By Shannon Messenger
Plot: “Sophie Foster is on the run—but at least she’s not alone. Her closest friends from the Lost Cities have gone with her to join the Black Swan. They still have doubts about the shadowy organization, but the only way to find answers is to start working with them. And as they settle into their new lives, they uncover secrets bigger than anything they’d imagined. But their enemies are far from done, and unleash a terrifying plague that threatens the safety of an entire species. Sophie and her friends fight with everything they have—with new allies joining them—but every choice has consequences. And trusting the wrong person could prove deadly. In this game-changing fourth book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Sophie must question everything to find a truth that will either save her world—or shatter it.” -Publisher
Writing: Yay! This book is probably my favorite of the series. Shannon packs so much action in here, and there is never a dull moment. This book is packed with realization about the Neverseen, and the ogres, and the Black Swan… although one thing I wish was different is that the Black Swan were so mysterious in the other books and now suddenly they are learning like, everything there is to know about them, which make the organization a little less interesting. SO much character development happens here, and we learn a lot more about Keefe, finally. I feel like there wasn’t really a completely likable main side character (except for Dex and Biana, but they were kind of forgotten throughout Exile and Everblaze) until Keefe took the spotlight. I will spare you the major fangirling, but Keefe is just the most bestest character to ever exist. The plot is so complex and layered, and it’s hard to tear your eyes from the page. We meet a bunch of new characters in this book, and within only 688 pages, we immediately fall in love with them!
Age Level: 10-15. No bad words, there is a lot of violence though, and Keefe’s parents are kind of abusive to him. There is also a scene were talk about two alicorns mating, but nothing inappropriate for younger kids was really described?
Overall: Read the fourth book and you will agree when I say this was my favorite. SO MUCH happens in this one, and this is kind of the last book where a lot of interesting stuff happens. The other books start to get a little more fluffy and a little less action-y from here on out, but it’s still all amazing! There was one part that seemed kind of weird to me however: Sophie had two “love-interest” type of friends, but she’s only twelve. I think Shannon realized that since Keefe was 14 and Fitz was like, 17, Sophie needed to get older fast. So she made up this elven rule where the elves count birth from inception date, not birthdate, so every elf is like nine months older than a human born on the same day. Sophie turns thirteen in this book, but she also finds out that she is nine months older due to this rule, so suddenly she is 14 and a viable romantic option for Fitz or Keefe. It seemed kind of like cheating, but whatever.