Friday, June 6, 2014
Fabelhaven #3 Grip of the Shadow Plague, Brandon Mull
Book 3 in the Fabelhaven series.
A lot happens in character development:
Kendra learns more about the powers the fairies bestowed upon her and how to use it.
Seth learns that if he must take risks, they should be calculated and weighed heavily with the consequences of both taking and not taking the risk.
You learn more about other preserves and the Society of the Evening Star which is pure evil.
You learn the nature of newer magical creatures such as Centaurs, Dyrads, and Hamadryads.
The shadow plague permeates every species turning them into dark, evil versions of themselves. Only humans turn into shadows (invisible to everyone but Seth) and are able to fight the change from good to evil. There is a theory that Grandpa Sorenson and Warren disagree on-and that is the amount of personal accountability magical creatures have. Grandpa thinks that the creatures are what they are and you can't truly judge against them because they are doing what they naturally do. Sort of like how you can't blame a bear for being a bear and attacking a human-even if that human had had some sort of relationship with it before, because after all it IS still a bear and a bear is going to do what a bear is going to do. It's just his nature. Grandpa believes that creatures are either light or dark, and depending on their nature, it determines what they will or won't do. Warren doesn't fully agree, he believes that the creatures are intelligent enough to make a conscious choice. Interestingly enough, once everything is resolved, only creatures of light who ENJOYED being dark had any recollection of BEING dark. With that fact, and very little knowledge, I can definitely see both sides of their arguments. It also made me think of Percy Jackson and "Bob", a Titan who'd had his memory erased and Percy helped him to create a new "him" and when he began to remember, began to revert back, but then was convinced that he DID have a choice. Who he innately was did not have to determine who he would continue to be.
Kendra is now almost 15, so of course, we need a crush for her :-) Gavin fills this role. He's a bit older and has a stuttering problem (which I think is really interesting and good to have someone with an obvious thing to overcome also be a hero figure for the YA/kid audience). His talent? Dragons. We get into dragons in this book. One thing that all the books I've read that have anything to do with dragons agrees that they are highly intelligent beings-right on par with humans. Interesting that everyone would agree on this-and the fact that they also have a complex range of emotions as well.
We experience our first truly painful sacrifice through death. We've seen death before, a few times in this book, but the first death that got me choked up enough that I had a hard time continuing to read (since I haven't read them yet, I'm reading them aloud to my older daughter, she's now 9).
I have no idea how Brandon Mull is going to wrap things up in just 2 more novels, but I'm looking forward to it. It's kind of like Percy Jackson's world, in that the evil force is immortal and the ones who are concerned about keeping it at bay are mortal and the evil forces are also possessed of infinite patience. They seem to think that because they are immortal they will win in the end, eventually, so any time mortals have a victory, it's only a minor set back to the bad guys. I'm hoping that at the end of Fabelhaven there's some sense of finality, or at least a long duration of it....even though in real life, the fight against evil is never ending, it'd be nice to know in our fictional worlds that this fight is worth it and good will always prevail against evil.