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SECRETS OF THE DRAGON SANCTUARY (Fablehaven, Book 3)

Author: Brandon Mull

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Publisher: Shadow Mountain, 2009

Material: hard cover

Summary: The Society of the Evening Star continues its ruthless quest to find and recover all of the magical artifacts. Knowing that Kendra and her younger brother Seth could be in danger, the Knights of the Dawn kept close watch on them. Not close enough. Using a stingbulb to create a Kendra clone, the Sphinx kidnaps the real Kendra to force her to lead him to the next artifact. When the clone dies, everyone believes Kendra is gone. While Kendra (a fairykind) plots her escape, Grandpa Sorenson, Seth, and the other Knights are simultaneously trying to find Kendra, protect Fablehaven, and secure those magical artifacts. When Seth discovers that he may have magical powers of his own, he wants an active role in the quest - including the trek to the Dragon Temple. Given his track record for impulsiveness, everyone agrees Seth needs to stay behind. He hasn't listened yet, will he listen this time? This is the third installment in the middle grade fantasy adventure for teens.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, independent reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 10 and Up; 11 and Up

Interest Level: 10 and Up

Reading Level: 5.1

Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.

Adult Reader Reaction: There were definitely parts of the story that would have made sense had I started reading Fablehaven with book 1. That said, the author does a great job bringing new readers up to speed, and I was quickly absorbed in the adventure! Kendra and Seth are great contrasting characters. They have a strong, realistic sibling relationship that will resonate with readers. There were several surprises, particularly as the group approached Sidestep Cleft (No spoilers here), that had me rushing through the story to find out what happens next.

Pros: Lots of action, some twists and turns, and plenty of suspense will have readers sitting on the edge of their seats.

Cons: Readers who struggle with large casts of characters will definitely want to start with the first book. Each character has a specific role, and there are lots of them. As you would expect in a story with dragons, there is some violence. Several characters die in the story. This is not a con, per se, but something to be aware of in thinking about this book for your teen.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. Readers who love action-packed magical stories may want this series for their home shelves.

If You Liked This Book, Try: THE LAST DRAGON (Dragon Speaker Series)   THE DRAGONS OF ORDINARY FARM   THE SIX CROWNS: ICE GATE OF SPYRE

Educational Themes: Read this for fun. There are several spots where you can logically stop to ask questions. "If you were So-and-So, what would you do?" or "What do you think will happen next?" Given the number of characters, you could create bios and engage readers in deeper study of who they are and their role in Fablehaven.

Notes: The Reading Tub® picked up this book at Book Expo America. There are no expectations of review associated with this book.

Literary Categories: Fiction - adventure, fantasy, middle grade series, dragons

Date(s) Reviewed: March 2016

Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.




                 

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