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Two hidden artifacts have been found. Three more remain unrecovered. More preserves face destruction as the Society of the Evening Star relentlessly pursues new talismans. Reading in Patton's Journal of Secrets, Kendra learns the location of the key to a vault housing one of the artifacts. In order to retrieve it, the Knights of the Dawn must enter a death trap — a dragon sanctuary called Wyrmroost. The mission cannot proceed without stealing a sacred object zealously guarded by the centaurs. Anybody seen Seth?
The race is on to acquire all five of the artifact keys to the great demon prison. Will the Knights of the Dawn conquer Wyrmroost? Who can stop the Sphinx? Can Vanessa be trusted to help? What artifact will be found next? Find out in Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary.
- Published: 2009
- Size: 5" x 7"
- Pages: 528
- Run Time: Approx. 15.6 hrs.
About the Author
Brandon Mull, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fablehaven and Beyonders series, travels the country visiting schools, promoting literacy, and sharing his message that “Imagination Can Take You Places.” Brandon has enjoyed arcade games since his childhood, when he fed quarters to Gauntlet at the local mall. Around that same time he won a gold medal at a pudding-eating contest in the park behind his grandma’s house. His long-standing love affair with sweets continues to this day.
Kendra Sorenson briskly scraped the head of a wooden match against the rough strip on the side of a rectangular matchbox. Cupping her hand to shield the new flame, she held the burning match against the blackened wick of a candle stub. Once the flame spread to the wick, she shook out the match, thin strands of smoke winding upward.
Seated at the desk in her bedroom, considering the remains of the match, Kendra was struck by how quickly the fire had consumed the wood, leaving the top third fragile and charred, the substance transformed into an unrecognizable state. She contemplated the plague at Fablehaven that had swiftly turned many of the inhabitants of the magical preserve from beings of light into creatures of darkness. She and her family and friends had managed to reverse the plague before it destroyed the preserve, but their efforts had cost the life of Lena the naiad.
Snapping out of her reverie, Kendra set the spent match off to one side, slid three keys into a locked journal, opened the book, and began hurriedly leafing through the pages. This was her last umite candle—she could not afford to waste any of the special illumination that made the words on the pages visible.
She had brought the Journal of Secrets home from Fablehaven. It had once belonged to Patton Burgess, a former Fablehaven caretaker whom Kendra had unexpectedly met when he had traveled forward through time at the end of the previous summer. Written in a secret fairy language, the words inside were further disguised by being inscribed in umite wax. Only under the light of an umite wax candle would the characters glow into view, and only by virtue of her status as fairykind could Kendra decipher them.
Reading and speaking fairy languages were only some of the abilities granted to Kendra after hundreds of giant fairies had mobbed her with kisses. She could see in the dark. Certain magical mind tricks failed to affect her, allowing her to penetrate the illusions that concealed most magical creatures from mortal eyes. And fairies had to follow any command she issued.
Kendra checked over her shoulder, listening for a moment. The house was quiet. Mom and Dad had taken to jogging at the rec center on weekday evenings, hoping to make it a habit before the New Year. She doubted the resolution would survive more than a couple of weeks, but for now it provided her an opportunity to peruse the journal unsupervised. Her parents were blind to the magical world she and her brother had discovered. As a consequence, when they had caught her reading a book full of strange symbols by candlelight, they thought she was getting involved with some bizarre cult. There was no way to explain that the book contained the secrets of a former Fablehaven caretaker. Not wanting her parents to confiscate the journal, Kendra pretended to have returned it to the library and had started reading it only when she could be sure of prolonged privacy.
Because the presence of her parents reduced her reading time, and because she had a limited supply of candles, Kendra had not yet read every word from cover to cover, although she had skimmed the entire volume. The voice in the journal was familiar—she had read many entries in some of Patton’s less secretive journals at Fablehaven. While browsing the Journal of Secrets, Kendra had found where Patton described at length the story of how Ephira had become a spectral menace, omitting none of the dismal details, along with passages where he expressed his innermost fears about his relationship with Lena. Kendra had also learned about a passageway to a grotto beneath the old manor, various stashes of treasure and weapons concealed around Fablehaven, and a pool at the base of a small waterfall where an intrepid fortune hunter could catch a leprechaun. She found information about a secret chamber at the end of the Hall of Dread in the Fablehaven dungeon, along with the passwords and procedures needed to gain entry. She read about journeys abroad to India and Siberia and Madagascar. She absorbed information about various preserves at the far corners of the globe. She scanned theories regarding possible threats and villains, including many alleged plots by the Society of the Evening Star.
Tonight, with the umite candle burning low, she turned to her favorite entry in the journal and read Patton’s familiar handwriting:
Having returned scant hours ago from a singular adventure, I now find myself unable to suppress the urge to impart my thoughts. I have seldom considered whom I intend to read the covert information compiled in this record. Upon the occasions when I have paid heed to the matter, I have vaguely concluded that I was jotting these notations for myself. But I am now aware that these words will reach an audience, and that her name is Kendra Sorenson.
Kendra, I find this realization both thrilling and foreboding. You face challenging times. Some of the knowledge I possess could aid you. Regrettably, much of that same knowledge could usher you into unspeakable danger. I keep staging vigorous internal debates in the attempt to discern what information will grant you an advantage over your enemies and what information might further imperil your situation. Much of what I know has the potential to cause more harm than good.
Your enemies among the Society of the Evening Star will balk at nothing to obtain the five artifacts that together can open Zzyzx, the great demon prison. At the time I left you, to our knowledge, they had acquired only one artifact, while your able grandfather retained another. I have information about two of the artifacts that you lack, and could probably acquire more knowledge with some effort. And yet I hesitate to share. If you or others try to pursue or guard the artifacts, you might inadvertently lead our enemies to them. Or you could be harmed in the attempt to retrieve them. Conversely, if the Sphinx is in avid pursuit of the artifacts, I am inclined to believe that he will eventually succeed. Under certain circumstances, it would benefit our cause for you to have my knowledge in order to keep the artifacts out of his grasp.
Therefore, Kendra, I have elected to rely on your judgment. I will not include the specifics in this journal, for who could resist such temptingly convenient access, regardless of that person’s integrity? But in the hidden chamber beyond the Hall of Dread I will disguise further details regarding the hiding places of two of the artifacts. Unearth that information only if you find it becomes absolutely necessary. Otherwise, do not even mention that such knowledge exists. Use discretion and patience and courage. My hope is that the information will lie dormant for your whole lifetime. If not, information about the location of the hidden chamber awaits elsewhere in this journal. Go to the chamber and use a mirror to find the message on the ceiling.
Kendra, I wish I could be there to help you. Your loved ones are strong and capable. Put your trust where it belongs and make smart decisions. Keep that brother of yours in line. I am grateful to have such an exemplary niece.
Drumming her fingers on the desk, Kendra blew out the candle. Enough of the waxy lump remained to light it again, but the flame would not last long. Grandpa probably had more umite candles at Fablehaven by now, but getting them would be a hassle. She leaned back in her chair, pinching her lower lip. Between school and her volunteer day-care job, she had hardly found time to give the matter the contemplation it deserved.
She had not yet shared the message from Patton with anyone. He had trusted her judgment, and she was in no hurry to betray that trust. Patton was right that once the information about the location of the artifacts got out, people would want to pursue them. And he was also right that the Sphinx would be watching for a chance to exploit any such attempt. Unless information about the hidden artifacts became essential, she would let it be.
Throughout that fall season, Kendra had kept in touch with her grandparents. They did not talk openly about secrets on the phone, but they had found ways to pass needed information without getting too specific. Ever since the Sphinx had been revealed as the leader of the Society of the Evening Star, all activity by the Society had seemed to cease. But they all knew that the Sphinx was out there, watching and plotting, waiting for the opportune moment to strike.
Two members of the Knights of the Dawn kept Kendra and Seth under constant surveillance and smuggled them information when necessary. So far there had been no alarming incidents. Although the individuals assigned to protect Kendra and Seth rotated, at least one of their bodyguards was always a trusted friend like Warren, Tanu, or Coulter. For the past four days, Warren had been watching them, along with a supposedly trustworthy girl named Elise.
Kendra sighed. After all the subterfuge during the past couple of years, she wondered if she would ever fully trust anyone again. Perhaps that was another reason she kept Patton’s message to herself.
Something rustled faintly behind her. She turned to see that a folded sheet of paper had been slipped under her door. She crossed to the doorway, picked up the white piece of paper, unfolded it, and scanned the typed list. The more she read, the narrower her eyes squinted. She stalked out of her room, down the hall, and stopped in Seth’s open doorway.
“Do you honestly expect to get a hang glider for Christmas?” Kendra asked her younger brother.
Seth glanced up from the desk where he had been doodling lizards on his math homework. “I certainly won’t if I don’t ask.”
Kendra held up the list. “Who else got this?”
“Mom and Dad, of course. Plus I e-mailed copies to all of our relatives, even some distant ones I tracked down online. And I mailed a copy to Santa, just to cover all of my bases.”
Crossing the room to stand beside her brother, Kendra wiggled the page in front of him. “You’ve never made crazy requests like these before. A set of custom golf clubs? A hot tub? A bullet bike?”
Seth snatched the list from Kendra. “You’re only naming the big-ticket items. If you can’t afford to get me a massage chair, you could get me a kite, a video game, or a movie. You’ll find ideas on my wish list for any budget.”
Kendra folded her arms. “You’re up to no good.”
Seth stared at her with the wide-eyed, mildly offended expression he typically used when hiding something. “Limiting what I get for Christmas is one thing. Limiting what I ask for is another. Who are you, the Grinch?”
“You normally use a strategic approach to Christmas, asking for a few presents you really want—and it usually works. You’ve never campaigned for anything that costs more than a bike or a video game system. You keep your wish list realistic. Why the change?”
“You’re overanalyzing, Professor,” Seth sighed, handing back the list. “I just figured it couldn’t hurt to aim high this year.”
“Why send the list to relatives so distant they don’t even know you?”
“One of them might be a lonely billionaire, who knows? I have a hunch that this could be my lucky year.”
Kendra regarded her brother. Even since the summer, he looked less like a kid. He kept getting taller, all gangly arms and legs, and his face looked slimmer, his chin more defined. They had not spent much quality time together over the fall. He had his own friends, and she was busy getting accustomed to high school. Now the holiday break loomed less than a week away.
“Don’t do anything stupid,” Kendra warned.
“Thanks for the brilliant advice,” he said. “Do you mind if I quote you in my diary?”
“Are you keeping a journal?”
“I’ll have to start if you keep dispensing such precious pearls of wisdom.”
“I have the perfect first entry,” Kendra suggested, glaring. “Dear diary, today I bought myself fancy Christmas presents with gold I stole from Fablehaven. I tried to pretend the gifts came from distant, billionaire relatives, but nobody was fooled, and the Knights of the Dawn have hunted me down and locked me in a grimy dungeon.”
Seth’s mouth opened and closed soundlessly as he commenced and then abandoned several possible responses. After clearing his throat, he finally managed, “You can’t prove that.”
“How did you sneak out gold?” Kendra exclaimed. “I thought Grandpa confiscated the treasure you and the satyrs took from the nipsies.”
“We’re not having this conversation,” Seth insisted. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“You must have had multiple stashes, and Grandpa didn’t find them all. But how are you converting gold and jewels into cash? A pawn shop?”
“This is nonsense,” Seth maintained. “Sounds to me like you’re the one with the criminal mind.”
“You have your guard up now, but I saw through it a minute ago. That gold wasn’t Newel’s or Doren’s to give you! After all that happened last summer, how did you walk out the front door with stolen treasure in your pockets? How shameless are you?”
Seth sighed in defeat. “Grandpa and Grandma weren’t using it.”
“Right, Seth, because they’re the caretakers of Fablehaven. They’re trying to protect the creatures and items hidden there. You might as well steal from a museum!”
“Kind of like you taking the rain stick from Lost Mesa? Or Warren keeping the sword he found there?”
Kendra flushed. “Technically, Painted Mesa wasn’t part of the Lost Mesa preserve. Plus, I’m not hawking the rain staff to buy a WaveRunner! And Warren isn’t trying to trade the sword for a snowmobile! Part of why we have those items is in order to protect them, not to sell them for a fraction of their value!”
“Settle down, I still have all of the gold.”
“Maybe you should give it to me for safekeeping.”
“Not likely,” Seth snorted. He eyed her reluctantly. “But I’ll return the treasure to Grandpa the next time we go back.”
Kendra relaxed. “I can live with that.”
“I don’t have much choice since I live with the world’s biggest tattler. What if I pay you off? Would you keep quiet? I could buy you some awesome Christmas presents.”
“I’m not in the market for a hang glider.”
“It could be anything,” Seth offered. “Dresses, jewelry, a pony—whatever stupid girly junk you want!”
“The main thing I want this year is for my little brother to develop some integrity so I can stop baby-sitting him.”
“I could always use some of the gold to hire some thugs to kidnap you and hold you captive until after the holidays,” Seth considered.
“Good luck with that,” Kendra said, crumpling the typed list and tossing it at the wastebasket beside the desk. The irregular ball of paper bounced off the lip of the wastebasket and landed softly on the floor.
Seth leaned down from his chair, snatched up the crumpled paper, and dropped it into the trash. “Nice aim.”
“Nice list.” Kendra strode into the hall and returned to her room. The scent of candle smoke still lingered so she opened the window, admitting a cold draft. She waved her hands to disperse the smell, then shut the window and flopped down on her bed.
Even far from Fablehaven, at their own house, with constant supervision from hidden bodyguards, Seth was still finding ways to cause unnecessary trouble! Part of her wished she could share the message from Patton with her brother. These days, he was the only person she could talk to about this type of problem. But she would not dare allow him access to the information in the Journal of Secrets. He would undoubtedly find a way to put that knowledge to bad use.
Her secrecy about the journal had caused some friction between them. When they discussed the subject, he knew by her vague answers that she was withholding information. But unable to translate the arcane writing himself, there was nothing he could do about her reluctance to share.
Rolling over onto her stomach, Kendra slid a hand under her mattress and pulled out five envelopes bound together by a rubber band. There was no need to read the letters from Gavin—she had the content memorized. But she enjoyed holding them.
He had promised that he would try to take a turn as one of her guards, but he had yet to show up. As a dragon tamer, he had unusual skills that had recently been required in some distant parts of the world. At least he had sent letters, delivered by bodyguards. In the notes, he shared details about his dealings with dragons: cutting skin tumors out of the slimy hide of a long, slender dragon; studying a rare dragon that lived underwater and used dense clouds of ink to confuse her prey; rescuing a team of magical plant experts from a small but ferocious dragon that spun webs like a spider.
Interesting as the dragons were, Kendra had to admit that her favorite parts of the letters were any mention of him missing her or looking forward to seeing her again. When she wrote him back, she made it clear that she was looking forward to seeing him as well, hopefully without sounding too overanxious. Closing her eyes, she pictured him. Was he getting better-looking in her memories?
Content to have held the letters for a moment, she slipped them back under her mattress. She had done her best to keep Seth from noticing the correspondence. He already loved to tease her about having a crush on Gavin. Imagine if her brother found evidence that it was sort of true!
From downstairs came the rumble of the automatic garage door opening. Her parents were home. Kendra sprang from her bed and snatched the journal and the candle stub from her desk, placing them on a high shelf in her closet and moving folded sweaters in front of them. She unzipped her backpack and put a notebook and a pair of textbooks on her desk, although her homework was already finished.
Kendra took a deep breath. She only had to make it through two more days of school, and then winter break would allow her to relax and think through some of the issues that had been troubling her. She left her room and walked to the stairs, trying to compose her face into a casual expression with which to greet her parents.
Exciting continuation of the series!!
by Evelyn - reviewed on May 12, 2009
Though I have loved all of the Fablehaven books, this one is my favorite so far! It is packed with action from start to finish. I would recommend it for all ages from pre-teen to rocking chair old!
oh my! what's next?
by Roberta - reviewed on February 16, 2010
I just finished #4 & can't wait for #5! This one is jam-packed w/action in every chapter from start to finish. Love that Seth is coming into his own, that questions to mysteries are being answered, stingbulbs? a lectoblix? wow!...enjoyed each book as it came out & look forward to the next. I would recommend this series to all ages from 8 to 80.
Fablehaven keeps getting better!
by Stephanie - reviewed on July 07, 2009
The Fablehaven series just keeps getting better!I bought #4 hoping it would be a keeper like the other three and I wasn't disappointed. Every character we have come to know throughout the series has grown and matured, even Seth! :) Mr. Mull has given each character their own quirks, strengths and voice. The story flowed well and the descriptions of the magical places were just right. The magical creatures Mr. Mull introduced were all believable (I love that one has a crush on Kendra), scary and unique. There is plenty of laughs, tension, and twists to keep this story moving right up to the end and the betrayal. (Personal prideful note: I guessed the person in book 3 but was thrown off by the personality in book 4 so didn't suspect!) And once again, I LOVE the lessons taught throughout the book! Thank you, Brandon Mull, for teaching good life lessons! And thank you for writing a clean book that I can recommend to any parent or YA without any trepidation!
by Customer - reviewed on September 12, 2009
what an awesome book now the problem is having to fight over the rereading schedule in the house
Awesome! I couldn't stop listening.
by Joyce - reviewed on March 31, 2010
I have now listened to the first four volumes on cd and I have loved everyone, but this one has been my favorite so far. Filled with lots of action and twists and turns it keeps you on the edge of your seat all the way through. I also appreciate the talents of the narrator, his voices for each character are priceless. I can't wait to listen to volume 5. I'll have to stand in line for volume 5 though, because all of my family are big Fablehaven fans too.
PRAISAL AND CONTINUATION!
by nakaela - reviewed on June 08, 2009
i have read all of the books and they are all great but i love this one the most!It wraps up most of the mysteries up at the end and action pack all the way through.The other thing i loved is that it left me wanting more and want to know what happens to warren all of them.its a fantastic book and i can relate to kendra and the other characters so much.
Exciting thrill ride!
by Anthony - reviewed on September 17, 2010
Definitely one of the best books in the series so far! This is the Rocky IV of the series most definitely! The plot is getting thicker and the book leaves you wanting more! The monsters are meaner and the villains are nastier and the heroes are braver! Brandon Mull is a masterful story teller and the illustrations by Brandon Dorman are perfect for the tale. This series is a great series for anyone of teenage to adult age and a perfect book to listen on CD.