Fablehaven 2 & 3

Fablehaven 2, Rise of the Evening Star, starts at Kendra and Seth’s school just before summer break. A new student joins Kendra’s class. She can easily see that he is a goblin, but to the other girls, he appears to be very, very yummy. An eccentric stranger appears, claiming to be a friend of Grandpa Sorensen and helps Seth and Kendra get rid of the goblin. But is Errol Fisk a friend or foe? As the assembled Knights of the Dawn race to recover Fablehaven’s hidden artifact before the Society of the Evening Star does: the question of when everyone has secrets, who can be trusted and who can not is the underlying theme. Interesting new characters are introduced, some traitorous and some true: the ancient and inscrutable Sphinx, Vanessa the adventurer, Tanu the potion master, and Coulter Dixon, the magical artifacts expert. Kendra and Seth get an eerie tour of the dungeon, where they see the mysterious Quiet Box and the door to the Hall of Dread, which houses prisoners who have no need of food or water.  Although it made me wonder how the grandparents ever got along all these years without Kendra and Seth after they lost control of the house yet again, the sibs did a good job of playing on each other’s strengths and working together to do what they needed to do. The book is a fast-paced action story that is a fast and fun read.
Fablehaven 3, Grip of the Shadow Plague, takes up where Rise of the Evening Star left off. Something is wrong in Fablehaven. The gentle nipsies and garden fairies, whose alignment tends to be neutral neutral, have started becoming chaotic evil. As this malaise spreads, Kendra is conscripted into the Knights of the Dawn and sent to Arizona to retrieve the second hidden artifact before it falls into the hands of the Society of the Evening Star.  But the team is in for more than one nasty surprise. Throughout the story, cautious Kendra has to become more like bold Seth and avowed non-reader Seth has to become more like book-worm Kendra. A little bit of time travel makes its way into this story, and while I thought that it was an interesting idea (paradox included), I did feel that larger-than-life Patton Burgess kind of stole the show away from Kendra and Seth. Once again, Grandma and Grandpa Sorensen are mostly useless side characters in need of rescuing, although they do divulge some interesting information about Kendra and Seth’s family history.  Like the other Fablehavens, it is a fun read.