FABLEHAVEN

RISE OF THE EVENING STAR

Holding together better than its predecessor while continuing to feature plenty of heroism and hilarity, this follow-up to Fablehaven (2006) sends siblings Kendra and Seth back to the secret preserve for magical creatures guarded by their grandparents. This time, they are to find and protect a powerful Artifact being sought by the malign Society of the Evening Star. Not only are Kendra and Seth never sure who their real friends and foes are—the Society has a crafty way of inserting spies into the inner circle by helping to defeat manufactured threats—but searching for the Artifact requires facing any number of Fablehaven’s genuinely dangerous residents. Seth in particular, though somewhat less reckless than before, still finds himself, for instance, passing through the bowels of a giant demon frog, then racing off to kill a zombie revenant so terrifying that it turns all who get too close into mindless albinos. Not stand-alone fare but rousing nonetheless, this second episode is rich in creatures, magic-working, hard-fought battles, plots within plots and chemistry among its main and supporting casts. More sequels are likely. (Fantasy. 12-15)

Pub Date: May 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-1-59038-742-9

Page Count: 456

Publisher: Shadow Mountain

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2007

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Sweet, if unremarkable.

BRIARHEART

A gentle “Sleeping Beauty”–inspired tale of teens training to defend a baby princess.

Fifteen-year-old Miri, beloved stepdaughter of the king, is freshly in love—with her baby sister. As the novel opens, Aurora’s christening looms, and any Disney fan will know what’s coming. However, this is Miri’s story, and pages of first-person description and exposition come before those events. Tirendell, like all kingdoms, has Light and Dark Fae. Dark Fae feed off human misery and sadness, but their desire to cause harm for self-benefit is tempered by the Rules. The Rules state that they can only act against humans under certain conditions, one being that those who have crossed them, for example, by failing to invite them to a royal christening, are fair game. Miri steps up instinctively at the moment of crisis and both deflects the curse and destroys the Dark Fae, which leads to the bulk of the novel: an extended and detailed day-to-day journey with Miri and her five largely indistinguishable new friends as they train in combat and magic to protect Aurora from future threats. With limited action and a minimal plot, this story lacks wide appeal but is notable for the portrait of deep familial love and respect, while the brief, episodic adventures (including talking animals) offer small pleasures. All characters are implied to be White.

Sweet, if unremarkable. (Fantasy. 12-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-7595-5745-1

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

WHAT THE MOON SAW

When Clara Luna, 14, visits rural Mexico for the summer to visit the paternal grandparents she has never met, she cannot know her trip will involve an emotional and spiritual journey into her family’s past and a deep connection to a rich heritage of which she was barely aware. Long estranged from his parents, Clara’s father had entered the U.S. illegally years before, subsequently becoming a successful business owner who never spoke about what he left behind. Clara’s journey into her grandmother’s history (told in alternating chapters with Clara’s own first-person narrative) and her discovery that she, like her grandmother and ancestors, has a gift for healing, awakens her to the simple, mystical joys of a rural lifestyle she comes to love and wholly embrace. Painfully aware of not fitting into suburban teen life in her native Maryland, Clara awakens to feeling alive in Mexico and realizes a sweet first love with Pedro, a charming goat herder. Beautifully written, this is filled with evocative language that is rich in imagery and nuance and speaks to the connections that bind us all. Add a thrilling adventure and all the makings of an entrancing read are here. (glossaries) (Fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2006

ISBN: 0-385-73343-7

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2006

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more