We once again meet character we learned to love in the first novel, but we also meet new character who we will grow to love as well: Tanu, Coultier, and Vanessa. We view new forms of magic; I enjoyed seeing the use of other magic within the novel like Tanu's potions to recreate emotions, that was a nice addition to the story. True to nature, Seth gets himself into some trouble even though he tries so hard to be helpful. One thing I wasn't too sure if I liked was how helpless Kendra came off. She didn't seem to be able to think on her own and did things that others told her to do or things she felt were the "safe" way to do things. In the first novel she was more risky, reckless in some of her actions such as going to the Fairy Queen. This novel, she doesn't really do much that is seen as reckless. I think we need to see more of that in her character again. More of her taking risks to protect those she loves.
Mull does an excellent job at creating story that not only will children enjoy, but adults as well. There were moments when I couldn't set the novel down because all I wanted to do was read more and find out what would happen next. He does a wonderful job at keeping the world of Fablehaven alive and well. He makes it something can feel exists in reality not just in the novels. The characters Mull creates have strengths and weakness, abilities/talents and flaws. He makes them feel more personable and more tangible.
This is one of those novels that I think would get kids interested in reading again, much like Harry Potter did. While he enters the fantasy world he does it in his own way and creates something we haven't read yet. He can hold his own against some of the fantasy powerhouse series like Harry Potter and Mortal Instruments. I would love to see this series as a movie.