Posted in Fantasy, Fiction, Middle Grade, Tween Reads

Fablehaven Fans! The Dragon King will see you now.

The Wrath of the Dragon King (Dragonwatch #2), by Brandon Mull, (Oct. 2018, Shadow Mountain Press), $18.99, ISBN: 9781629724867

Ages 8-12

If you’re a fantasy fan like I am, the first Dragonwatch book left you yelling at the pages, demanding more. That moment has arrived. Wrath of the Dragon King wastes no time in throwing readers right into the action, as Celebrant, King of Dragons, puts a terrible plan into motion that will put Seth and Kendra’s lives at risk. Celebrant first invites the siblings to his palace, insinuating that it would be an insult if they didn’t attend. Once they arrive, he declares war on Kendra and Seth, and anyone who supports them. Their griffin mounts are slaughtered, and they’re left to find their way back to Blackwell Keep alone in a land full of divided loyalties. Meanwhile, cousins Knox and Tessa have stayed behind, but are figuring things out pretty quickly and want to be where the action is – especially when a murderer is suspected among them. The two cousins discover the secret way to travel between preserves and head off in search of Kendra and Seth.

There’s more action, more battle, and more intrigue than ever in Wrath of the Dragon King. The stakes are high, and there are new players in the story, the most intriguing of which seems to be Ronodin, a Dark Unicorn that toys with his alliances and has his own agenda. I am thoroughly enjoying this series; it’s a more intense pace and story than the Fablehaven books, allowing readers to grow with the series. The Dragonwatch books can stand on their own, but reading them in order is suggested – most of Wrath of the Dragon King won’t work for readers who haven’t read Dragonwatch.

In short, Wrath of the Dragon King is nonstop fantasy, perfect for your dragon-loving fantasy, sword and sorcery, and magic-loving readers. Author Brandon Mull has an excerpt on his webpage, plus Dragonwatch downloadables that you can use to introduce the series to your readers. I’m already thinking of how to incorporate some of the happenings from Wrath of the Dragon King into my summer reading programming for next year.

Posted in Fantasy, Fiction, Middle Grade, Tween Reads

Join the Dragonwatch!

Dragonwatch, by Brandon Mull, (March 2017, Shadow Mountain), $18.99, ISBN: 978-1-62972-256-6

Recommended for readers 9-12

After a seven-year wait, the sequel to the Fablehaven series is here! Dragonwatch starts a new chapter in the Fablehaven saga. The dragons are sick of their sanctuaries. They feel like prisons, and they want their freedom. Celebrant, a dragon resident and co-caretaker of the Wyrmroost Sanctuary, is testing his boundaries a little too much for anyone’s comfort. The wizard Agad, tells Kendra, Seth, and Grandpa Sorenson about an ancient group, the Dragonwatch, charged with keeping the dragons confined to their sanctuaries. Agad is resurrecting the Dragonwatch, and he also needs new caretakers at Wyrmroost: Seth and Kendra. As long as they work and together, they are the next hope for Wyrmroost, but Celebrant isn’t going to take having children as his new co-caretakers that willingly. Seth and Kendra must work with the supernatural residents around them to secure a magical artifact before the dragons can overthrow Wyrmroost.

I picked up my first copy of Fablehaven years ago, and fell in love with the story: the characters, the worldbuilding, the action, and the story of a family living under some pretty wild circumstances. Imagine finding out that your grandparents were caretakers of a preserve for magical creatures? Dragonwatch is every single thing I love about Fablehaven and more. There’s new worldbuilding and mythology that builds on everything we know so far; there’s a new conflict on the rise that will test our favorite characters and introduce us to new ones, and there’s an enduring commitment to the heart of the series: the family at the center of the story. We meet two possibly recurring characters from that family: cousins Knox and Tess, who bring a little of the outside world back to the novel while getting their feet wet in the world of Fablehaven. We meet a host of new magical friends, including Celebrant, the powerful dragon at the heart of the new conflict.

You don’t need to be well-read on Fablehaven to dive into Dragonwatch. It’s a new series, so Mull touches on the main points that newcomers need to be aware of, while giving readers an entirely new story to fall in love with. Kids will want to read Fablehaven once they start Dragonwatch – they’ll need something to read while waiting for the next installment – but they won’t be left out if they haven’t read the previous books just yet.

Courtesy of Brandon Mull’s Dragonwatch pageBrandon Mull’s Dragonwatch webpage has an excerpt, readers’ guide, and the VR experience that I linked to back when we were getting Decked Out for Dragonwatch back in January. There’s also a downloadable event kit and a sneak peek at some of Brandon Dorman’s amazing black and white artwork that you’ll see in Dragonwatch. Fablehaven fans and newbies can enjoy getting caught up at the Fablehaven page.Fantasy fans, especially dragon fans, are going to love this series. Booktalk it, display it, print out goodies from the website and share them!

Posted in Fantasy, Middle Grade, Tween Reads

Get #DeckedOutforDragonwatch!

Okay, Fablehaven fans, the next series is coming: Dragonwatch, by Brandon Mull, is coming in March – but the team at Shadow Mountain Publishing is sharing a book trailer TODAY, and I’ve got it right here. Enjoy.

Do you have a Google Cardboard, Oculus Rift, or other VR device? Then make sure to check this out, too:

Finally, Shadow Mountain has a fun contest for my fellow dragon fans: Decked out for Dragonwatch! Here are the details:

Pay tribute to your favorite dragons! Send us a photo on social media and Brandon Mull may pick YOU as the fan most “Decked Out for Dragonwatch”!

If you love dragons, gather together your best dragon gear and unleash your imagination by creating a space in your home, classroom, library, or local bookstore that pays tribute to all your favorite dragons from Fablehaven and anywhere else in the universe.

Take a picture of your “Decked Out for Dragonwatch” space and send it to us via social media. Brandon Mull will choose the best, most creative spaces from submitted entries, and we’ll send those lucky fans and autographed copy of Dragonwatch plus a copy of The Caretaker’s Guide to Fablehaven and Fablehaven Book of Imagination.

See the website for the five ways to enter and the official rules: http://brandonmull.com/decked/, and follow https://www.instagram.com/deckedoutfordragonwatch/.

Good luck, and watch this space for a Dragonwatch review soon!

 

Posted in Fantasy, Fiction, Middle Grade, Tween Reads

Let your imagination run wild with your Fablehaven guide!

book-of-imaginationFablehaven Book of Imagination, by Brandon Mull, (Oct. 2016, Shadow Mountain), $14.99, ISBN: 978-1-62972-241-2

Recommended for ages 7-12

Fablehaven Fans, get ready! If you’ve ever wanted to draw your own magical preserve map, mix your own potions, or make an origami Olloch, the Fablehaven Book of Imagination is for you! It’s an activity book that has recipes, origami, writing prompts, and coloring pictures all through the book – anything to spark your creativity and imagination. There are quotes about imagination and creativity throughout the book; I was thrilled to see quotes from Neil Gaiman, JK Rowling, and JRR Tolkien, who may well be considered my personal trinity. Fans who are waiting patiently (or impatiently) for Dragonwatch, the new sequel series to Fablehaven, can track down a secret message from Brandon Mull, hidden throughout the book. A note at the beginning explains how.

Make this book yours – color in it, cut out and make the beasties, color and frame the quotes. This is your journal: you even get to write your name on it. Librarians already know that this isn’t the type of book we can put in circ, but we can have entire programs using this book as a guide – hello, summer reading in Fablehaven! – let your kids create codenames, place classified ads for help with their magical preserves, make magical webs – everything you need to run a successful Fablehaven program is in here if you’re a librarian, and it’s a great stocking stuffer for anyone whose imagination likes to run wild. (I’m totally coloring Neil Gaiman’s quote page to frame at my desk.) There are games online at the Fablehaven Preserve; there are also downloadable educators’ guides, and videos to prompt discussion.