Review of ‘Havenfall’

What a fascinating novel. Havenfall is a novel for readers interested in contemporary fantasy, wonderfully blending in fantasy and realism. It follows Maddie, a girl on her way to her Uncle’s Inn, a place that serves as a bridge between realms, a haven for all. However, when a mysterious attack sends her uncle in a coma and leaves others wounded, Maddie is left in charge.

Smooth Pace


by Sara Holland
Bloomsbury YA

It moves at a slow pace, in the beginning, building up the history of the realms, the history of the inn, and the history of the people in the novel. It does come off a little boring, making it a novel the reader can easily put down.

However, the intrigue between the characters, the tension, and the dynamics unfolding keep the reader engaged. It does make the story intriguing as the events continue to unfold at a smooth pace, lulling the reader into a sense of comfort.

It is easy to get lost in the story and the magic as it unfolds, exploring the dark history of the inn. However, the real magic of the novel is in exploring the realms the magic within them. There is such richness in exploring the realms, with taking elements of fantasy and giving then a fresh new outlook, a connection to the folklore and mythology.


Maddie is a good character but not overly compelling. There are times when her narrative falls flat because her voice lacks spirit; it lacks emotion. So at times, it is hard to connect to her and be pulled in by her voice.

Nevertheless, she doe go on a fantastic journey of self-discovery, of growing an finding her strength. Maddie does grow, and by the end, she is compelling because her voice finds the reader, making her worth reading.

Taya also seems more like a background character, a plot device to encourage Maddie to think and question the world around her. Taya is easy to visualize, but there is something in her that lacks engagement with the reader. While the LGBTQ representation in the novel is excellent, the characters just do not jump off the pages.

Final Thoughts

Havenfall is worth reading because the mystery, the intrigue, and the magic surrounding this inn and the realms it is connected to make it worth reading. The fantasy and magic make it exciting and the eventual growth in characterization makes it worthwhile.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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Product Details:

Pub Date: March 3, 2020Page Count: 320ppAge Range: 14 & Over
ISBN: 978-1-5476-0379-4Publisher: Bloomsbury YAList Price: $18.99



Writing Quality


Character Development


"Couldn't Put It Down"-ness


Intellectual Depth





  • Good character development
  • Unique fantasy


  • Slow start
  • Characterization starts off flat

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