Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fablehaven : Keys to the Demon Prison - Brandon Mull

Summary:  After many centuries of plotting, the Sphinx--leader of the Society of the Evening Star--is after the final artifacts needed to open the great demon prison, Zzyxx.  If the legendary prison is opened, a tide of evil is certain to usurp control of the world.

In an effort to intercept the final artifacts, Kendra, Seth, and the Knights of the Dawn race to strange and exotic preserves across the globe.  The stakes have never been higher.  The risks have never been more deadly.

In this explosive series finale, allegiances will be confirmed and secrets revealed as the forces of light and darkness collide in a desperate, climactic battle to control the keys to the demon prison.

Summary from inside book cover and image from http://brandondorman.blogspot.com/

My Review:  I'm going to start by saying if you haven't read the previous 4 books, I wouldn't recommend reading this review unless you know you'll never pick them up.  Spoiling a series is a terrible thing and I wouldn't want to be the reason behind that.

It feels like the ending to this series has been a long time in coming.  It might have been because I've had to space them out around book club selections, or because they're simply longer books (although easy reading) that it sometimes felt like it was dragging on. 

I'm very happy with the ending to the Fablehaven series and also happy I read them.  It was nice to read a story about a close-knit family, with grandparents involved and people who work together, people working for a greater good.  It was also nice to read a fantasy book that wasn't over the top with description.  I'm afraid I'll offend some ardent fantasy readers with that comment, but that's simply a personal opinion of mine.  The more description of the forest (or whatever), the less interested I become.  You need enough to paint a picture, but beyond that it becomes laborious.  Fablehaven balances this need nicely.  Another aspect I love about the Fablehaven books is that they truly are Young Adult literature.  No swearing, no mature themes, no questionable content--unless you're not a fan of dark creatures/good vs. evil themes.

Kendra and Seth show major growth in this last book.  Both show the promise that the first book sets up their characters to potentially have.  Some amazing feats are accomplished and there are definitely twists that, at least for me, catch you off guard.  At one point in the story I literally gasped, put the book in my lap for a second, and gaped open mouth at my husband from what I'd just read; it was that surprising.

One thing I'd like mention, since I'd brought it up in one of my previous reviews for the Fablehaven series, was my concern about children meddling in any sort of dark magic.  This last book addresses this issue and I felt very comfortable with the strong message it sent the reader.  I'd want my student/child to read the entire series just for the reason that I'd want them to understand the greater message of the books.

If you like fantasy and enjoy relatively easy reading, you'll probably enjoy the Fablehaven series.

Rating: 4.5 stars


Sum it up:  A climactic and satisfying end to a fun and adventure filled series.

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