Katie Reads: Keeper of the Lost Cities

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Twelve-year-old Sophie Foster has a secret. She’s a Telepath—someone who hears the thoughts of everyone around her. It’s a talent she’s never known how to explain.

Everything changes the day she meets Fitz, a mysterious boy who appears out of nowhere and also reads minds. She discovers there’s a place she does belong, and that staying with her family will place her in grave danger. In the blink of an eye, Sophie is forced to leave behind everything and start a new life in a place that is vastly different from anything she has ever known.

Sophie has new rules to learn and new skills to master, and not everyone is thrilled that she has come “home.”
There are secrets buried deep in Sophie’s memory—secrets about who she really is and why she was hidden among humans—that other people desperately want. Would even kill for.

In this page-turning debut, Shannon Messenger creates a riveting story where one girl must figure out why she is the key to her brand-new world, before the wrong person finds the answer first.

There’s a saying that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. I would argue that sometimes a great cover comes with a great book. I was browsing pinterest when I saw the cover of the second book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series. It had a blonde girl and a flying unicorn and there was clearly magic. So I bought the first book for my kindle and then forgot about it. Today I rediscovered it and eagerly read through it in almost one sitting.

I haven’t read any other reviews of the books (because for once I do not want to be spoiled), but I feel like comparisons to Harry Potter are inevitable. I would argue that these comparisons come from me in the best possible way. Harry Potter is my all time favorite series, and all the things I loved – spunky hero, magic, enchanted worlds, a magic school, special powers, etc. – are present in this book. That said, other than the concept of a magical school (which J. K. Rowling didn’t invent), Messenger has created a unique world that I loved exploring through Sophie’s eyes. To me it was more the tone and writing style that reminded me of Harry Potter than anything else. It’s been a while since I’ve allowed myself to get sucked into a good fantasy world, but Keeper of the Lost Cities pulled me in and wouldn’t let me go.

Were there flaws? Yes. But was I too busy enjoying the ride to care? Also yes.

I can easily see how younger me would have been obsessed with all of the magical elements of the story, and probably would have begged my mum to make me a Sophie costume featuring Sophie’s school uniform. And Sophie gets to live on an animal sanctuary with all sorts of crazy cool animals (including dinosaurs!), so I also probably would have run around in said costume with my stuffed animals.

Basically, this book was so good I went and bought a physical copy of the first after finishing it (and got two of the sequels). It’s one that I want to be able to pull off my shelf and read, or to be able to share with my students. Hopefully the sequels live up to the first one!

Stay magical readers!

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