Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary

 

With the Shadow Plague stopped, but the Sphinx a proven traitor, the world has suddenly gotten much more dangerous for Seth, Kendra, and the Knights of the Dawn. And when Kendra learns that Sphinx has obtained the artifact from a fallen preserve in Brazil, the Knights must move quickly to stop him from getting at another.

With help from a secret message behind the Hall of Dread, the Knights learn that the key to one of the artifacts is located at Wyrmroost. One of the three Dragon Sanctuaries not open to human visitation.

Knowing that the Society will get the key one way or another, a task force is sent into Wyrmroost to recover the key first. But the Dragon Sanctuary is frought with danger. Dragons, perytons, basilisks, and giants roam the preserve.

Can the key to the Translocater be found? Or are the dragons of Wyrmroost the best possible guardian?

 

 

 

/*** THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPHS MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS ***\

**/** SPOILERS ARE PRESENT **\**

 

 

This is the second best book of the series behind only the fifth and final book, Keys to the Demon Prison. As has happened with all of the books, the stakes have risen ever higher. The Society has gained the Oculus and at least partial control over its power. Now, with the Oculus in hand, its only a matter of time before the Evening Star locates the findal artifacts. And the action that the dragon sanctuary setting gave helped the book even more. We have seen almost everything at a preserve, including a dragon, chokepods, an evil hamadryad, a helpful demon, and a revenant that emanated enough fear to turn people albino. What more could we expect from the magical world. Now we have Dragon Sanctuaries!!! Where dragons, and phoenix's, and perytons, and griffins, and giants live. What could be more exciting (maybe the demon prison. Maybe.).

Unfortunately, the beginning of the book is kind of boring, so we have to way a while to get to Wyrmroost.

 

Now the analysis begins.

 

The book begins with a short bang, with Kendra being abducted and all. I kind of was expecting some abductions to start taking place. Maybe some friends. Other knights. But not Kendra or Seth themselves. But the better thing to talk about are stingbulbs.

What helpful fruit those stingbulbs are. Turning into living thing with full memories and all. I see why their existance is so closely guarded by the Society of the Evening Star. The knowledge that they exist could destroy their potenetial uses because people would expect that someone may be one of the fruits. The fruits themselves are interesting since they remain conscious of the fact that they are fruit and they retain a somewhat connection with their parent tree (referred to as the "Mother Tree"). Plus they follow orders like a servant. Have them do anything. How they develop complete with memories is an interesting thing to ponder, since all they do is prick you. But anyway. Helpful fruit. Good to know about. Important later.

 

And the stingbulb is immediately put to use in this book. While the fruit Kendra is off acting odd, the real Kendra, complete with Fairykind powers, is off to Monmouth, Illionis, to meet Torina Barker, a dangerous lectoblix. Torina is peculiar person. She is, in full affect, a jailer. Anyone who goes in, doesn't come out. And is restricted from doing so. Thats inprisoning. But she acts like it isn't so. Why she thinks that what she puts people through is not prison is a good question about morals, but not one I feel like discussing. Her fishtank on the otherhand is a miracle of magic. Where can I order a fishtank like that. Because I want one. Fill it with jellyfish, sharks, eels, corals, etc. The perfect, low maintenance aquarium. Perfect.

 

While under the rule of the lectoblix, Kendra does learn some key information. Like the fact that the Sphinx did recover the artifact from the Brazilian Preserve. Its is the oculus and gives the handler unlimited sight. It is described like the user having eyes in every orientation, seeing every part of everything in the world. The only problem is that it is considerably difficult to use. the Sphinx mentioned that two of his other operatives had been put in catatonic stupors after experiencing its powers. Regardless, he wanted Kendra to try it anyway. (You would think he would have wanted her to remain alive at all costs. She still has many uses).

Upon her use of the oculus, Kenddra found that her Fairykind abilities did not give her any advantage over the others. Except for the fact that she could look to the Fairy Queen and get help in releasing her hold on the crystal sphere. That it is helpful. Unfortunately, it gave the Sphinx the idea that lead to his near mastery of the artifact. Just what the Knights needed.

 

That night, after she used the Oculus, Kendra was slipped a knapsack and stingbulb and told to get away from the house. The stingbulb is not impressive anymore. Just useful. The knapsack. Different story all together. The knapsack is another wonderful piece of magic. An entire room (apparently quite spacious) hidden inside a small knapsack. Nothing on the outside of the sack affects the room inside. It is stocked with food. Has air vents for a continuous oxygen flow. And even comes complete with a hermit troll who likes Yahtzee. Could it be anymore helpful. (Too bad it only gets used in this book since Navarog destroys it).

 

Of course, we learn that Vanessa had kind of given the hint that the Society had Kendra to some spies for the Knights. And thats how Kendra got freed. Vanessa is still harboring some big secret (and yes, it is a BIG SECRET), but her helpfulness in finding Kendra gave Grandpa a reason to remove her from the Quiet Box. (Actually, the stingbulb Maddox did that. But Grandpa let it continue after Vanessa pledged Allegiance to the Knights and finding Kendra. Smart Choice. She will be useful.).

 

That school year, (the one between books three and four), Kendra learned of a secret room behind the Hall of Dread that contained infromation on the artifacts. When she finally arrives back at Fablehaven, and informs everyone that the Sphinx has the Oculus, they decide they have to get into the room. And so they do.

This is the first time that any of the characted enter the Hall of the Dread. It supposedly contains phantoms, shades, and other etheral beings that require no upkeep. And in this book, Seth gets to join the party inside the Hall. At least, until he starts hearing voices. A shade (or something of equal power) attempts to get him to free him for his eternal service. WHY?? We learn later, but I suspected it still had to do with the effects of the nail and the revenant. But at least Seth isn't stupid enough to go ahead and try something like that. Times are that dangerous. Book five, yes. You try that. Not now.

 

While Seth goes back upstairs, Grandpa, Kendra, and Coulter remain in the Hall of Dread and find the room. Inside they find two statements written in Fairy language, pertaining to the artifacts. The first gives the location of the Oculus in Brazil. Well thats not helpful. The second tells of the Translocater at Obsidian Waste. Patton, who made the room and left the messages, saw to it that the Translocater would be very hard to obtain. He hid the key at the dragon sanctuary Wyrmroost, one of the three sanctuaries not open to humans. To make it even more difficult, Wyrmroost can only be accessed with the first horn of a unicorn. And Patton gifted the only one he knew of to the Centaurs of Fablehaven. And they guard it zeaously.

Patton ... what did you not do. What did you not do. You infilitrated Wyrmroost. Procured the chronometer. Learned the location of both the oculus and the translocater. Found the first horn of a unicorn. Was made fairystruck. Visited the Singing Sisters "thrice" (next book). What did you not do. Please tell us. We would like to know (*cough* Found the fifth secret preserve *cough*).

 

So now, knowing the horn of the Centaurs is needed, Grandpa, Kendra, Grandma, Tanu, Dale, and Coulter all visit the Centaurs and ask for the horn. Of course they said NO. We know what Centuars are like. Did we really expect them to just relinquish their unicorn horn to a group of humans. No we didn't (or I hope you didn't).

 

Now, with little hope of getting a unicorn horn from the centaurs, Fablehaven has to begin looking for another horn. Everyone except Seth. While they had been off with the Centaurs, Seth had heard from Graulus. The dying demon asked for him to come to him that night. Knowing Seth, of course that happened.

While we all are still expecting the betrayal from Graulus it still doesn't happen. Instead, the demon turns Seth into a shadow charmer. Shadow Charmers are people who have been touched by darkness and thus inherit certain abilites. Its like the opposte of being Fairystruck. Shadow Charmers can talk to creatures of darkness, see through invisbility charms, turn out lights, pick locks (with their minds), be immune to some types of emotional enchantments, and most importantly, Shade Walk. All of these abilities defiantly suit Seth's personality because almsot all can be used for mischeif and spying; two things Seth is very keen on. But Graulus has a different idea of how Seth should use his powers: to obtain the horn from the Centaurs.

 

Seth, always wanting to be a hero decides to take his chances with the cenaturs, who already hate him, and breaks into Grunhold to steal the horn. His Shadow Charmer abilities allow him to sneak into the maze that guards the horn, see through the invisibility enchantments on the walls, and befriends the troll that awaits as the final guard. All in all, the journey went off smoothly. No issues. Thats probably the first time that that has ever happened in a Fablehaven book (as well as the last time).

And even more startling than the the theft going off smoothly was that Grandpa didn't even punish Seth for the outing. He finally saw the fact that somtimes, desperate measures need to be employed. Seth was being stupid going after the horn, we was taking a very calculated risk. And he agreed that, had Seth asked to go Graulus, he would have said no. Plus, how can you punish him for succeeding.

 

So now, with the horn in hand, the Knights of the Dawn begin to plan for their outing to Wyrmroost. As was mentioned by Patton, the sanctuary is guarded by a stupid powerful distractor spell, so of course Kendra was employed to get everyone to the Sanctuary. Warren was sent as her personal body guard (something he is only somewhat competent at). The others, including Gavin, were not startling. Trask and Dougan were Lieutenants of the knights. Tanu was a skilled healer and his potions could come in handy. Mara was a good tracker. And Gavin had at least some amount of control over the dragons that would reside with the Sanctuary.

Now, Seth should have been included as well. He had proved during his battle with the revenant and the events of the third book, he is cometent enough to be allowed on the team. He claims that immunity to magical fear could come in handy, which it might have. Plus, his other Shadow Charmer abilites could be helpful, considering many of the dragons are considered to be dark creatures. I completely gree with all of those points. But of course, Seth is not included.

And then Warren decides to help him stow away. 1) good thought Warren. Seth's abilities could be helpful inside the sanctuary. 2) good away to get brownie points from Grandpa. He will be very pleased to know you helped Seth sneak into a Dragon Sanctuary where he was told he was not allowed to go.

 

Eventually, everyone, including Seth in the knapsack, get into Wyrmroost and reside for a single knight in Blackwell Keep. There, the group meet the wizard Agad, who knows that Kendra is Fairy Kind. Beyond that not much occurs besides the task force learning where exactly the key to the Translocater was hidden: at the Dragon Temple.

But Seth had a much different excursion in Blackwell Keep. He began hearing voices like in the Hall of Dread. Being his normal curious self, he goes out to investigate and meets the Blackwell. Dark creatures, shades, phantoms, etc. are asking him to lower "the chain" to presumably free them. At least Seth isn't supid and decided it wouldn't be a good idea to free the creatures. Apparently, Agad thought the same thing. For he was in the room with Seth as well. What they talk about is unimportant but Agad does tell Seth to stay away from the Blackwell, and for now, to not summon any dark creatures. Not yet.

 

With that, the team sets off for the shrine of the Fairy Queen where Patton said they would get directions to the Dragon Temple. But nothing can go smoothly in a Dragon Sanctuary, and so the group meets Nafia. The dragon had been chasing a herd of Perytons (magical deer as Warren called them (as as Seth said, magical deer with fangs)), when the deer crossed path with the task force. Warren was gored by one of the Peryton's and was then removed from the fight by Gavin. Meanwhile, Mara had tried to get Kendra away on a peryton, which only caught the dragon's eye more.

Not to long after, Kendra finds herself eye-to-eye with Nafia. Unlike with Chalize, at Lost Mesa, or Camarat, at the gates of the Sanctuary, she was completely frozen. Nafia was readying to eat her when Seth comes out of the knapsack. He too is immediately frozen but somehow manages to grasp Kendra's hand. Immediately, both of them regain full awareness.

I guess it has something to do with the combination of Kendra's FairyKind status, and Seth's Shadow Charmer Status that unfroze the too of them. My bet thoughts on the subject are that, Kendra's being fairykind appealed to the dragon's self aware qualities, while Seth being a Shadow Charmer, appealed to the dragon's notions on evil and destruction. Together, they encompass the whole of what it meant to be a dragon. And so it would be like Nafia was talking to abother dragon. So in essence, for those of you who like algebra, light + darkness = dragon tamer.

 

After the deal with Nafia, who later returned and revealed that Navarog was prowling the gates of Wyrmroost, everyone but Kendra and Warren were captured by the Sky Giant, Thronis. Meanwhile, Kendra meets a new friend. The dragon Raxtus.

Raxtus is a fairy dragon. A cockatrice killed off his siblings while he was rescued an incubated by fairies. Thus, he had fairy magic woven through his being. He breaths live. Can turn into a fairy boy. And, according to Kendra, is not the least bit frightening. Poor Raxtus. All he wanted to be was a normal dragon. One who could strike fear into humans. A powerful creature, worthy of his father, Celebrant, King of Dragons. But no. He is now an agent of light. A agent of the Fairy Queen herself.

 

Being a agent of the Fairy Queen, Raxtus agrees to transport Kendra to the shrine of the Fairy Queen at Wyrmroost. There, she learns the location of the Dragon Temple. As well as the story behind the Astrids. The magnificent golden owls that were once the elite guard of the Fairy King. When he was destroyed by Gorgrog, the demon king, the astrids were renounced by the Queen and stripped of their powers. Now, with the opening of Zzyzx threatening, the Fairy Queen reopens contact between the fairies, Kendra, and the astrids. (In book 5, these owls become very important).

 

While Kendra was off communing with fairies, the rest of the rest of group is attempting to not be eaten by Thronis. The giant does not look lightly upon those who enter his domain. But Seth manages to convince him that releasing them will allow him to obtain some objects from the Temple that he wants. Thronis relents but forces everyone to where collars that will strangle them should they tell a lie. Much like the one he himself wears.

See everyone, Seth did come in handy. He saved Kendra from being eaten by Nafia. And he saved everyone else from being eaten by a giant. Not to mention his usefullness in the Dragon Tenple.

 

Now with everyone safe, and a powerful entity on their side, eveyrone, Kendra and Warren included, meet up at the Dragon Temple to attempt to get at the key and figurines. But three guardians stand in their way.

First, the Hydra. Not too terribly dangerous by itself. It strikes while the party is nearing the end of its domain. It appparently acts more to trap them inside the temple then to thwart their entrance. Good idea by the designers. Now, when they meet the rest of the guardians, they know that to retreat means to deal with the Hydra. Not an inviting thought.

Second, Glomnus. The sleeping dragon. Glomnus's breath weapon was a powerful sleeping potion. And it knocked everyone out immediately. But thanks to Vanessa (who has been released from the Quiet Box to help search for Kendra), the dragon is killed. She inhabited Tanu briefly and got the opportunity to slay the dragon as it crept overhead. She is now the only known Dragon Slayer. But not for long.

Because third and finally, comes Siletta. The poison dragon. Everyone thought that she was just a myth. Everything about her is poison. Her breath, blood, skin, etc. All poison. Gavin is almost killed just being in the same room as her. But thanks to the unicorn horn, the group has one chance.

Because Seth an Kendra are Dragon Tamers when touching each other, and Kendra can keep the horn charged with energy, Seth deduces that touching the horn to Siletta could kill her. The horn purifies all that it touches, and according to Graulus, because disease is woven so deeply into his and Sieltta's beings, the touch of the horn may kill them.

So Seth and Kendra decide to attempt it. They enter the chamber and manage to slay Siletta with the horn. Just as Seth predicted. But, sadly, Mendigo is disintegrated by Siletta's poisonous breath. All that remains of him are the golden hooks that served as his joints.

 

Now, with the guardians incapcitated (Gavin went back and slayed the Hydra), the key to the Translocater and Thronis's statues in hand, the group leave the Dragon Temple. To immediately be attacked by a group of dragons.

This is where all hell breaks lose.

The dragons attack. Seth gets away with the figurines an travels by Griffin to Thronis. With everyone else under attack, Gavin transforms himself into a massiv black dragon. He eats Dougan. Throws Mara off a cliff face, attempts to kill Kendra, and then flys after the other dragons to seemingly slaughter them as well.

What just happened.

Gavin reveals himself to be Navarog. The prisoner from the Quiet Box at Fablehaven. The demon prince. The darkest of dragons. An agent of the Sphinx. He reveals that he showed Chalize his true form at Lost Mesa to ensure everyone's survival. He also released her from Painted Mesa, to destroy the entire preserve. He took care of the Hydra in the Dragon Temple in dragon form as well. Now, he was going to take the key to the Translocater and get it back to the Society. Leaving only them uo three artifacts to one.

But that couldn't happen.

As all antagonists do, Navarog tells Kendra all of his plans while Raxtus is sneaking up behind him. Kendra almost blows it looking at Raxtus. But Gavin thinks its ploy so she can whack him with her rain stick. Turns outm he was wrong. Because Raxtus devours him in a single bite.

But not before Navarog manages to destroy the knapsack leaving Warren stuck inside. Now that would have been wonderful, had the Translocater key remained inside. The room would have been sealed off, with only the air vents as a way in. The Transloacter would almost be impossible to obtain. But that didn't happen.

 

So now, Navarog is dead. The key has been found. And everyone, minus Warren and Dougan comes out alive, and makes it back to Fablehaven, where news awaits them.

 

First, with the Knights of the Dawn leaderless, Grandpa had been nominated to Commander of the Knights. He makes Seth a knight on sight. He also doesn't punish him again, because, as with teh horn, it was a calculated risk that payed off. "How can we punish you for success?". Exactly. How?

But with that news comes more. In an effort to get at Kendra and Seth, the Society of the Evening Star abducted their parents.

 

Now, with the key to the Translocater recovered, and their parents abducted, can Kendra and Seth help save the world from the Sphinx? Can the Knights find the final artifact? Or will the Society come out on top and release Zzyzx?

Only the final book will tell. Read, Keys to the Demon Prison, to see if Gorgrog, King of the Demons, ushers in an age of darkness, or falls to the might of the Knights of the Dawn.