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Fablehaven

by Brandon Mull
Series: Fablehaven #1
368 pages, Fantasy
Reviewed by Kristi

Good premise, but worrying spiritual content.

Plot

Two children learn their grandfather is the caretaker of a refuge for mythical creatures.

Morality

The adults lie at first about what Fablehaven really is. Seth, the grandson, tends to disobey his grandfather's rules, but this almost always results badly for Seth, so that's good anyway.

Spiritual Content

One of the characters comments that all religions have some basis in truth, but none of them have are completely correct. Major negative points for that comment.

One of the main characters prays to the Fairy Queen toward the end of the book.

One of the main characters creates a potion with ingredients including her own blood and the blood of a giant cow.

A demon in the book is kept prisoner in the basement of an old church on the premises. In the climax, the church is churned under the earth, to be replaced by trees and flowers. Anyone else sensing some pagan overtones here?

Violence

The ending's pretty creepy, and the way Kendra got one of the potion ingredients seemed a little graphic to me.

Drug and Alcohol Content

The characters drink a special kind of milk to enable them to see fairies, but that's about it. Some revelry clearly takes place when the satyrs visit, but it's offscreen.

Sexual Content

None.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

Seth possibly utters one or two four-letter words. Sh--, I think.

Conclusion

It was a good premise, but I wasn't comfortable with the execution. It was written well enough, but the spiritual aspects bothered me. As an artist, I was also disappointed in the occasional illustrations. The cover is nice, but most of the interior full-page pictures are flat and lifeless.

Fun Score: 4
Values Score: 3.5
Written for Age: 13+

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