Monday, June 15, 2020

HAVENFALL by Sara Holland. New York: Bloomsbury YA, 2020. 305p. ISBN 978-154760579-2 hc. $18.99    Gr. 9-12    YA FIC

As Maddie Morrow leaves the bus depot in Denver, Colorado, she heads for Havenfall, a remote resort in the mountains that her family has visited each summer as long as she can remember.  The innkeeper is her uncle Marcus, and Maddie is next-in-line to learn the role of innkeeper, hopefully this summer.   Havenfall is draped in magic, with underground tunnels acting as crossroads between the realms of Byrn, Fiordenkill and Solaria.  Once at war with each other, the worlds come together for a peace summit each summer – except for Solaria.  Their door has been sealed to keep shape-shifting Solarians away from Havenfall.  Maddie arrives to find her uncle injured, thrusting her into the role of interim innkeeper.  Now it’s time to find out who she can trust among a long list of Havenfall guests, including Graylin, her uncle’s partner; the Heiress from Fiordenkill; Willow, chief of staff at Havenfall; and the Silver Prince of Byrn.  Adding to the list of characters, Maddie is intrigued by Taya, a mysterious new employee at the inn, who keeps turning up where she shouldn’t be.  After a long-awaited romantic evening with Brekken, her childhood friend who has become more intimate, Maddie questions why he seems to have disappeared with her set of keys to the inn.  As her contemporary world blends with the realms of fantasy, the story deepens with twists and turns and more questions than answers.  Holland has crafted a complex story that could easily (and hopefully) become a series.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

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