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Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary Hardcover – March 24, 2009
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"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
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Brace yourself for a shocking secret. Two hidden artifacts have been found. Three more remain unrecovered. More preserves face destruction as the Society of the Evening Star relentlessly pursues new talismans. Reading in Patton's Journal of Secrets, Kendra learns the location of the key to a vault housing one of the artifacts. In order to retrieve it, the Knights of the Dawn must enter a death trap a dragon sanctuary called Wyrmroost. The mission cannot proceed without stealing a sacred object zealously guarded by the centaurs. Anybody seen Seth? The race is on to acquire all five of the artifact keys to the great demon prison. Will the Knights of the Dawn conquer Wyrmroost? Who can stop the Sphinx? Can Vanessa be trusted to help? What artifact will be found next? Find out in Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary.
Brandon Mull Interviews Raxtus the Dragon
Raxtus, a fairy dragon, is much smaller than the average winged reptiles that you may encounter in the Fablehaven series. He was raised by fairies, and can turn invisible at will. Find out how he wages war against the centaurs with the help of a young fairy named Kendra in Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary.
Brandon: Thanks for consenting to this interview.
Raxtus: I'm open to new experiences. Within reason.
Brandon: You are not a typical dragon.
Raxtus: Wow! So much for small talk. No, to my great shame, I was incubated and raised by fairies, so I sparkle and I'm much smaller than average. Also, my breath weapon is a joke. Among other things, it makes flowers bloom. Enough humiliation? I could go on.
Brandon: You feel like other dragons don't see you as an equal?
Raxtus: I get it. My humiliation remains incomplete. No, other dragons see me as ridiculous. My dad is a really big, important dragon, which heightens my disgrace, and also explains why I remain alive. Few dragons would willingly cross my dad.
Brandon: Unlike many dragons, you have befriended humans.
Raxtus: I enjoy humans. Since dragons rejected me, I get some of my vicarious thrills by spying on human culture. I love action movies.
Brandon: You can get into a theater?
Raxtus: In a pinch, yes. Often I'll just find a drive-in. They're a dying breed, but they're still around. Not the best sound, but I enjoy the open atmosphere. You want to talk movies? I could go for hours.
Brandon: Some other time. I understand that you aren't confined to a particular dragon sanctuary.
Raxtus: Correct. I enjoy Wyrmroost, and spend more time here than at any other sanctuaries, but I am free to roam the world, including many preserves that others cannot access.
Brandon: What is the purpose of these preserves?
Raxtus: Don't you know?
Brandon: I'm just trying to inform the uninitiated.
Raxtus: Gotcha. For centuries, the magical creatures around the world have been gathered to secret wildlife refuges. Some remain in the wild, but most have retired to these hidden preserves. Dragons and some of the more powerful creatures reside in special preserves called dragon sanctuaries. Is that enough?
Brandon: Perfect. You know Kendra Sorenson.
Raxtus: She's a credit to humankind. And fairykind. I'm a fan.
Brandon: And you've met Warren.
Raxtus: Don't remind me. I'm always finding new ways to embarrass myself. I've turned it into an art form.
Brandon: Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Raxtus: Ten years is a blink for a dragon. We live a long time. It would be like me asking where you see yourself in ten hours.
Raxtus: I get it. You want an answer. I've always wanted to write, or maybe paint, or I might finally enroll in grad school. I'm kidding. Told you I've studied humans! A real answer? I'll probably still be lurking around, hopefully inching toward seeming a tad more dragonly.
Brandon: What is your favorite food?
Raxtus: I love food! Don't get me started. So many flavors! It depends on my mood. Lately I've been into hippopotamus. It has to be fresh. Aurochs are good.
Brandon: Remind me what aurochs are?
Raxtus: Kind of like giant bulls. Really meaty.
Brandon: I think we'd get along. I'm into steak.
Raxtus: I take mine really rare. Like recently breathing.
Brandon: How do dragons view other magical creatures?
Raxtus: Most dragons are well aware that they're alpha predators, top of the food chain. The sharks of the sky. We're only threatened by other dragons, and perhaps the most powerful wizards. Many creatures become paralyzed in our presence, including humans. Dragons generally view other creatures as food. But dragons like to consider themselves intellectuals. If a creature can engage the intellect of a dragon, it might survive an encounter. The catch? It can be hard to hold a stimulating conversation when you're paralyzed.
Brandon: Some dragons have human avatars. They can take human shape.
Raxtus: Correct. Some dragons frown on the idea. Others find great amusement in the exercise. I have no human avatar. Which might be a good thing. If I did, I might rarely use my dragon form.
Brandon: You really like humans.
Raxtus: Shameful as it may sound, I do. Among dragons, I'm alone in that opinion.
Brandon: Do dragons particularly dislike humans?
Raxtus: Some do, mostly because wizards tend to use human form. Many dragons give humanoids little thought, considering them vermin if anything. A few dragons have kept human pets or servants, but not usually due to a love for humanity. A particular human might occasionally find favor with a particular dragon.
Brandon: But most dragons would just eat humans.
Brandon: This has been enlightening. Any parting thoughts?
Raxtus: Stay away from dragons. I may seem friendly, but I'm an exception to the rule. Even I sometimes savor the smell of humans. I abstain from eating people for philosophical rather than gastronomical reasons.
Brandon: Thanks for talking with me.
The Fablehaven books are so entertaining that I read the first three in a single sitting. They kept me turning the pages until 4:40 in the morning. Each book was better than the last! Brandon Mull is a talented new fantasy writer, and I can't wait to read more from him. The world he has created is deep, intriguing, magical, and full of surprising discoveries and unexpected dangers. I especially liked his two main characters, Kendra and Seth. They both act like real people, and unlike many fictional siblings, they help and support each other when they're in trouble. The Fablehaven series is one of the most enjoyable fantasies I've read in the past few years. I only wish I could have read it when I was ten or twelve. --Christopher Paolini, author of Eragon. The series is generating buzz as a contender in the fantasy-adventure genre to replace the Harry Potter franchise. --The Hollywood Reporter.
The series is generating buzz as a contender in the fantasy-adventure genre to replace the Harry Potter franchise. --The Hollywood Reporter
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When Kendra is kidnapped by the Society of the Evening Star and replaced by a magical look alike she wonders if all hope might be lost. The imposter relays many of her secrets and compromises the Knights of Dawn before committing suicide so that the world thinks she's dead. While Kendra tries to figure out how to escape the rest of the gang mourns her death while trying to discover the secret room which holds information about the artifacts before the Sphinx retrieves them himself and opens the Demon prison to unleash on an unsuspecting world. Will Kendra escape? With the Fablehaven crew be able to get the artifacts before the Sphinx?
You know, I thought the beginning books of this series were long, but as we surge closer to the end of the series the tomes become longer, the stakes get higher and the plots more intense. While the danger was higher than in any of the previous novels, I noted in my review of the third book that the series had become a little darker than before. The darkness in the novel gives it a heavy feel than the previous novels and when combined with the detailed descriptions it does considerably slow down the pace. The books become more difficult to read the further into the series you get. If you were purchasing this series for a child it would work nicely as a yearly birthday gift starting with the first book at age nine and the last at thirteen so that the books would kind of coincide with their maturity growth and gains in reading skill. The darkened feel of never knowing who can be trusted or just want lengths the enemy will go to in order to achieve their goals does seem to make it heavy to read and even as I fast reader I read this book at a slower pace than most. However the journey is worth enduring even though the pace isn't very fast. It is filled with intrigues, excitement and adventure. This book employs less humor than the previous novels, but I think it fits with the story line as the stakes grow higher and the missions get tougher. As always the books are filled with many mystical creatures who are very well described and easy to picture within your mind. Even though the creatures aren't human they have their own human like agendas, intrigues and allegiances. There's no denying Mull's talent for writing with stories filled with breathtaking journeys, heart stopping dangers and intricate characters. With each book it seems his talent grows though I will say that each novel has a different feel to it as if every time he sits down to write he looks at the world with new eyes. Mull employed a close third person narrative throughout the novel with an intriguing plot filled with unexpected surprises and betrayals. Even though his books aren't really fast paced they do keep you glued to the pages until the very end.
As mentioned in previous reviews with each books his characters get a little deeper, begin to take more shape and grow as people. Seth's adventurousness is less careless than in previous novels, his motives are less self serving. The chances he takes especially within this novel are more calculated and hero-like in nature. You can see him maturing into a young adult to be admired despite his daring nature. Kendra also grows with each book and I find it easier to relate to her with each adventure I join her on. It's sad, but as the novel progresses she begins to look at people with a more jaded outlook. She doesn't know who she can trust anymore and it seems she faces betrayal at every turn. I mean you can't help but feel a little regretful that she had to face this sad fact about the world so young, but after what she's been through for her to remain trusting of strangers and open about new people would be unrealistic. She also grows as a character gaining both more understanding as well as courage. The siblings grow closer with this novel and both take on more hero worthy characteristics. One of things I love about Mull's work is that even though the leading characters remain Kendra and Seth it's not constantly the same group of people in every novel. Gavin reappears in this novel and boy does his character takes some shocking twists and turns. Maddox sort of makes reappearance; you'll have to read to understand that one. We also see Dougan, Mara, Grandpa, Grandma, Warren, Tanu, Vanessa, Dale, The Fairy Queen, The Sphinx, the satyrs and centaurs among others all make reappearances, though many of these previously reoccurring characters do not receive much play in the book. Dale still remains a very flat and pretty much unimportant character. The previously known characters make way for introductions of new and intriguing characters like a dragon named Raxtus (who was my favorite new characters) more Knights of Dawn, as well as many other interesting characters. While some characters do remain kind of flat and in the background, most of the characters are well fleshed out , memorable and intriguing.
Overall I probably wouldn't hand this book to a reader younger than age twelve because I doubt they'd make it all the way through despite how good the story is. However it's a fantasy I feel will appeal to young adult and adult readers alike with a highly recommend and interesting story.
There is nonstop action from the beginning, long before we get to the titular dragon sanctuary. First, Kendra is kidnapped. Then, the first horn of a unicorn must be retrieved from a centaurs' cave guarded by a perilous maze and a troll, who fortunately is not very bright. The horn is needed to gain entry to Wyrmroost, where the key is hidden and guarded by fearsome creatures. Wyrmroost is a sanctuary not only for dragons but for other dangerous predators such as wyverns, griffins, giants, rocs, mountain trolls and phoenixes.
Kendra continues to grow in maturity and judgment, but Seth ... not so much. He is still as adventuresome and reckless as ever, but he does prove invaluable on the quest, with his newly discovered talents as a shadow charmer and shade walker. I don't want to give away too much of the story, so I'll just mention that there will be a betrayal and a shocking revelation about one of the characters. On the brighter side, you'll get to meet a lovable, friendly dragon named Raxtus. At the end, Grandpa Sorenson has some startling news for Kendra and Seth, which sets us up for the fifth, and final, adventure, which I hope won't take too long to get here.
Kendra is very obedient, and a big rule follower, whereas her brother, Seth, is a major rule breaker and adventurer. These attributes are helpful to the characters, but not always. Another character is Gavin. Gavin is the son of Chuck Rose, he is also a Dragon Brother and a dragon tamer.
The book starts out with Kendra getting after Seth for keeping gold when he wasn't supposed to. Then, Kendra is kidnaped by the Society of the Evening Star. Later, the Knights of the Dawn go on a mission to find a key at Wyrmwroost, one of the Dragon Sanctuaries. on the way, they meet Raxtus, a fairy dragon. Kendra and Seth, along with their allies, brave the Dragon Temple, and find the key. But will they survive the Dragon Temple with its guardians? Throughout the book, they are trying to outwit the Sphinx, the former leader of the Knights of the Dawn and the current leader of the Society of the Evening Star. The mood in this book is exciting, suspenseful, and, sometimes, a little scary.
This book will keep you on the edge of your seat the whole way through. I thought that this was a very good book. Once you read this book, you'll probably want to read the others. I strongly recommend this book to people who enjoy fantasy adventure.
-by Don's daughter