ARC Review: Havenfall by Sara Holland

Title: Havenfall (Havenfall #1)
Author: Sara Holland
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Bloomsbury YA via NetGalley
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Publication Date: March 3rd 2020 


A safe haven between four realms. The girl sworn to protect it--at any cost. New York Times bestselling author Sara Holland crafts a breathtaking new contemporary fantasy perfect for fans of Melissa Albert and Holly Black. 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 . . . Sara Holland takes the lush fantasy that captured readers in Everless and Evermore and weaves it into the real world to create a wholly captivating new series where power and peril lurk behind every door.

*Thank you so much to Bloomsbury and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review Havenfall. All thoughts and opinions are my own!*

I really enjoyed Sara's debut duology, Everless. So when I learned that she was going to be publishing another YA fantasy duology, I was super excited. Havenfall captivated me from page one and has me flipping the pages as fast as I could to see what was going to happen next. 

All Maddie wants is to become the innkeeper of the Inn at Havenfall, the neutral space between three different realms. Summer after summer the Inn at Havenfall has been Maddie's escape from the reality of her mother facing death row, her brother's death but it's also been the only place she gets to spend the summer with Brekken, a Fiorden solider that Maddie is falling for. But Maddie's summer begins to fall apart the moment she arrives at Havenfall, the door to Solaria, a world that was closed off generations ago has opened, someone is dead, her uncle is gravely ill and unable to run the inn and Brekken is missing. With the help of Taya, one of the mortal helping hands at Havenfall, Maddie must become the innkeeper in her uncle's absence and make sure that this years summit doesn't fall apart. But, what happens when darker forces are at work?

I really enjoyed the world building in Havenfall. Sara used a contemporary backdrop to create a captivating and lush fantasy world, that comes alive in front of your eyes. Though I have many questions about the different worlds mentioned in Havenfall, Sara gave us enough world building to get and overall idea of the world and its culture and it's importance to the story line. But I am excited to learn more about Fiordenkill, Byrn and Solaria in the next book (and possibly even get to visit one of these worlds!) In her debut series, the world building was one of the aspects that I did have issues with and I am glad to see that in this series it isn't an issue. 

I really enjoyed Maddie's character. A lot of the time in fantasy characters act older then there actual age. In Havenfall, Maddie actually felt like a seventeen year old to me. She made mistakes, she was overwhelmed and she looked to others for help. When she was a child, a Solarian broke into her house and killer her brother and her mother, trying to protect Havenfall took the blame. Through out the novel we see Maddie struggle with survivors guilt and how if she had called for help and didn't climb into the cabinet, how things might be different. 

We learn pretty early on in the story that Maddie is Bi, so when Taya was introduced I suspected that there would be a love triangle. I want to say that there is a slight love triangle, it is nothing crazy and it isn't overwhelming in the slightest. I can see Maddie ended up with both Taya and Brekken. But, with how Havenfall ended I am intrigued to see how the romance aspect is going to play out. 

Overall I really enjoyed Havenfall and I can't wait to see what book two is going to have in store for Maddie, Brekken, Taya and the rest of this cast. Sara's sophomore series is one that shouldn't be missed and has the potential to appeal to both fantasy and contemporary readers alike. 

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