Brandon Mull’s Dragonwatch is a must-have for Fablehaven fans

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DRAGONWATCH: A Fablehaven Adventure, by Brandon Mull, Shadow Mountain, March 14, 2017, Hardcover, $18.99 (ages 8 and up)

In the summer of 2006, Fablehaven, by Brandon Mull, was published by Shadow Mountain. Little did the publisher or Brandon know how successful Fablehaven and its successors would become.

With a brother and sister team as main characters, the series — Fablehaven; Rise of the Evening Star; Grip of the Shadow Plague; Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary; and Keys to the Demon Prison — quickly became a phenomenon, appealing to fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.

After finishing up the series in 2010, Brandon moved on to other projects, but he wasn’t quite finished with the Fablehaven world. In 2015, The Caretaker’s Guide was released, and this Tuesday, he returned to the world full force with Dragonwatch.

Dragonwatch opens the summer after Kendra and Seth defeated the demon king and saved the world from apocalypse. One would think they’d be able to relax, but one would be wrong. There is unrest among the dragons, and that’s one group you don’t want to mess with. The dragons no longer consider sanctuaries home. To them, they have become prisons.

Once upon a time, dragons roamed freely, and those dragons almost destroyed the world. It was then that the ancient order of the Dragonwatch was formed, and the dragon sanctuaries created. Wyrmroost is one of those sanctuaries, and Celebrant the Just, King of the Dragons, has been named co-caretaker of it. Celebrant sees this as an advantage, and is putting his newfound position — and the freedoms — it comes with to the test.

The Dragonwatch was initially made up of wizards, enchantresses, dragon slayers, and others who worked to confine the dragons. But that was a long time ago, and now nearly all of the original members are dead. With so few resources, the wizard Agad turns to the Sorensons for help. Kendra and Seth have unique abilities that make them critical to the success of Agad’s plan. But the siblings will have to work together, if they’re even going to make it past the front door.

I began reviewing the Fablehaven series with Book 3 in 2008. At the time, I was working as the in-house book critic for a daily newspaper in Salt Lake City. I was lucky enough to see the series through its satisfying end. I never really felt the need for more books in the Fablehaven world, but after reading Dragonwatch, I understand why Brandon returned.

First, and foremost, if you haven’t read the Fablehaven series, do yourself a favor and go back and read it before diving into Dragonwatch. While Brandon does a nice job giving a brief overview of what came before, it’s not enough to fully understand the nuances of the world you’re about to enter. In fact, I found myself wishing I could have reread the Fablehaven series again beginning Dragonwatch.

If you’re already familiar with Brandon’s earlier books, then dive right in. Fans will immediately notice that while Seth remains true to his rambunctious nature, he has matured a little bit. Kendra has grown, too. Unfortunately, in Kendra’s case, that equates to an interest in boys that is a touch annoying.

My one larger complaint with Dragonwatch is that the book feels as if it’s leading up to something bigger. There’s still adventure, mystery and mishaps, but it never feels quite like it stands on its own. That said, Dragonwatch is fast-paced with lots of interesting characters and situations. If you’re a fan of the Fablehaven series, this is a must-have.

© 2017, Cracking the Cover. All rights reserved.

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About Author

Jessica Harrison is the main reviewer behind Cracking the Cover. Prior to creating Cracking the Cover, Jessica worked as the in-house book critic for the Deseret News, a daily newspaper in Salt Lake City. Jessica also worked as a copy editor and general features writer for the paper. Following that, Jessica spent two years with an international company as a social media specialist. She is currently a freelance writer/editor. She is passionate about reading and giving people the tools to make informed decisions in their own book choices.

2 Comments

  1. Thanks for the great review! I absolutely love the Fablehaven series so when I heard about this sequel series I was so excited. You mentioned how it felt like it was leading up to something… with there being 5 books in the new series I really hope there is something happening! You also said that Brandon Mull recaps the original series in the book. Should I still reread them? I don’t really have the time but one of my pet peeves is continuing a series that isn’t totally fresh in my mind and being confused and lost the whole book. Thanks! So excited to read this one!

    • Thanks for stopping by! You don’t have to reread them. I remembered enough to get the gist, but it’s been seven years since I last read the Fablehaven books so there were a few minor details I had forgotten.

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