|Title: Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary
Author: Brandon Mull
Publication: Shadow Mountain, 2009
“Furrowing her brow, Kendra moved toward the tall metal filing cabinet. Before she arrived, a girl emerged from behind the cabinet. A girl who looked exactly like Kendra. Same height, same hair, same face. It could have been her twin, or some trick with a mirror. The Kendra replica cocked her head, smiled, and waved.”
With the kidnapping of Kendra, Seth thinks he is on his own. After being taken to Fablehaven to protect him, he finds the situation is dire. With the appearance of Maddox, they are given hope that the Sphinx has not yet found another artifact. But that hope is short lived as Vanessa, released from the Quiet Box, exposes him to be an imposter. When all seems lost, Kendra is saved, found by Trask, a member of the Knights of the Dawn. She brings dire news that the Sphinx has amassed 3 artifacts already.
With this knowledge they venture into the Dragon Sanctuary, a wild and dangerous preserve, with Seth secretly in tow. There they must find the key to get another artifact. But time is running out as they are captured by a giant. Fighting for their lives, they risk everything to retrieve the key, only to be betrayed at the last instant.
I was so looking forward to this book. Not only is it the 4th in the Fablehaven series, but it includes dragons. Lots of dragons. How awesome is that? And not only does it have dragons, but it has griffins, giants and other creatures to please the imagination. The action is also revved up as time starts to run out for those trying to keep Zzyzx closed. With the action, comes some pretty incredible plot twists as well, though some of them have been foreshadowed in the previous books, but I only made the connection upon looking back at the series as a whole.
Mull builds upon previous minor characters in other books, like Mara, making them into secondary characters. The series also gets a little darker in tone with various deaths throughout the book. This adds to the fact that Kendra and Seth are forced to grow up quickly under these extreme conditions. It makes sense that the way the story is told and the elements included would also mature with time.