Fablehaven (Book Three): Grip of the Shadow Plague by Brandon Mull. When I saw it at the library, I almost just left it there (oh horror….!), but a friend who was there with me picked it up and thought I should check it out. So I borrowed it. And read it. I have to admit, for some strange reason, I just felt as if I should put off reading it as long as possible. So I did that too. When I finally got to reading it, I loved it. I haven’t read any of the other Fablehaven books (if they had been there I would probably have borrowed them as well), but I aim to.
Fablehaven is one of the five preserves that are placed around the globe to shelter magical creatures (dark or light). There are also the Seven Sanctuaries, where creatures like dragons (who do not need human supervision) reside. Fablehaven is run by Seth and Kendra’s grandparents, Stan and Ruth Sorenson. Strangely enough, even though their other grandparents also believed in the magical creatures and could see them (with the help of milk or walrus butter), Seth and Kendra’s parents just don’t see magical creatures, mainly because they refuse to believe in even the possibility of their existence, which I find sad.
The story starts with Seth going to meet two satyrs, Newel and Doren. Hugo the golem is also on his way (via a different route) to meet up with them. This is all done without Stan knowing, why? Because Seth is selling batteries to the two satyrs for the portable TV he gave them ages ago, and Stan tries to limit the technology that comes onto the preserve. The payment is gold. It turns out that the satyrs intend to steal the gold from nipsies, tiny creatures who would view them as giants. So after a bit of arguing, they go. They navigate through all the booby traps the nipsies set up since the last visit the satyrs paid them.
Strangely enough, the nipsies don’t try to get rid of them, they instead ask for their help against dark nipsies. Something never heard of before. But they’re real enough, they have dark skin and radiate dark energy. The dark nipsies tell them to join them and conquer all of Fablehaven “why make when you can take” was one of the things they said. Newel of course, did not like this. So he went back to the normal nipsies and told them they’d stop the dark nipsies from attacking them, in return for gold from their vault.
Seeing as he was a giant to them, he was able to easily reach their different little kingdoms (which were in the same cavern) and get the dark nipsies out. He didn’t kill any of them, just dumped them in their cities and broke their little machines of war (catapults and ships for example). They got the gold and left then, with the thanks of the normal nipsies. Hugo had been outside fending off one of the traps (it involved LOTS of goo).
Kendra meanwhile, had been at the house, sitting on the floor of the dungeon and looking at the Quiet Box, which her former friend (who (if she bites the person first) can control people in her sleep, and was a member of the Evening Star Society) Vanessa is in. There are two goblins in the dungeon as well, but they work there. There are also the brownies that live under the house, or the fairies that flit in and out of the garden. In one of the previous books, Kendra became fairykind, and because of that, she can understand the fairy language (Silvian) and speak it. Of course, it usually sounds like English to her when she hears, speaks, or reads it.
Kendra manages to figure out what Seth was doing, so she calls down the stairs that Seth has something to confess. Of course, he never said he was going to confess, so that is probably why he glared at her. Stan found out about his visit to the nipsies, and the stolen gold. He was glad to know about the dark nipsies (even though the idea of it worried him) so that he could check the situation out and find out what was going on, but he grounded Seth anyway for leaving the boundaries that had been set up for him, and for accepting stolen gold. Warren, Tanu, Coulter, and Dale came into the story later (two of them had been away from the preserve, Dale had been in the barn, and Coulter was around the house) when everyone was to share info.
So of course, Coulter and Tanu go to check out the nipsies, meanwhile, guess what? They continue to wonder about whether or not Vanessa was telling the truth in the last note she left, in which she said the Sphinx, the caretaker’s and Knights of Dawn’s biggest ally, was a traitor, and actually led the Evening Star Society’s leader. And then Kendra was sent an invitation to the next Knights of Dawn gathering. So she had to go of course, Seth stayed behind.
Because a flight is not much to talk about, let’s go to what happened with Seth. He was playing with Mendigo (a magical puppet) when the puppet suddenly charged at him, picked him up, and dashed with him back to the house. Mendigo has an order that takes priority over all others, “protect the inhabitants of Fablehaven” (or to be more accurate, humans I suppose). There were dark fairies chasing them. It was strange, because the fallen state of fairies would be imps, but these were definitely not imps. Later, Doren comes to see them in a panic, because the dark nipsies got their revenge on Newel by attacking him in his sleep and biting him.
And when Doren left Newel, his friend was turning Dark. Tanu, Mendigo, and Seth went with Doren, because Stan and Ruth were out. Newel had already turned dark by the time they reached him. He managed to bite Tanu before Newel drew him away (Seth hoped that Newel escaped being turned dark), and Tanu started going invisible, just like Coulter had when they had gone to visit the nipsies and saw fairies fighting and tried to intervene. And Coulter had come back to the house in the night as a person made of Shadow.
So strange things are going on at Fablehaven! Is Vanessa right and the Sphinx is a traitor, or is she wrong, and the shadow plague has nothing to do with him? So many questions! And so much adventure, check the Fablehaven series out, it’s great and I’m sure you’ll love it. 🙂 But if you love centaurs, only three appear (well… three that were given names), and centaurs are usually stuck up jerks, even if they are brave. But seriously, you’ll love these books.