I have finally finished the series! I’ve had the book for a long time, and to be honest, the only reason I decided to read it at this particular moment is that the book takes up quite a bit of space, and I am trying to consolidate that shelf to make room for my anticipated Christmas books! That pretty much sums up my feelings of the entire Fablehaven series. It is okay, but it isn’t amazing. It doesn’t create a sense of urgency within me to finish the books. The characters have grown on me slowly and I was hoping to see how they would evolve in Keys to the Demon Prison. Sadly, I didn’t see a lot of evolution, just more of what bothered me about Kendra and Seth early on in the series.
The book begins with Seth, being a fool (sigh, again) and visiting a dying demon. The group is off to find the final artifact and hopefully save the world. Seth’s foolishness gets everyone into trouble (sigh, again) and he ends up a prisoner of the Sphinx. Kendra, along with some other members of the Knights of the Dawn, vow to continue on and protect the Eternals. Yes, Eternals, who we’ve never heard of before but somehow become vitally important at this late stage in the series. Add the arrival of a unicorn/boy and it was a bit much for me.
While the plot as a whole was just okay, I was really bothered by the construction of the book as a whole. Kendra and Seth are separated and we jump back and forth between the two so it is, action here, more action, more action, more action… end. Imagine an action movie comprised solely of a bit of dialogue and car chases. That is how I felt reading this book. There was very little down time, and whatever downtime the story had was filled with either Kendra or Seth being self doubting and whiney. So, the story as a whole was not something I could get into. I especially thought the ending was cheesy. You expect these types of tales to end with an uplifting or engaging way that can skirt the line of being maudlinly sentimental without falling straight into cheesiness, but Mull really drove straight to it. As a result, I felt some of the previous books were a better effort. I will say that this is an easy book for kids that are just getting into fantasy. It isn’t a taxing read, but for adults who appreciate more artful plots, it would be disappointing.