Keeper of the Lost Cities: Lodestar by Shannon Messenger

This is the fifth book in the fantasy middle grade series and I could not put it down. This author has a way of taking the drama to the next level and still managing to provide a cliff hanger that brings you back for the next in the series.


Dark schemes unfold—and Sophie’s loyalty is pushed to the limit—in this thrilling fifth book in the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling Keeper of the Lost Cities series.

Sophie Foster is back in the Lost Cities—but the Lost Cities have changed. The threat of war hangs heavy over her glittering world, and the Neverseen are wreaking havoc.

The lines between friend and enemy have blurred, and Sophie is unsure whom to trust. But when she’s warned that the people she loves most will be the next victims, she knows she has to act.

A mysterious symbol could be the key—if only she knew how to translate it. Every new clue seems to lead deeper into her world’s underbelly and the Black Swan aren’t the only ones who have plans. The Neverseen have their own Initiative, and if Sophie doesn’t stop it, they might finally have the ultimate means to control her. from Goodreads.


This is the type of book where you swear, absolutely promise yourself, that you will not continue with the series. You’re just going to read one more and then stop. Between the old this-is-what-happened-before nonsense, the constant drama that is totally detached from reality, and a swirling (fantastic) cast of characters, sometimes the books are overwhelming. Honestly, I have described them to friends as middle-grade Days of Our Lives. But, then you get to the end and the author drops new information that has you frantically trying to find the next book.

In this book, Sophie Foster is still 14. She appears to go to school one day a week, tops. My biggest pet peeve about this series is the illusion that these kids are all so special but Sophie is the most special. It is a little exhausting. Well, and maybe that the Elves have so much technology and natural aptitude but they can’t seem to handle guilt without their minds shattering. May they never discover organized religion…

Keefe is out with the Neverseen who are plotting something huge. How he can manage this subterfuge after the things he learned about his mother without breaking his brain, I don’t know. And his connection with Sophie just grows and grows. Everyone can see it, except Fitz.

Fitz seems to assume that he is Sophie’s number one either because they have the brain melding thing or because he is a Vacker. Sophie clearly has a crush and I’m over it. The idea of dating the one person that can creep into your mind is….*shudder*

Everyone else in the character list is just there supporting Sophie. No other big developments for them this book.

The Elves have finally decided that they may need to practice some self-defense and they seem to understand that they need to take other “intelligent” creatures opinions into consideration. I did love that this book featured other groups’ social and political goals and not just the Elves. Messenger has been foreshadowing this for some time and she finally delivered.

It is difficult to go into what I loved about the book because it was a lot of plot details that would absolutely be spoilers. I stayed up late finishing this one and don’t regret it at all but, holy moly, the cliffhanger. If I wasn’t scheduled to start reading all the YASF books I would probably be hunting down book #6.

This middle grade fiction series would be perfect for someone looking for a new series that is just so much fun to read. There are eight books in the series with the ninth coming out Nov. 2022 and the tenth debuting in Jan 2023. I know I won’t be able to stop reading the series now, but I think I will put a pin in it until I ready myself for more Elvin drama.

Tell me, please. Do you love cliffhangers? Or do they drive you insane?


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