Exile by Shannon Messenger

This second book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series was a gripping action-packed drama. I loved it, I inhaled it, and I already downloaded book 3.


Sophie Foster thought she was safe. Settled into her home at Havenfield, surrounded by friends, and using her unique telepathic abilities to train Silveny–the first female alicorn ever seen in the Lost Cities–her life finally seems to be coming together. 

But Sophie’s kidnappers are still out there. And when Sophie discovers new messages and clues from the mysterious Black Swan group, she’s forced to take a terrifying risk—one that puts everyone in incredible danger. 

As long buried secrets rise to the surface, it’s once again up to Sophie to uncover hidden memories—before someone close to her is lost forever. 

In this second book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Sophie must journey to the darkest corners of her luminous world in a sequel that will leave you breathless for more. from Goodreads


This book did indeed leave me breathless! I think I enjoyed it even more than the first book. This is the kind of middle grade magic that suspends reality and has you flipping pages like a fiend until you reach the end. My only question is this: did she even go to school in this book?!?

Right away, Sophie finds an alicorn (not a Unicorn, don’t be ridiculous). This is the sparkly version of a flying horse that all Elves have searched for for millennia. They two share a special bond that means Sophie must train her. Between this, traveling to Exile, dealing with kidnappers, experiencing migraines that result in power issues, and losing a close confidante, Sophie was the head student at Drama University for this book. It did not seem like she actually went to physical school except to pop into the medical unit and attend 3 classes in the Elite Tower. Maybe this book was only the first bit of her second year at school…. Hmm, I shall find out soon enough when I begin book 3.

What Sophie did have was a whole bunch of action. Keefe takes the role of supporting Sophie through her trials and tribulations and, while I wasn’t a big fan of him in the first book, he is growing on me. The rest of the group from book one was waylaid a bit with things I shall not spoil. And, as much as I enjoyed the action-packed adventure that was this book, I am looking forward to seeing a more well rounded represntation of all the friends in the next book. Really: give me more Dex!

This book really spells out why Elves deal so poorly with grief. After all, they are nearly immortal and do not engage in conflict. It is an interesting perspective but, for a middle grade book, handled well. It also sets a foundation for understanding that some things change you and burying the guilt will not help.

I am decently obsessed with this series and loving reading it this summer. I cannot wait to continue the adventure!

Tell me, please! Have you read this series? Are you team Dex, Fitz, or Keefe?

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