Fablehaven is a 2006 fantasy novel written by Brandon Mull about two siblings whose grandparents, unbeknownst to their family, are the owners of a nature preserve for magical creatures. Mull's first published book, it received largely positive reviews, with ratings of 4.7 and 4.08 on Amazon and GoodReads, as well as a number of commendations from other authors and critics.
First edition cover
|July 30, 2006|
|Media type||Print (hardcover & paperback), E-book and Audiobook|
|Followed by||Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star|
Kendra and Seth Sorenson, two siblings, visit their grandfather, Grandpa Sorenson, for a few weeks. When they arrive, they find their grandmother missing, and are informed that she is visiting a relative. Their grandfather informs them that there are disease bearing ticks in the wood adjoining his house, and forbids them from entering the woods. Seth, however, disobeys him and explores the woods. He encounters an old woman in a shack, who tries to lure him inside. Unnerved by the experience, he returns to the house and persuades Kendra to join him in another woods excursion to the woods retreat. Grandpa, however, finds out about their forbidden ventures. He explains that he keeps endangered species of lethal animals in his woods, which is why he told them not to enter the woods. Seth and Kendra convince him to lessen their punishment.
Shortly afterwards, Kendra follows a series of clues given to her by Grandpa Sorenson, which leads her to an instruction to drink unpasteurized milk straight from the cows on the farm. She had previously been warned against doing so by Dale, Grandpa's hired man. Hesitant to sample the milk, she persuades Seth to try the milk first. After he tastes the milk, Seth claims to be able to see fairies in the garden. Kendra drinks the milk herself and sees them too. Grandpa confronts them, and explains that there are still magical beings in the world, mostly contained in preserves. His grounds are one of these preserves, designated Fablehaven. He explains that the old woman whom Seth met is a witch named Muriel Taggert, and finally explains to them the real reason why they are not allowed in the woods: dangerous magical beings such as demons and specters are contained there.
Grandpa also informs them that Midsummer's Eve is approaching, a festival night on which the boundaries containing magical entities dissolve. The creatures are free to roam and wreak havoc everywhere on the preserve, except the house; they cannot enter the house unless a door or window is opened to them. Grandpa places Seth and Kendra in the attic, warning them not to leave their beds till morning. However, a set of goblins trick Seth into opening a window. Though Seth and Kendra are unharmed, the goblins provide entrance to other creatures, wreaking havoc in the house, turning Dale into a statue, and abducting Grandpa and Lena, the ex-naiad housekeeper. After an unsuccessful attempt to find Grandpa, the siblings return to the house, where they realize that their pet chicken is actually Grandma Sorenson in an enchanted state. They take her to Muriel to release her from the spell, but in exchange, Muriel demands that they undo the spells binding her to the shack. After Grandma Sorenson is transformed back into herself and Muriel is released, Grandma persuades Nero, a cliff troll, to tell them Grandpa's location in exchange for a massage. Nero informs them that Grandpa is held in the Forgotten Chapel.
Grandma tells Kendra and Seth that the Forgotten Chapel is actually a containment facility for one of the most powerful demons in existence, Bahumat. They realize that Muriel is trying to release Bahumat, and the three attempt to stop her. However, Muriel and her minions capture them all except for Kendra. Kendra, in desperation, goes to the Fairy Queen’s shrine. This is an extremely dangerous act, as the last person who trod on there had been transformed into dandelion fluff. Regardless, Kendra begs the Fairy Queen for help. The Queen spares Kendra’s life, and agrees to help her. She provides her with instructions on how to create an elixir to enlarge the fairies and enhance their powers. Kendra creates the elixir just in time.
The enlarged fairies attack Bahumat, turning corrupted versions of themselves back to their original form. They re-imprison Bahumat and Muriel and return Lena to the pond, albeit against her wishes. Each of them transfer their extra energy to Kendra, and return to their normal sizes in the process. This leaves Kendra with the ability to see magical creatures without consuming milk. As the school year starts and their parents collect them from Fablehaven, Kendra wonders what other magical wonders are present in the world.