I will admit after the first Fablehaven, I was a bit disappointed. I found a promising magical world, but characters that were slightly annoying. I was unsure if it was because Mull had a plan for the young characters to mature, develop, and grow on you. I decided to continue with the series on the hope (and hey, my brother lent me all the books so I had nothing to lose) and was glad that I did. The second Fablehaven book is much better than the first. The story picks up at the end of the school year. Kendra and Seth haven’t seen their grandparents since Kendra led the fairy army to save Fablehaven.
Strange things begin to happen and when the Sorenson kids are approached by one of their grandfather’s trusted friends to steal a magical object from the member of the Evening Star, well, they reluctantly agree. Only afterwards do the children realize that you can’t trust everyone. The original cast of characters increases to include Tanu, a Samoan potion master, Coulter, procurer of magical objects, and Vanessa, in your face member of the Knights of the Dawn (think of it as the antithesis of the Evening Star). We also get to know Warren (Dale’s catatonic albino brother) and Hugo, gollum extraordinaire. The characters add a richness to the story to offset both Kendra and Seth’s naivete (read: immaturity).
A bulk of the novel is spent unraveling the mystery of Kendra’s new magical powers and trying to figure out how to stop a demon that is planning to eat Seth. I must admit, I was rooting for the demon on that one. We learn more about the Society of the Evening Star and more about the mysterious Sphynx. Kendra and Seth also begin some magical training. At the end of the novel it is Seth’s turn to do what he can to save Fablehaven. I was pleased with the story, especially the surprise twist at the end. I even found myself more engaged with the Seth character. Though, for the most part I still feel that the grandparents are in the book to give the Sorenson kids a reason to be at Fablehaven, and that they don’t add a lot to the narrative, I find I am interested enough to continue the series.