I took a few of my young reader friends to Brandon Mull's booksigning when he came through Dallas and the most gracious author not only did a great job of fielding questions, but signed stacks of books with enthusiasm.
Almost all of those young readers had finished the new book by that following weekend, and all told me how great it was. One even said it was their favorite one in the entire series. I was a little worried that over-hype might set in (you know, when everyone tells you something is SO great that your expectations are way too high) but, luckily, Mr. Mull came through in spades.
If you haven't read this series, check out the Wikipedia page for background. And see my review of Book 3 (Grip of the Shadow Plague) here.
Continuing Kendra and Seth's story, SODS picks up right where Shadow Plague leaves off. There are more artifacts to be collected, the Sphinx and the Society of the Evening Star are still out there, and Kendra's special fairy talents continue to put a target on her back.
Mull introduces new magical elements that keep the story zinging along as the gang must find their way to Wyrmroost, one of the frightening Dragon Sanctuaries, to keep the Sphinx from obtaining a key which will open the demon prison and allow the Sphinx to RULE THE WORLD (mwah ha ha ha).
Seth is his rule-breaking self, although he seems to have matured a bit, especially when faced with an emotional shock. Kendra is faced with more challenges than ever, dealing with the heavy responsibilities Patton has placed on her shoulders.
IMHO, this series ranks right up there with HP and Artemis Fowl for young fantasy readers, and book four continues to build the adventure stunningly -- complete with a "no way!" cliffhanger ending that will make waiting for the Fablehaven: Keys to the Demon Prison achingly difficult. I know it will be for me.
Look for future news on these books being made into movies. If Hollywood doesn't do right by these, it will be a real shame.
4.75 bookmarks (because I do lend them out quite frequently). Sometimes intense, these adventures are most appropriate for readers 8 and up.