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Book Review: Dragonwatch by Brandon Mull

March 14, 2017

Title: Dragonwatch

Author: Brandon Mull

Series: Fablehaven #6

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Rating: 4/5 stars

Release Date: March 14, 2017

The Overview: 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? -Goodreads

The Review:

I am a HUGE Fablehaven fan, considering it my all-time favorite middle grade series (aside from Harry Potter – the untouchable). I loved it for its fun storyline, boundless surprises, and sense of wonder. If you’d asked me which element of Fablehaven I’d wanted to read more about, the dragon sanctuary would have been my pick, hands down. Not only was it a magical place to visit, but I thought Mull had only scratched the surface of what it had to offer. I was thrilled when Dragonwatch was announced!

Before diving in, I’d been under the impression that Dragonwatch was going to be a true spinoff with new characters and everything. But it isn’t a spinoff… IT’S A CONTINUATION!!! Taking place right where Kendra and Seth left off their adventures in Keys to the Demon Prison (Book #5). Reading about these characters again felt like coming home. I remembered how sad I was when the original series ended, so Dragonwatch was a special treat for sure – and there’s more to come!

The best part of this novel for me were the dragons – I loved the different varieties and personalities, and think we’ll only get more detail as the series continues. There was also a fun adventure that included lots of creative obstacles for the characters to figure out and overcome. The plot was well constructed, but I don’t think that was completely evident from the beginning. The first third of the book, while immersed in Fablehaven awesomeness, took a long time to get to the selling point of the novel – the dragon sanctuary. While I enjoyed every moment, I can’t help but wonder if I would have enjoyed it a mite more had it moved along a bit quicker.

Overall, I’m excited for more adventures in this world and can’t wait for the next book!

I’d like to thank NetGalley, Shadow Mountain Publishing, and Brandon Mull for the opportunity to read and review an early copy of Dragonwatch.

Other books you might like:

 by Niki Hawkes

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Coming Soon: Dragonwatch by Brandon Mull

March 14, 2017

Title: Dragonwatch

Author: Brandon Mull

Series: Fablehaven #6

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Release Date: March 14, 2017

The Overview: 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? -Goodreads

Waiting on Wednesday
Hosted by Breaking the Spine

I LOVED Fablehaven, and if you’d asked me which element of the whole series I’d like to see expanded on, I would’ve shouted “The Dragon Sanctuary!!” From the rooftops. Therefore, I am SO FREAKING EXCITED that my wish is coming true! This spinoff/continuation series is going to be amazing and I can’t wait!

What book are you waiting on?

 by Niki Hawkes

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Coming Soon: The Rogue Knight by Brandon Mull

the rogue knightTitle: The Rogue Knight

Author: Brandon Mull

Series: Five Kingdoms #2

Genre: Middle Grade

Release Date: October 21, 2014

The Overview: Cole Randolph never meant to come to The Outskirts, but when his friends were kidnapped on Halloween he had to try and save them. Now he is trapped in a world that lies between wakefulness and dreaming, reality and imagination, life and death. Cole’s in search for his friends has led him to Elloweer, another of the five kingdoms that make up The Outskirts. He is accompanied by Mira, Twitch, and Jace; new friends he’s met here in the Outskirts who each have their own important missions. The group is following news that Mira’s sister, Honor, could be in danger. However, Cole and Mira are soon the ones facing direct threat, and must resort to a fascinating new kind of magic to protect themselves. Their journey brings them across familiar faces, some more welcome than others, until their paths ultimately cross with the infamous man known throughout Elloweer as the Rogue Knight. Will he turn out to be an unstoppable enemy, or a key ally? Every move is filled with danger as Cole and his new friends try and outwit the High King, who will stop at nothing to regain what he has lost.

the rogue knight 2

Hosted by Breaking the Spine

Aside from Harry Potter, Fablehaven is easily my favorite middle grade series. I’ve read the books more times than I can count. Since the final book was released, I’ve since gone out and read the Candy Shop War (which I liked), Beyonders (which I did not like), Wild Born (cool!), and Sky Raiders (which is easily my favorite series since Fablehaven). So, even though Beyonders was kind of a disappointment, I’m grateful for this new series – it has me fired up about Mull all over again. I was lucky enough to chat with him for a moment at a book signing and to hear him talk about the “awesome stuff you haven’t even seen yet” coming up in the Five Kingdom series has me pumped!

 As a side note, he also mentioned that after finishing the series he will be working on a spin off of Fablehaven featuring the dragon sanctuaries prominent in book 4!!!!! I am fricken stoked.

by Niki Hawkes

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Book Review: Fablehaven by Brandon Mull

Title: Fablehaven

Author: Brandon Mull

Series: Fablehaven  #1

Genre: Young Adult

Rating: 5/5 stars!

The Overview: For centuries, mystical creatures of all description were gathered to a hidden refuge called Fablehaven to prevent their extinction. The sanctuary survives today as one of the last strongholds of true magic in a cynical world. Enchanting? Absolutely. Exciting? You bet. Safe? Well, actually, quite the opposite … Kendra and her brother Seth have no idea their grandfather is the current caretaker of Fablehaven. Inside the gated woods, ancient laws give relative order among greedy trolls, mischievous satyrs, plotting witches, spiteful imps, and jealous fairies. However, when the rules get broken, an arcane evil is unleashed, forcing Kendra and Seth to face the greatest challenge of their lives. To save her family, Fablehaven, and perhaps the world, Kendra must find the courage to do what she fears most.

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The Review:

I have been trying to write this review for at least three months. Everything I put to paper just doesn’t do the series justice, and I’m stuck staring at a full page of notes not knowing the best way to put them together. Suffice to say, I love everything about this series and am now reading it again for my fifth or sixth time (which is really saying something given how many books I have on my TBR list). It is one of the best series I’ve ever read even compared to all the mainstream adult fantasy out there. Let’s put it this way, it’s not quite Harry Potter epic, but it is the closest thing I’ve come across since.
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What Brandon Mull does so well is offer adventure and wonder at every turn to capture your imagination and make you feel like a kid again. Every few pages he introduces something fun and creative, but it’s never frivolous. Every scene takes us farther and farther into this brilliant world which only continues to build off itself and get more exciting with each book. I found every last moment captivating and am in awe at Mull’s ability to tell such a great story. It’s weird, too, because he keeps the plot simple enough for kids to really get into, introducing rounded, relatable characters, but writes in a sophisticated enough manner for adults to enjoy just as much if not more than the kids. It’s not a fluke, either. I saw him do the same thing in the Candy Shop Wars – he just knows how to weave wonder and magic into his story in a way that’s accessible to all ages.
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Overall, I’m not sure what else to say without absolutely gushing – it’s clear I love this series. Most people have usually already read it, and I’m assuming that if you’re reading this review you probably have too. All I can say is, if you enjoy fantasy and children’s literature and have not yet picked this one up, it should definitely be next on your list!
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Recommendations:  I recommend this to anyone who says they loved Harry Potter or Percy Jackson. It’s also the first one I gravitates to when parents are trying to get their kids more into reading (provided said child likes fantasy). Personally, I don’t think this series has any age limit so I recommend it to anybody wanting to go on an adventure and feel like a kid again!
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Other books you might like:
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Coming Soon: Spirit Animals

9:10 mullTitle: Spirit Animals

Author: Brandon Mull

Series: Wild Born #1

Genre: Young Adult

Release Date:  September 10, 2013

The Overview: Four children separated by vast distances all undergo the same ritual, watched by cloaked strangers. Four flashes of light erupt, and from them emerge the unmistakable shapes of incredible beasts – a wolf, a leopard, a panda, a falcon. Suddenly the paths of these children – and the world – have been changed forever.

Enter the world of Erdas, where every child who comes of age must discover if they have a spirit animal, a rare bond between human and beast that bestows great powers to both. A dark force has risen from distant and long-forgotten lands, and has begun an onslaught that will ravage the world. Now the fate of Erdas has fallen on the shoulders of four young strangers . . . and on you.

9:10 mull

Nik’s Notes:

Oh my gosh!  Of all the awesome new releases between now and December, this just might be the book I am most looking forward to reading. If you take Harry Potter out of the running, Brandon Mull is by far my favorite young adult author, specifically for his Fablehaven series. Take that excellent writing and wonder-filled storytelling ability and add in animal shape shifters and I can’t see how this book would be anything less than amazing! If I could write my own novel with even the fraction of the skill that Mull has all my goals will have been achieved. If you haven’t read Fablehaven yet, you are solely missing out!

Coming Soon – Beyonders: Chasing the Prophecy

Mar 12Title: Chasing the Prophecy

Author: Brandon Mull

Series: Beyonders #3

Genre: Young Reader

Release Date: March 12, 2013

I’d have to say that Brandon Mull is officially my favorite YA author. Fablehaven captured my imagination like no book as done since Harry Potter, and his other works are just as entertaining. As the third book in his Beyonders series, it’s guaranteed to be a good read!

Working in the book business has some perks. I had the privilege to meet Brandon Mull several months ago. He told me Chasing the Prophecy is his favorite book that he’s ever written. He was so excited for its release and I couldn’t help but pick up on his enthusiasm!

Here’s some information about some of this author’s other works:

111Title: Fablehaven

Series: Fablehaven #1

Overview: Danger lurks everywhere at Fablehaven, where someone has released a plague that transforms beings of light into creatures of darkness. In dire need of help, the Sorensons question where to turn, now that long trusted allies have been revealed as potential foes. Kendra embarks on a special mission that only she can attempt because of her new abilities as fairykind, while Seth stays behind and discovers an incredible new talent of his own. The siblings are put to the test as the threat grows both abroad and home at the Fablehaven preserve, and Brandon Mull spins his richest and most thrilling fantasy tale yet in this third title of the popular fantasy series

1123Title: The Candy Shop War

Series: Candy Shop War #1

Overview: Welcome to the Sweet Tooth Ice Cream and Candy Shoppe, where the confections are bit on the . . . unusual side. Rock candy that makes you weightless. Jawbreakers that make you unbreakable. Chocolate balls that make you a master of disguise. Four young friends—Nate, Summer, Trevor, and Pigeon—meet the grandmotherly Mrs. White, owner of the Sweet Tooth, and soon learn about the magical side effects of her candies. Then the ice cream truck driver, Mr. Stott, arrives with a few enchanted sweets of his own. The danger unfolds as the four youngsters discover that the magical strangers have all come to town in search of a legendary treasure—one that could be used for great evil if it fell into the wrong hands. The kids, now in over their heads, must try to retrieve the treasure first. And so, the war begins . . . Read full review

*Overviews taken from bn.com