Keepers of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger.
Sophie Foster is a twelve year old prodigy. Younger than anyone in her class, her mind is constantly buffeted with the thoughts of others due to her telepathic ability, Sophie is a misfit. Then she learns she is not human, she is an elf.
An elf searching for Sophie sends his son to earth to bring her to the Elvin world. Sophie expects to return to her family and she is concerned about the strange fires in her city. A young elf named Fitz brings her to meet his father Alden.
Alden convinces Sophie that she does not belong with humans, her place is in the elf world.
She learns that the elves have shut their world away from humanity. Places like Atlantis and Shangri-la exist, they are the lost cities. The human world is forbidden. Sophie agrees to remain and learn on the condition that her family will never know she existed for she does not want them to feel pain and is concerned for her family’s safety.
Sophie is brought by Alden before the elves council. They discover she has a stronger telepathic ability than any elf. She is sent to the best school and is given to the care of foster family. Young Sophie makes friends with a boy named Dex and develops a crush on Fitz. She struggles in school but sometimes she knows things she should not know, secrets buried in her brain.
Is Sophie a tool of the Black Swan, a group of exiled elves, or are they protecting her. The mystery of why she was hidden on earth and her hidden knowledge involve her in a dangerous game. Someone is setting deadly fires on earth and clues are being left for her to discover.
The author has created a sweet protagonist with a strong sense of right. Messenger does an admirable job of complex world building and introduction of characters. Readers only know what Sophie knows and learns. She is naïve by both her age and he newness to the elvin society. We are never certain which character can be trusted or their motivation.
Keepers of the Lost Cities is targeted to middle grade readers, ages 8 and up. The story is strong enough to engage adults. The writing does not talk down to the reader. I am not around readers this book is targeted for but they will be drawn into this world and the world of books. The dialogue is well done and young readers will connect with the characters.
I enjoyed the book and found the ending acceptable knowing this is the first in a series. I hope the author can adequately explain and bring resolution to the mystery of the Black Swan.
I recommend this book to all readers that enjoy fantasy.
The second book, Exile (Keeper of the Lost Cities) will be released October 1, 2013.
• Age Range: 8 and up
• Grade Level: 3 – 7
• Series: Keeper of the Lost Cities (Book 1)
• Paperback: 512 pages
• Publisher: Aladdin (August 6, 2013)
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 1442445947
• ISBN-13: 978-1442445949