Book Reviews

Review: Havenfall by Sara Holland

Let’s talk about the fact that I want more magical inns please. I’ll just take more of them from now on, thank you! Havenfall is a fantasy that examines what we will do to protect our home. It’s about the choice to choose a home, to make it our own, to and to save it – when we need to. It’s a solid series starter and I’m already excited for the sequel. Keep reading this book review to read about this magical inn!


Hidden deep in the mountains of Colorado lies the Inn at Havenfall, a sanctuary that connects ancient worlds—each with its own magic. 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 firsthand. 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…


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Havenfall is a magical hot spot. A place where people can feel safe, be themselves, and choose their home. It’s a world slipping between the folds of our world, superimposed like a glittering palimpsest we get to peek at in shimmering summers. One of the most compelling aspects of Havenfall was how at home Maddie feels at the inn. How much it means to the very essence of her heart. We also stan books with bisexual main characters and tons of very casual and great queer rep! Thematically, a question that still haunts me from Havenfall is: how a monster is created. The stories and fears and inhuman tales.

By the end of Havenfall I was convinced I had to read Phoenix Flame, the sequel. While the pacing in the middle felt slow as we watched Maddie uncover the secrets of squeaking floor boards and alliances, the last 25% is a whirlwind of answers. Maddie’s story ends up almost folding in on itself in what promises to be a fabulous sequel. I am still reeling from the rapid pace of the revelations and secrets in the open. Normally I am a huge fan of childhood friends to romance, I felt like some of the elements of this romantic story (and other tensions) were a little shallowly developed.


Even though there were some elements of Havenfall that left me wanting, as a whole Havenfall is a story full of layers of intrigue and betrayal. It reminds me of the ways guilt can erode at someone, can make us agree to a story. If we are confronted with the betrayals, cruelties, and selfishness, how can we continue to see the best in people? In Havenfall it’s a world of tenuous alliances built on histories of unrest and broken promises.

Find Havenfall on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


What is your favorite magical inn or building?

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