Kendra and Seth's parents are making them stay with their reclusive grandparents while they go on a cruise. Rough deal, right? As Kendra and Seth settle in with Grandpa Sorenson (Grandma is mysteriously absent), they learn that there are a lot of rules. We're talking stay in the house or garden, no going into the forest or barn—stuff like that.
Seth heads for the forest as soon as he gets the chance to slip out (hey—wasn't he just told not to?), and meets an old woman who seems like a witch. Kendra tries to solve the mystery of three tiny keys her grandfather has given her, and she ends up unlocking a journal that has the hidden message Drink the milk. When the kids drink the milk that's placed around the gardens, they can suddenly see that all the butterflies and dragonflies, which have been acting kinda strange, are actually mini-humans with wings—they're fairies.
Grandpa has a serious convo with the kids about how this land is a preserve for magic creatures called Fablehaven. Now that they're in on the secret, they get to meet a fairy trapper, Maddox, and a golem (a magical construct that obeys orders), Hugo—and it turns out that the housekeeper, Lena, is a former naiad. Seth runs afoul of the fairies and is transformed into a mutant walrus-human hybrid, and so Grandpa must ask a favor of the witch, Muriel, to undo the curse. This leaves Muriel bound by only one knot, which is bad news.
Midsummer Eve arrives. It's a time when the magic critters (both the benevolent and the not-so-nice ones) can run free around the preserve, and Grandpa instructs the kids to stay upstairs in their room, earplugs in, circles of salt around their beds; looking out the windows is totally forbidden. Seth, of course, looks out a window—and is tricked into opening it, letting all kinds of dark magic critters in. Kendra and Seth manage to make it back to one of the salt-encircled beds in the havoc, keeping their pet chicken, Goldilocks, safe too—but by morning, Grandpa and Lena have disappeared, and their cousin Dale has been turned into a statue.
The kids set off to try to find Grandpa and Lena. They strike out, only managing to annoy some satyrs and an ogress, and they discover that the forbidden barn has a giant cow in it that desperately needs to be milked. It's a gross and difficult task, but they manage—and then they see a message written in the feed grain for the chicken: Goldilocks is their grandma. Say what? They bring her to Muriel to disenchant, thereby releasing Muriel from her final knot, after which she disappears.
Grandma takes the kids to a troll to try to find out Grandpa's whereabouts. Turns out Grandpa's in the basement of the Forgotten Chapel, so they gather up weapons and set off. Muriel is there too, assembling an army of imps and releasing the demon Bahumat, who will plunge the preserve into darkness.
Muriel captures Grandma and Seth, but can't touch Kendra, since she hasn't committed mischief or done magic, which leaves her invulnerable according to the magic laws of the preserve. Kendra runs off, and in an act of desperation, asks for help from the Fairy Queen—and the Fairy Queen gives her the ability to assemble an army of human-sized fairies, who go and kick butt.
The fairies release Grandma, Grandpa, and Seth, and turn Dale back to a human—they take Lena back to the naiad pond though, erasing her human memory. Bahumat is bound once more, with Muriel bound to him as well, and the Forgotten Chapel is sunk underground and replaced with a hill covered in wildflowers. Then the fairies return to their usual size.
Things go back to normal, except that Kendra can see magic critters without having to drink the magic cow's milk daily, like most humans do. Grandma and Grandpa tell Kendra and Seth to come back, since they're considering passing Fablehaven on to them when they get older; then the kids' parents pick them up post-cruise, and off they go, back to the normal world.
A Mandatory Vacation
- It stinks to be Kendra: her parents are dumping her and her brother Seth with their hermit-y grandparents while they go on vacation.
- Kendra's almost fourteen and Seth is eleven, so they spend most of the car ride to Grandma and Grandpa Sorenson's place complaining. But there's no changing the plan now: their other set of grandparents died and left a bunch of money for Kendra's mom, dad, aunts, and uncles to go on a cruise—minus the kids.
- An awkward memory of the funeral floats back to Kendra: her mom asked Grandpa Sorenson to take the kids, and he'd sounded really reluctant. So this'll be a fun two weeks, eh?
- As they reach their grandparents' land, Kendra sees a bunch of creepy signs about it being private property and how trespassers may be shot or killed. Yup—this should be a great time.
- It's weird, but most people in Kendra's family have never even seen this place—even Kendra's dad has hardly ever been here, and the Sorensons are his parents.
- At the house, they see Grandpa Sorenson (Grandma's visiting a dying relative or something), Lena (the housekeeper and an older lady who has faintly Asian features), and Dale, a tall guy who helps tend the grounds.
- Mom and Dad say their goodbyes, and Grandpa shows the kids to their room in the attic, which is actually pretty cool. There's a pet chicken, Goldilocks, they get to feed and take care of while their grandma's away, and there are also vintage toys and a telescope and stuff.
- Grandpa warns them that it's tick season, and tells them not to venture off the lawn surrounding the house, or else they'll be confined to the room for the rest of their visit. Same deal with the barn, as it's full of dangerous old equipment.
- Before leaving to do chores around the land, Grandpa hands Kendra a set of three small keys and says that each unlocks something in the room, and she can try to find those items.
- Seth immediately starts making a mess, which annoys Kendra. These seventeen days are gonna be torture.
- Breakfast the next morning with Grandpa Sorenson is kinda awkward, and Kendra thinks it's weird that her grandma's been unavailable or traveling for so long.
- Grandpa tells the kids that there's a pool they can swim in, so that's what they do.
- Kendra brings a cool vintage mirror she found in their room outside with her, and she and Seth notice that a zillion butterflies and dragonflies swarm around it. That's not normal bug behavior, right?
- Afterward, Seth gets dressed and tells Kendra he's going into the woods. He asks her not to tell on him, but she makes no promises.
- Exploring the bedroom, Kendra finds that one of the keys unlocks a tiny armoire in the dollhouse—there are tasty foil-wrapped chocolates inside.
- Then Kendra fiddles with the telescope in their room, and sees Dale doing something sneaky-looking outside. She runs out, and sees that he's left a pail of milk near a hedge, and a bunch of insects are clustered around it (do bugs even drink milk?).
- She also notices that the attic seems to be longer than just the room she and Seth are sharing. Perhaps there's a secret passageway that the keys unlock?
- She catches Dale as he's placing another pail, and he asks her to keep it a secret—apparently it helps the animals thrive, but he's worried that her grandpa will think it's wasteful. Oh, and she shouldn't drink it because it hasn't been pasteurized. Ick.
The Ivy Shack
- Perspective shift: we're now seeing things through Seth's eyes. He finds a small path into the forest, and gets out a compass so he can find his way back easily (and quickly, so no one notices that he's gone).
- Seth doesn't want to admit that he's scared, but the forest is actually a bit creepy—and even weirder, he sees a shack covered in ivy. Inside it, an old woman sits next to a tree stump, gnawing at a knot tied in some rope. Um… odd.
- She notices Seth, and invites him to come in; he asks if his grandpa knows she's here, since he owns the land, and she says yes, he's aware.
- Again she invites him in, and she gets out a dancing puppet to show him (apparently this will entice him in?). She says it's a limberjack, which is not the same thing as a lumberjack.
- Seth can't help but start joking, which annoys her. She asks him to test his courage by putting his hand inside a box, which obviously seems like a bad idea to him—what if it's filled with nails or glass? He begins to suspect that she's a witch, or crazy, or both.
- She says that if he doesn't stand by his words, he'll have an unpleasant trip home, and when he backs away, he notices her murmuring something.
- As Seth starts back toward the house, random things in the forest start to fly at him and trip him—it's almost as though something is invisibly pursuing him, which is really freaky. Finally Seth makes it home, sweating, dirty, and scared.
- Back to Kendra. She's found a book titled Journal of Secrets—it's locked, though, and the keys she holds will only open one of the three clasps.
- Seth runs in and tells Kendra about meeting the witch. Kendra thinks this is weird and that they should tell their grandpa so he can call the police, in case she's a homeless woman living on the property without permission.
- There's a tree house on the property that's not off-limits, so Seth and Kendra go hang out there and work on a puzzle for a while—Kendra can tell that Seth is really spooked about what happened in the forest, though.
The Hidden Pond
- Kendra and Seth are stuck inside because it's raining. Lena's been creating paint-by-number pictures for them to paint though, which is fun for a while.
- Bored, Kendra goes looking for Lena, and she finds her outside, weeding in the rain. This is kinda strange, but oh well.
- When the rain stops, Seth goes outside, and returns to show Kendra something really cool—it's inside the forest though, which makes Kendra nervous about breaking the rules.
- They reach a beautiful pond, with a small island at the center. Elegant gazebos surround the pond, with butterflies and peacocks and hedges all around.
- What's the deal? Why would Grandpa Sorenson hide such a beautiful place and make it off-limits? The kids walk around the pond and eventually return home.
- Over dinner, Grandpa asks the kids why they broke the rules, and Kendra says she was curious when Seth found the private retreat.
- Grandpa confesses that he hasn't told the whole truth: he uses his land to provide refuge for endangered animals, many of them deadly. If Seth had tried to touch any of the frogs or snakes he saw, he could've died.
- Now Grandpa wants to confine the kids to their room for the rest of their stay. They protest, of course, because they didn't know the full truth about why they should've stayed out of the forest.
- Kendra manages to bargain their punishment down to one day of confinement to the attic, but the full punishment if they break the rules again. Seems fair, right?
Journal of Secrets
- While stuck inside, Seth asks Kendra if she noticed the keyhole on the underside of the unicorn in the room—sure enough, one of the tiny keys unlocks it. Kendra (reluctantly) shares the chocolate with Seth.
- There's also a tiny key inside, which unlocks the second lock on the journal. She finds the third key in the jewelry box, and eagerly unlocks the Journal of Secrets.
- The whole book is empty. Kendra wonders what the deal is—maybe there's a message hidden in invisible ink or something like that?
- Then she finds writing on one of the final pages, but there are only three words written: Drink the milk. The milk Dale puts out that will supposedly make her sick? Seriously?
- The next day is sunny so the kids go outside to hang out. Kendra sees Dale bringing some milk out, so she asks him about the milk again—and again he emphasizes that it'll make her really sick. She asks if she can at least see the cows that it comes from, and he says no.
- Kendra decides that she needs a guinea pig, so she tells Seth to try the milk, saying that she's already had some.
- He drinks it, and immediately freaks out about what he's seeing. Kendra sees nothing, but he says there are fairies—so she decides to go for it.
- She tries the milk, and then sees that there are tiny people with butterfly and dragonfly wings everywhere. It's both beautiful and freaky.
- Grandpa Sorenson shows up and says they need to talk. He says he's impressed with how quickly they solved his puzzle—apparently he wanted them to drink the milk, assuming they were the right kind of people: inquisitive, adventurous, etc.
- This place is called Fablehaven, and it's a preserve for mystical creatures—fairies and other small critters are allowed near the house; the rest live farther out.
- The milk will open a human's eyes to the magical world, but the effects wear off after one day, so Grandpa will make sure the kids get some milk every morning (but the barn is still off-limits since it's still dangerous).
- Oh, and the pond? It's filled with naiads who think it's funny to drown people. The island at the center is a shrine to the Fairy Queen, who punishes trespassers (one groundskeeper who set foot on the island turned into a cloud of dandelion puff and blew away).
- Things are more dangerous for the kids now that they can see the mystical critters—according to the laws of magic, if you can't interact with them, they can't harm you. But now that the kids can see them, the risk of interaction goes up, and things become generally more dangerous as a result. So long as no one starts any trouble or gets violent, though, they should be fine.
- Basically, the kids need to not break any more rules (good luck with that one, Seth) and not instigate violence or try to use magic, and so long as they do this, they should be fine.
- Seth asks about the old lady. She's named Muriel Taggart, and she's a witch—but she's still human, which is why Seth could see her before having the milk.
- She lived at the preserve over a century ago, but got involved with dark magic and had to be imprisoned—the knots hold her captive, though there aren't many left, which could mean trouble.
- That's all the explanation the kids get, since Grandpa has chores to do. Kendra and Seth are excited to hopefully see more of the place, though.
- Kendra wakes up the next morning, excited to learn more about the fairies and Fablehaven. She asks Lena for some milk (so she can see the fairies again) and also to tell her about the boathouse on the pond, since Grandpa said to ask.
- Turns out Lena used to be a naiad. A caretaker of Fablehaven back in the 1800s came and built a boat so he could talk to her in the pond, but he fell in one time, and Lena rescued him from drowning… but setting foot on land meant that she became mortal.
- Lena lived with the caretaker, Patton, until he died (naiads age way slower than humans), then she traveled the world, eventually returning to Fablehaven.
- At dinner, they have a guest, a big mountain-man-looking dude named Maddox. He's a fairy broker, someone who traps fairies and trades/sells them.
- The kids ask a bunch of questions, and learn that there are other sanctuaries around the world, and also private collectors who like to have fairies (and other magic critters) around.
- They also learn about the Society of the Evening Star, a secret organization that wants to take over the preserves and use them as part of their dark magic rituals.
- Maddox shows them some of the fairies he's caught, which are exotic and beautiful—apparently once you capture a fairy, it'll more or less stay put if it's in a confined space (like a room).
- Then Grandpa sends the kids to bed, telling them to stay put no matter what they hear since the negotiations that are part of the fairy trading can get out of hand.
Prisoner in a Jar
- Whatever the negotiations are, they are loud—the kids hear laughter and breaking glass all night, and when they finally get up, the house is a wreck and Grandpa's passed out on a couch.
- Kendra spies a letter and reads it: it's about someone trying to infiltrate Fablehaven. And it mentions her grandma by name, saying that they're still looking for a solution. Weird.
- That day, Kendra tries to learn more about Fablehaven from Lena, and Seth tries to catch fairies. It takes a while, but he manages to trap one inside a glass jar.
- Seth puts the jar inside a drawer, and takes the fairy out to gaze at that night. She's desperately trying to get out though, which makes Seth wonder if he's making a mistake.
- When Seth wakes up, he checks the jar and sees a giant tarantula inside—but then he remembers that he needs milk to see magic critters.
- He goes downstairs to get some, and comes back to find an ugly critter that's human in form but has stubs instead of wings; when Seth tries to feed it some milk, it escapes.
- Seth feels crummy about whatever happened to the fairy. He works on the puzzle in the tree house, but then a giant swarm of fairies comes for him.
- The fairies magically blow up the tree house and chase Seth until he jumps into the pool. This only stalls them briefly, though, and they throw magic at him… and then his body begins to change.
- Grandpa shows up and begins interrogating the fairies, but it's too late for Seth—he has flippers and tentacles instead of limbs, and he also has tusks.
- Turns out that the fairies took vengeance on Seth for catching a fairy and leaving her enclosed overnight, which turned her into an imp. Imps are fallen fairies, which are nasty little critters that are generally bad news.
- Kendra asks some questions. This isn't a problem for Maddox since when he captures fairies, he leaves the cages open overnight—but Seth had no way of knowing to do this.
- Grandpa can only think of one person who can help Seth: Muriel Taggart. Dale puts Seth into a wheelbarrow (since he's got a tail instead of legs now) and off they go.
- Muriel reverses the transformation once Grandpa agrees to loosen one knot by blowing on it. This frees up enough energy for her to work a spell, and Seth is back to himself again.
- Grandpa says he's not happy about Muriel only being down to one knot keeping her confined, but at least Seth hopefully learned a lesson about not tangling with magic critters.
- That evening Kendra talks with Lena about what it's like to be mortal and grow old. The other magic critters (naiads and fairies) mock Lena for being mortal, and even worse, for choosing it.
- Grandpa summons Kendra and Seth for a serious conversation. In two days it'll be Midsummer Eve (June 21st), and this is a Big Deal.
- On Midsummer Eve, the boundaries keeping magic creatures in place dissolve, and everything runs amok—especially the evil creatures. In theory the boundaries of the house will keep them safe, though.
- Grandpa tells the kids that they will be in bed at sundown, and they will wear earplugs, and they will not get out of bed until sunrise. Period.
- Seth pesters Dale with questions, but all Dale says is that he's stolen a peek out of a window on Midsummer Eve, and he saw a face that he wishes he could un-see.
- Dale shows Seth something cool: a giant golem. His name is Hugo and he's an enchanted human-like figure made out stone, dirt, and clay. He'll follow instructions, and he helps around the preserve.
- Hugo pulls Seth and Dale in a cart to the greenhouse, so that Kendra can see the golem and Hugo can load pumpkins into the cart. Everyone will carve the pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns, which the fairies will sit inside in order to help magically protect the house. Hopefully.
- The sun is about to set on Midsummer Eve, and not a lot of fairies have shown up to sit inside the jack-o-lanterns, which is bad. Grandpa sends the kids up to the attic bedroom.
- Circles of salt surround the beds, and Grandpa tells them that this is a test: if they can handle themselves tonight, they might get to be the next caretakers of Fablehaven.
- Kendra wears the earplugs she's given… at least until Seth gets her attention and says he's gonna look out the window because he's curious.
- Is this a bad idea? Of course it's a bad idea. Does that stop Seth? Of course not. He looks outside, and sees the fairies in their jack-o-lanterns—and the fairies sitting inside promptly vacate them.
- Kendra and Seth bicker, but stop when they hear a baby crying outside. Seth goes and looks out, and actually sees a baby out on the roof; Kendra comes to look too.
- It looks like two wolves are going to pounce on the baby, so Seth opens the window… and all hell breaks loose.
- The baby dives into the window, transforming into a goblin, and the wolves enter the room too. Kendra manages to close the window before a beautiful woman in ragged garments gets in. but the woman's cold eyes put Kendra in a trance until Seth closes the curtains. The wolves have also turned into monsters—a giant centipede and a spiny monster—in case, you know, being wolves wasn't scary enough.
- Seth grabs Goldilocks, and he and Kendra huddle on one of the beds, behind the circle of salt that's protecting it.
- Dale bursts in with a shotgun and tells the kids to stay put. The monsters follow him downstairs, and Seth and Kendra huddle on the bed for the rest of the night.
- Voices come in from the window, asking for help, and then Grandpa's voice comes up too, saying that everyone survived and that breakfast is ready—the kids don't fall for these tricks though.
- Eventually they doze off, and wake up when the sun's fully up—but no one has come up to get them.
- Seth obviously feels guilty, and he starts crying. Kendra tries to reassure him that what happened wasn't fully his fault: if the monsters did something bad, it's their fault for doing bad stuff.
- Anxious about what they'll find, the kids go downstairs to check out the damage.
- The house is a total wreck, and someone's on the lawn. It's Dale… except he's been turned into a statue.
- No sign of Grandpa or Lena, but then Kendra and Seth remember that they haven't had any milk, so they might be missing some supernatural critters. The fridge has been flipped, but some of the bottles inside remain unbroken.
- There's a weird, loud sound coming from somewhere nearby, but they can't manage to follow it. On to plan B.
- The kids decide to venture out to look for their grandfather, and they find some large bird-like tracks to follow into the forest. After losing the trail, they climb a hill to try to get their bearings.
- Then they see smoke coming from nearby the hill, as though someone's cooking, so they walk up and see what looks like a well, with a bucket dipping underground. Strangely, the bucket's full of stew.
- Before they can stuff their faces, a man with goat legs walks up—a satyr—and he accuses them of spoiling his operation and dashes back into the bushes.
- Seth and Kendra follow, just in time to escape notice of a misshapen old woman who waddles up to check on her pot. The satyr tells them that she's an ogress.
- After Seth and Kendra follow the satyr (named Doren) to safety and meet his buddy (Newel), they ask for help finding their grandpa. The satyrs are flaky though, so no luck there—and the kids head back to the house.
Inside the Barn
- As they approach the house, the kids hear a weird sound, like one they heard earlier in the day but couldn't pinpoint. It's coming from the barn. Dun dun dun…
- They carefully enter the barn, and what do they see? A giant cow. Like, seriously giant: its body fills the whole barn.
- Her udder looks really swollen, so the kids guess that it's painful because nobody's milked her today, hence all the noise—so they attempt to milk the giant cow, using ladders in order to reach the udder.
- It's messy and tiring. Finally they head back to the house to find some food, which is good since it's about to get dark again.
An Unexpected Message
- Kendra and Seth replenish their energy with some good ol' peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. When they go upstairs to go to sleep though, they find Goldilocks running around the room, scattering her feed.
- That's when Seth sees what's on the floor: the feed kernels have been arranged to form letters which say "I M GRAM." As in, I'm Grandma.
- The chicken bobs her head yes when Kendra and Seth try to confirm that she's actually their grandmother—apparently she was transformed somehow, and only the witch can change her back.
- The next day, off they go to Muriel Taggart's shack, where they bargain with her to transform their grandma back in exchange for blowing on the last knot.
- Grandma Sorenson is back, and Muriel is free. Grandma tells her to leave Fablehaven as a consequence of her previous wrongdoings, but Muriel laughs at her and just vanishes. Oh good…
- Next order of business: finding Grandpa and Lena. Grandma has an idea about who might be able to help them. Apparently there's a cliff troll named Nero who might know what to do (but of course it'll be dangerous).
Trolling for Grandpa
- As they walk to Nero's place, Grandma explains that while she was a chicken, it was hard to think like a human—her mind was constantly in a fog so it took a while to try to communicate with the kids.
- They go down into a ravine, since Nero lives on a ledge there. About twenty upright logs lead up to the ledge, and when they call up to Nero, he says they have to ascend them like stairs in order to talk to him.
- The logs are spaced such that a person could get up them but it'd be dangerous. Seth volunteers, and makes it almost to the end before falling—but luckily Nero catches him with a chain, then sends down a ladder for the ladies.
- Nero the troll is reptilian and scary-looking. He can find out Stan's location, but why should he? Grandma starts bargaining with him, saying that she could offer him a service in exchange for his service: a rare treat called a massage.
- Kendra plays along and makes it sound like a massage is the Best Thing Ever so Nero is fooled into agreeing to it—then Grandma, Kendra, and Seth all have to give the troll a massage for over an hour before he'll try to divine Grandpa's location.
- Nero reveals that Grandpa is chained in the basement of the Forgotten Chapel. Lena's there too, but when Grandma starts asking more questions, Nero says she'd only bargained for that one piece of info. Sorry, and bye.
The Far Side of the Attic
- The new plan is to return home, get equipment, and go after Grandpa and Lena pronto.
- On the walk back, they fill each other in on what's happened, and Grandma is surprised that the kids managed to milk Viola (the giant cow)—normally Hugo does it.
- Viola is what's called a milch cow, an ancient and magical breed of animal that nourishes magical creatures. Every preserve has one.
- Another thing: Grandma asks if the kids have seen Warren around (they don't even know who he is). Turns out his mind was ruined in Fablehaven, and normally Hugo would watch him… but where's Hugo?
- Grandma leads them to the attic, which is full of boxes and such—apparently a lot of it's magic.
- While they rummage through stuff, Grandma gives some backstory: long ago a demon named Bahumat controlled this land. A group of European immigrants offered to overthrow him in exchange for the land, and the natives agreed to it.
- The Europeans founded Fablehaven, and when Bahumat almost escaped his imprisonment once, they bound him again and left him in the basement of a church that became known as the Forgotten Chapel.
- Grandma's worried that Muriel might be trying to release Bahumat. This would lead to the fall of the preserve, making it like Midsummer Eve 24/7 and only safe for dark and chaotic creatures.
- Somehow the Society of the Evening Star is connected to all this—Grandma doesn't know their exact goals, but preserves have been falling rapidly (a few in the last couple years, whereas this used to happen only once a century).
- Grandma also reveals that Fablehaven is a secret preserve: it's not on the map that shows where all the preserves in the world are located because there are special, powerful artifacts hidden on the land. That's all she'll say on the topic.
- Now she gets out a special dart that has the potential to kill Muriel if Hugo isn't able to neutralize her. The problem with this plan, though, is that by initiating an act of violence, Grandma will break the rules of the preserve and open herself up to punishment.
- On the plus side, these rules mean that Grandpa is still probably alive (since in not breaking the rules, the magic creatures can't justify killing him, though they might be torturing or maiming him at the moment).
- Grandma intends to go after Muriel and Bahumat on her own since it's too dangerous for the kids, but they talk her into letting them come too—they were helpful in negotiations with the troll, after all.
- And they're off.
The Forgotten Chapel
- Hugo pulls Grandma, Seth, and Kendra in the wagon through the forest; Grandma has told Hugo to obey orders from Kendra and Seth in case anything happens to her.
- The church is old and crumbling. Hugo leads them into the basement, which is lit up with lanterns—Grandpa and Lena are chained to a wall.
- Standing in front of them is a life-sized wooden puppet, which Seth figures out is Muriel's limberjack.
- There's a beautiful blond lady blowing on the knots binding a dark form, and she's surrounded by human-sized imps.
- Grandma orders Hugo to capture Muriel (since that's who the blond lady must be), but Muriel sets the imps on them, so Grandma retaliates with a bag of dust. Kendra's unarmed since she hasn't broken any magic laws, so she can't be harmed.
- Muriel manages to dissolve Hugo into dust, so Grandma shoots a dart at Muriel using a crossbow, but she just misses her heart.
- The imps seize Muriel and Seth, and Muriel orders the limberjack, Mendigo, to bring Kendra—but since she hasn't harmed anyone or worked any magic, no magic being can touch her. Grandma tells Kendra to run, and Kendra hesitates.
- Muriel tries to talk Kendra into sticking around, and ends up talking about being part of the Society of the Evening Star, and her plans to take over the preserve with Ephira (the lady in gauze whose eyes entranced Kendra on Midsummer Eve).
- The upshot of all this is that Muriel invites Kendra to stay and meet the end with her family, rather than running off into the dangerous night all alone.
- Kendra doesn't fall for it, and instead runs down the path away from the chapel—and as she runs, she wonders what she should do next. Maybe she'll be able to find an effective weapon at the house… and having a reason for running away makes her feel like she's not totally abandoning her family in the clutches of the witch.
A Desperate Gamble
- The dark forest is creepy, and Kendra's not sure how much longer it'll take her to get back to the house—finally she sees the pond with the gazebos, which is a landmark she recognizes.
- The situation feels desperate—and then Kendra has an idea. The Fairy Queen has a shrine on the island in the pond, and she's supposed to be pretty powerful. Maybe she could ask for help?
- Of course, the risk is that Kendra could be turned into dandelion fluff like in the story of the guy who went to seek help from the Fairy Queen in the past—but even if that happens to Kendra, it's probably better than being torn apart by demons or imps.
- She manages to get a boat out of the boathouse and tries to get to the island in the middle of the pond. The naiads try to tip her, but she makes it to the island.
- When Kendra sets foot on the island, she doesn't turn into dandelion seeds, so that's a plus; she spots the tiny shrine to the Fairy Queen, and begins to speak to it.
- She relates what's happened to her family at the hands of Muriel, and asks for help because if Bahumat gets out, the preserve will be wrecked. Then she begins to cry.
- The tiny statue of a fairy weeps with her, and the tears fill a little silver bowl. Then a presence speaks to Kendra, saying that if she makes an elixir from tears, milk, and blood, the Fairy Queen's handmaidens will attend her.
- The naiads had steered the boat away from the island, but for some reason, it's back when Kendra tries to leave—and when she gets in it, she doesn't even have to steer it; the boat begins to bring her back to the shore.
- Waiting for her there is Mendigo. Asking for help from the Fairy Queen must've been an act of magic, so Kendra's no longer immune to harm.
- But when Kendra climbs onto the pier and carefully sets the bowl down, Mendigo isn't able to grab her. So apparently getting the bowl wasn't an act of magic… but making an elixir probably will be.
- Kendra grabs Mendigo's arms and unhooks them, throwing them into the water. He's able to knock her down, but when he tries to fish his arms out of the water using a leg, the naiads pull him in, and there he stays. Go team.
- Kendra continues on her way to the house.
- Kendra goes to the barn to collect milk from Viola for the Fairy Queen's elixir; she also makes a cut on Viola's udder in order to collect some blood. And then just to be safe, she puts some of her own blood in.
- What next? Kendra tells all the fairies she can see that she has something for them, and a crowd gathers—she dips a finger in and tries it (ew) to show them that it's not poisonous.
- One by one, the fairies drink the elixir, following her lead—and when they do, they all transform into human-sized versions of themselves, and tell Kendra that they'll do her bidding.
- First they restore Dale to his former, non-statue self, and then they carry Kendra, flying to the Forgotten Chapel to take care of Bahumat.
- When the imps come out to do battle, the fairies grab them and kiss them—each kissed imp turns back into a fairy and joins the fray on the side of the fairies and Kendra.
- Next they head to the basement. Seth has been aged hideously, but luckily a fairy is able to reverse it with a kiss (ironically, he recognizes her as the fairy whom he'd transformed into an imp by accident).
- Bahumat stands free, with Muriel and Ephira at his side; the fairies attack, and some of them are killed or ensnared.
- Eventually the fairies manage to bind Muriel to Bahumat using ropes, and when they do, Muriel loses her beauty and becomes old again. Ephira vanishes.
- Grandpa Sorenson, who was transformed into an orangutan, is returned to his human form, and Grandma, who was changed into a slug, is returned to her usual self too. They carry off Lena, who became a fish, and they restore Hugo to his own form again too.
- By the end, the church is totally destroyed and open to the sunlight. Many fairies fell during battle, and some stay dead. The fairies sing until the ruined church sinks into the ground, and is replaced by a hill covered with wildflowers.
- The fairies carry everyone back to the yard, and Kendra thanks them; then each fairy gives Kendra a kiss, which returns them to their smaller sizes.
- Kendra feels light-headed, and as Grandma and Grandpa talk about how Grandma's no longer a chicken, Kendra loses consciousness.
Farewell to Fablehaven
- Kendra sleeps for a few days after the incident, but finally gets a chance to talk with Grandpa about all this stuff right before her parents come back.
- Grandpa praises Kendra's bravery, saying that she basically saved them all. It's still a mystery why the Fairy Queen helped Kendra, but go figure.
- Oh, and speaking of mysteries: Kendra no longer has to drink the milk to see magic critters… which could be a mixed blessing.
- They go to the pond so Kendra can return the Fairy Queen's silver bowl. She tosses it into the pond, and a naiad catches it. Grandpa says they'll return it, since naiads respect the Fairy Queen.
- While at the pond, Kendra looks for Lena among the naiads. Lena shows up, with her hair mostly white and her face ageless as usual—but she's a naiad again, and she doesn't say anything to Kendra.
- In fact, Grandpa pulls Kendra back from the water before she can get too close, cautioning her that Lena is probably 100% naiad again and would find it funny to drown her. So much for proper goodbyes.
- Kendra asks Grandpa about the Society of the Evening Star (it's bad that they now know the location of Fablehaven) and the artifact that Grandma mentioned (it's bad that Kendra knows about this at all). So many secrets.
- On the way back to the house, they pass Dale. He's not happy about something, and Grandpa tells Kendra that Dale is upset about his brother Warren not being around to be cured by the fairies while they were fixing everyone else up.
- Apparently Warren disappeared for three days and returned in a catatonic state—no one actually knows what happened to him.
- Kendra's parents arrive. Kendra feels ambivalent about leaving—no one at home (other than Seth) will believe what she went through—but her grandparents want her to visit again, and maybe even take charge of Fablehaven someday.
- In the car, their dad asks if they had fun. Both kids say yeah. Their mom says it's funny how they seemed scared to go at first, and it must not have been as scary as they imagined. Kendra and Seth share a special look.