover that they are caretakers for a preserve of magical creatures. All sorts of mischief and mayhem ensues. There are some scary/tense moments, when you have small doubts about everyone's safety, but only enough to keep the story compelling. (One time, during the first book, Sarah came to me and asked me to finish reading the chapter with her because, "it's freaking me out!" We finished it together, and all was well.) The vocabulary is challenging, the plot is complex enough to demand careful attention from readers, and there is a thoughtful reading guide in the back to aid in discussions. A great foray into thoughtful readings of difficult books.
Profile Image for Exina.
1,189 reviews382 followers
August 19, 2019
Fablehaven is a great opening book of the Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull. It is about Kendra and Seth's adventures in Fablehaven, that is a sanctuary of mystical creatures.

Kendra & Seth. Typical siblings. As the older one, Kendra is more mature, careful, and sober than her brother. Seth, as the younger one, always breaks the rules, generating the main conflicts of the story.

Grandpa & Grandma. When Grandpa is out of the scene, Grandma appears and takes over his role. They aren’t distinguishable for me. Both of them are very objective, dispassionate, impersonal, factual, as if they only narrate the story, not participate in it.

World-building. Incomplete, somehow shapeless, foggy, with unrefined elements. You meet many kinds of magical beings, such as a witch, a demon, fairies, satyrs, naiads, an ogre, a golem, a giant cow (well, that was weird, and the scene with it pretty disgusting) and some undefined creatures.

Story and action-line. The grandparents hold back a lot of information in order  to motivate Kendra and Seth to figure things out themselves, to see if they are capable of taking over the caretaker position of the haven later. Well, it is really weird of grandparents to test their grandchildren like this, to put their life at risk.

A threatening conspiracy comes to light, and the Society of the Evening Star behind it is mysterious enough to carry many possibilities for the future books. At the end of the story, Kendra’s bravery and ingenuity is remarkable. Sometimes the best ideas come out of the blue. The final battle is very exciting.

All in all. Despite its shortcomings, I’m sure Fablehave is an enjoyable read for the intended audience.
31 reviews3 followers
January 26, 2008
I really enjoyed this book. It's different from many other popular fantasy books, because there is a complete family structure included. No orphan, no "who could the mother / father be?", no "who's going to be the 'father/mentor' figure that gets killed?" Not here -- there's a mother, a father, and two sets of grandparents, one set of whom die before the first book in an ordinary gas leak. Due to their maternal grandparents death, they are introduced to Fablehaven and its mythical creatures. I've loved fauns and centaurs, etc. ever since I read "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe". In fact, I've loved fantasy / sci-fi ever since. Of course, authors have always had a great deal of license when it comes to mythical creatures and they definitely vary a great deal from one book to another, but I like Brandon Mull’s perspective and enjoyed his description of fairies, especially when they are called upon by the Fairy Queen to assist Kendra in defeating a demon named Bahumat. That’s where the action really kicks off. But at the heart of the story is family, being there for each other, and facing what we fear so that we can grow and learn.

Brandon is LDS and has served a mission in Chile. He also visits a lot of schools all over the country talking about writing. At the end of each of his books are questions to ask yourself after or while reading the books. These questions are -- horror of horrors -- actual moral questions to ponder, with emphasis on civics (law & order) and, worst of all, taking responsibility for your own decisions and behavior. In this day and age, we are talking WOW!!!

NOTE: I would DEFINITELY drink the milk!!
Profile Image for Laura.
1,081 reviews31 followers
March 12, 2019
Are you looking for fun and adventure - this is your book!
Are you looking for a light and easy read - this is your book!
Are you looking for magic and all sorts of magic creatures - this is your book!

Regardless if you're 14 or 40 - you're gonna love this book!

Fablehaven 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.

Their adventures kept both me and my kiddo at the edge of our seats and may just do the same for you!
I highly recommend it to all magic and adventure lovers out there!
Happy reading! :)
Profile Image for MohamadSaleh NooraniZadeh.
Author 47 books112 followers
January 4, 2021
خیلی از خوندنش لذت بردم! فقط حسرت این رو می‌خورم که توی بچگی نخوندمش :( بریم واسه کتاب دوم
Profile Image for Brigid ✩.
581 reviews1,818 followers
November 25, 2013
2.5 Stars

Hugo slackened his pace, and they came to a stop in front of the shadowy doorway. The church was completely still. There was no sign anybody had been there in a hundred years.

"I'd rather have the sun, but at least we still have some light," Grandma said, using a tool to set the silver-headed arrow to the string of her undersized crossbow and pull it into position. "Let's get this over with as soon as we can. Evil likes darkness."

"Why is that?" Seth asked.

Grandma thought about the question a moment before answering. "Because evil likes to hide."


When their parents drop them off at their estranged grandfather's house, siblings Seth and Kendra don't know what to expect. Almost right away, strange things begin to happen, and they begin to suspect that there is something out of the ordinary about their grandfather's property. Soon Seth and Kendra find out that their grandfather is the caretaker of Fablehaven––a sanctuary for mythological creatures. But when the rules are broken and a great evil is unleashed, it is up to Seth and Kendra to save Fablehaven––and maybe the world.

My thoughts:

I first heard about this series years ago, when I first joined Goodreads. I remember many of my friends on here were reading it and in love with it, and I always meant to pick it up at some point. I finally got around to reading it this past summer, when it was the group read for one of my Goodreads book clubs.

Maybe it's because I'm not a huge fan of middle grade fiction, but I had some trouble connecting with this story. While I liked the idea of it, I found the plot a bit repetitive and I felt that the characters didn't have much depth and were, frankly, kind of annoying.

What I liked:

The concept behind the story is a fun and interesting one. I enjoyed the idea of there being a haven for magical creatures. The world itself was pretty nicely imagined.

I also thought there was a nice balance of humor and horror in the story. There are definitely a lot of funny moments, but there are scary moments as well. I like a story that can be humorous but also suspenseful.

What didn't work for me:

As I said at the beginning, I don't read a lot of middle grade fiction so I felt a little out of my element with this book. While I have nothing against younger protagonists, I feel that sometimes middle grade books have a somewhat condescending tone to them which I felt was present in this book. So, I felt like the style was a little forced at times.

I also found the plot to be pretty repetitive. It got kind of formulaic after a while and it seemed to keep repeating something along these lines:

Grandpa: Seth and Kendra, there's this thing I don't want you to do. If you do this thing, you will be in a lot of trouble. So, don't do it. Bye.
Seth: Kendra, let's do the thing Grandpa told us not to do.
Kendra: Umm no you idiot, he said not to do that thing.
Seth: Well, I'm going to do it anyway. *Does the thing*
Kendra: Seth I told you not to do the thing!
Grandpa: Seth I told you not to do the thing!
Seth: Sorry.
Grandpa: Ho ho, it's no matter. … Now here's another thing I don't want you to do …
*The cycle repeats itself*

So yeah, it got a little old after a while.

On top of that, I found Seth to be pretty dang irritating (and stupid). It was like, every time he was told not to do something, he would just go and do it anyway (as illustrated above). And all that really accomplished was to make him seem annoying and bratty.

Kendra was at least not as obnoxious, but she was also a pretty predictable character. She came off as being the standard goody-two-shoes child who always tries to be the voice of reason. For most of the plot her only function seemed to be to stand around telling Seth not to do stupid things. At least towards the end she took matters into her own hands, and I was happy about that, but I just wish she'd had more of a significant role throughout the story and not just at the very end of it.

The final word:

This book was just okay for me. I didn't dislike it, but I also didn't enjoy it all that much. While the idea was fun, and it had its exciting moments, I wasn't thrilled with the way it was executed; the plot seemed to repeat itself frequently, and I couldn't connect with either of the main characters. I thought it was all right in the end, but I don't think it was enough to compel me to read the rest of the series.

~ Flying Kick-a-pow! Reviews ~
Profile Image for Książkomanka.
292 reviews332 followers
January 23, 2023
2021: Bardzo ciekawa historia, czułam się jakbym czytała o połączeniu Narnii z Tajemniczym Ogrodem 😃 świat skonstruowany jest nietypowy, a historia może się spodobać zarówno starszym dzieciom, jak i młodzieży :)

2023: kocham całym sercem! Czytanie ponownie pierwszego tomu, gdy już znam całą serię było zupełnie innym doświadczeniem, wielokrotnie ogarniało mnie sentymentalne wzruszenie 🥺❤
Profile Image for Prabhjot Kaur.
1,052 reviews156 followers
January 4, 2021
It stared out pretty slow and picked up a bit in the middle to towards the end. It was a good plot but with terrible characters. I didn't care much for any of the main characters save for Lena a bit. I did like the dual narrative though.

Kendra is a very boring teenage girl who doesn't take any risks or does anything exciting. She just exists until the end. And then in the end she's granted all these powers to save her family. Seth who's Kendra's younger brother is exactly opposite to her. He always crosses the line and doesn't listen to anyone's instructions or basically anything else. Not to mention he gets himself and everybody else in trouble time and again and still ignores all the warnings and instructions. He just doesn't learn from his mistakes.

Then there are the grandparents who don't tell anything to their grandkids until after it happens or somethings strictly on need-to-know basis. Like I mentioned before it was a good plot and I would have liked to know about the other creatures as well. But I'm guessing we'll know more in the next book.

Even though this is only two stars book for me, I'd still read the next one as I have a lot of questions and would like to get more information on all the other creatures on the preserve.

2 stars
Profile Image for Kells Next Read .
533 reviews538 followers
November 7, 2015

"None of these creatures are good. Not the way we think of good. None are safe. Much of morality is peculiar to mortality. The best creatures here are merely not evil."

This was such a wonderful mythical magical read. Kendra and Seth are ( siblings ) the leads in this fantasy filled with fairies, naiads, golems and witches. This is my first Brandon Mull book and I can boldly say, I was left feeling more than satisfied with frequent nostalgic feelings of my younger days lol. Even though this is a children's book the story was gripping and the world that the author created most fascinating.

I will definitely be continuing this series.
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