So at long last...I've gotten my hands on the final Fablehaven book, I still have no idea why it's not in Canada yet, but my advice right now is go to New York to get it. It's well worth the trip!
Brandon Mull has done a stand up job of ending this series. So often authors let me down at the end, with oodles of exciting, leading up to big old boring or nonsensical let downs for endings.
Not so in Fablehaven.
From book number one onwards this has been one exciting, twisting, story full of surprises and great laughs. It's getting the highest honour I can bestow on a YA or 9-13 book, it's going on the same shelf as Harry Potter.
What can I tell you about Keys to the Demon Prison other than you have to read it? It has the best ever battle cry "Frito-Lay!", can you guess Doren and Newel have something to do with it? There's a terrific new good guy, who has a fantastic Hero moment where I wanted to jump up and cheer. Maybe one of my favorite parts (that I can tell you about anyhow) is at the end Brandon Mull does a run down of what he's up to now, tells you specifically about his next release (the Beyonders 2011), as well as addresses the "more Fablehaven" question (maybe, though this story is wrapped up). Why don't all authors do this?! It made me twice as excited, and less disappointed by the fact I had no more Fablehaven left.
I took a moment last night, as I was falling asleep, to think about why I'm such a sucker for the epic, fantasy, quest stories like Fablehaven. I think it has a lot to do with the anything is possible element, you live with that belief growing up and it makes an everyday world more magical simply because you believe it can and will be whatever you want it to be. As you grow up the mundane aspects of life (9-5 jobs, bills, dealing with phone companies etc.) can suck away some of that belief. And except for those magical days when you daydream about winning the lottery, or you get some surprising happy news, being "realistic" can suck the magical fount of belief quite dry. Stories like Fablehaven help to remind me to be starry eyed and believe in the crazy if for no other reason then it's fun, and everything in life shouldn't be realistic or even practical. Hell if I want to believe I might one day still turn out to be a fairy princess who's really really rich, then I'm just going to nurse the dream and help it grow (but maybe not mention it out for drinks with friends, I don't want to end up in an asylum after all).
Get your magical glow on, read this series next, you won't be disappointed.
Published by Shadow Mountain, March 2010