Sunday, April 12, 2009

Fablehaven 4: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary

Brandon Mull
Shadow Mountain, 2009

This book begins horribly. For the characters, that is. As the reader, I adored it. Seth and Kendra Sorensen may have been looking forward to a quiet Christmas vacation, but the Society of the Evening Star is on the move. Caught up in a race to claim the key to a magical object that will help the Society open the demon prison Zyzyx and unleash unstoppable magical destruction on the peaceful, utterly oblivious modern world, Seth and Kendra must travel to the treacherous dragon sanctuary Wyrmroost. Hopefully they'll survive long enough to make it home for New Year's.

Zyzyx - Wyrmroost - aren't these great names? When I learned to type using the Dvorak keyboard, which is supposed to be ultra-efficient for speedy typing, I found that the letters fantasy writers like to use in made-up names were in hard-to-reach spots. I had a character named Jyvwin, and picking out the letters for his name were a real pain. I thought I should come up with a new keyboard which was ultra efficient for fantasy writers. The home row was YWZXJLVKR. Needless to say, it never caught on.

But I digress. In this fourth book of the Fablehaven series, Brandon Mull delivers a story full of inventive magical creatures, amazing settings, heart-wrenching plot twists, intrigue, betrayal, clever traps, even cleverer escapes, friendship, family, and Yatzee. I enjoyed seeing Seth come into his own, discovering talents that match and compliment his sister Kendra's. The dragons were marvelous - all different, all amazing. Time was, I wouldn't pick up a book unless there was a dragon in it. If this book had been published back when I was thirteen, it would have been a dream come true.

But I still think Grandma was better off as a chicken.

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