Monday, March 13, 2017

Dragonwatch - Brandon Mull

Summary: In the long-awaited sequel to Fablehaven, the dragons who have been kept at the dragon sanctuaries no longer consider them safe havens, but prisons and they want their freedom. The dragons are no longer our allies....

In the hidden dragon sanctuary of Wyrmroost, Celebrant the Just, King of the Dragons, plots his revenge. He has long seen the sanctuaries as prisons, and he wants nothing more than to overthrow his captors and return the world to the Age of Dragons, when he and his kind ruled and reigned without borders. The time has come to break free and reclaim his power.

No one person is capable of stopping Celebrant and his dragon horde. It will take the ancient order of Dragonwatch to gather again if there is any chance of saving the world from destruction. In ancient times, Dragonwatch was a group of wizards, enchantresses, dragon slayers, and others who originally confined the majority of dragons into sanctuaries. But nearly all of the original Dragonwatch members are gone, and so the wizard Agad reaches out to Grandpa Sorenson for help.

As Kendra and Seth confront this new danger, they must draw upon all their skills, talents, and knowledge as only they have the ability to function together as a powerful dragon tamer. Together they must battle against forces with superior supernatural powers and breathtaking magical abilities.

How will the epic dragon showdown end? Will dragons overthrow humans and change the world as we know it? (Summary and image from goodreads.com. I was provided a copy in exchange for an honest review.)

Review: I’ve been so excited for this series for years, I giddily stalked the mailman while I was waiting for my review copy (sorry, Mr. Mailman.), and I devoured it once I got the chance to read it. And now that it’s time to review it, I don’t even know what to say! How is this possible?

Let’s start from the beginning. It’s only been a few months since Kendra and Seth prevented the end of the world. There’s been a lot going on, but apparently during the battle, there were some events set into motion that may have an even more devastating impact than Zzyxx opening its gates and flooding the earth with demons. More specifically, the dragons are getting restless.

Kendra and Seth find themselves nominated and whisked off to Wyrmroost, not to help or to visit, but to assume the roles of the new caretakers. Not only do they have to contend with the disrespect and insolence of their joint caretaker, Celebrant, but remember him? He’s the King of the Dragons? If there’s anyone more likely to lead a breakout, it’s Celebrant.

I have always liked Brandon Mull’s writing. I appreciate the thought he puts into his stories, the detail and nuance that carries throughout the book, and his ability to create characters who are real and endearing. While I was beyond excited for a continuation of the Fablehaven series, I was concerned it wouldn’t live up to my expectation. It definitely surpassed them.

Kendra is still sweet, intelligent, self-conscious, and fairykind. Seth is still a pill, wily, kind-hearted, and more willing to get into trouble than he should. Some of the side characters I loved the most make an appearance, or promise to in the future, and the introduced characters are just as varied and as richly developed as you could hope for. 

As for the storyline, I’m pleased to say that Mull has surpassed himself here. I’m curious to see this series develop. While some of our villains in the first series were cunning, demons seemed more to be the “take it by force” type of villain. Dragons, however, totally could take it by force, but I got the feeling they’re more James Moriarty than Jean Claude Van Damme. And I’m not going to lie, I prefer my villains to be more of the professorial sort.

Rating: Four and a half stars

For the Sensitive Reader: While the action can get a little intense, it’s clean.

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