Review: Havenfall by Sara Holland

Havenfall by Sara Holland

Havenfall (Havenfall #1)
Sara Holland
Bloomsbury YA
Published March 3, 2020

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About Havenfall

A safe haven between four realms. The girl sworn to protect it — at any cost.

Hidden deep in the mountains of Colorado lies the Inn at Havenfall, a sanctuary that connects ancient worlds — each with their own magic — together. For generations, the inn has protected all who seek refuge within its walls, and any who disrupt the peace can never return.

For Maddie Morrow, summers at the inn are more than a chance to experience this magic first-hand. Havenfall is an escape from reality, where her mother sits on death row accused of murdering Maddie’s brother. It’s where Maddie fell in love with handsome Fiorden soldier Brekken. And it’s where one day she hopes to inherit the role of Innkeeper from her beloved uncle.

But this summer, the impossible happens–a dead body is found, shattering everything the inn stands for. With Brekken missing, her uncle gravely injured, and a dangerous creature on the loose, Maddie suddenly finds herself responsible for the safety of everyone in Havenfall. She’ll do anything to uncover the truth, even if it means working together with an alluring new staffer Taya, who seems to know more than she’s letting on. As dark secrets are revealed about the inn itself, one thing becomes clear to Maddie–no one can be trusted, and no one is safe…

Havenfall on Goodreads

My Review

After reading both EVERLESS AND EVERMORE by Sara Holland, I was eager to get back into a world she’d created. HAVENFALL is super different than her previous books in that it takes place in this world, but adds other worlds and magic that are connected to this one through portals.

I liked all the politics between the different groups and the different characters with their own goals and secrets piled on top of those political rifts. It created a sense of complexity and made the world feel bigger.

I guessed some of the plot elements pretty early on, but others were a complete surprise to me, so I felt like it had a good mix of predictability and unpredictability. There were a couple of things I thought should have been clarified sooner– for instance, the shape-shifting race can’t just impersonate anyone. They have a really limited number of specific forms they can take.

Maddie and her allies don’t know this early in the story, though. But when someone behaves very strangely, it never seems to occur to Maddie that the person could have been a shapeshifter in disguise (even though she doesn’t know at that point what the limits of shifting are). It does eventually get explained, but not until much later.

That’s a pretty minor point in the story, though. Overall, I liked Maddie’s character and the way she navigates tricky relationships with the people around her. The ending leaves a lot open for a sequel, so I’m really interested to see what happens next.

I think readers who enjoyed THE IMMORTAL RULES by Julie Kagawa or ANGELFALL by Susan Ee should check out HAVENFALL.

Havenfall on Amazon

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 14 up.

Maddie’s uncle is gay and married to a man from Fiorden.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used infrequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing and reference to sex. (Maddie hopes to have her first time with a boy she’s in love with.)

Spiritual Content
Characters have magic abilities.

Violent Content
Some descriptions of battle and attacks. Some brief gory descriptions of injuries. One scene shows an enslaved child who has obviously experienced a lot of trauma.

Drug Content
References to teens (and adults) drinkng alcohol.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support the costs of running this blog. I received a free copy of HAVENFALL in exchange for my honest review.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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