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Sophie uncovers shocking secrets—and faces treacherous new enemies—in this electrifying third book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series.

Sophie Foster is ready to fight back.

Her talents are getting stronger, and with the elusive Black Swan group ignoring her calls for help, she’s determined to find her kidnappers—before they come after her again.

But a daring mistake leaves her world teetering on the edge of war, and causes many to fear that she has finally gone too far. And the deeper Sophie searches, the farther the conspiracy stretches, proving that her most dangerous enemy might be closer than she realizes.

624 pages, Hardcover

First published August 3, 2014

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About the author

Shannon Messenger

47 books13.4k followers
Hi! I'm the NYT and USA today bestselling author of the KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES series and the SKY FALL series! And yes, I DO accept friend requests here--BUT! Please note: I *never* check my private messages here, so if you send me one, you won't get a reply. My real contact information is on my website: shannonmessenger.com

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5 stars
24,373 (64%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,391 reviews
Profile Image for Shannon Messenger.
Author 47 books13.4k followers
August 25, 2014
Since we all know I'm a fan of my own books, I thought I'd use this space to answer a few of questions I keep hearing:

- Yes--this book AWESOME. I might be biased of course, but I really think you're going to love it. ;)

- The boy on this cover is Fitz (!!!!) (and in case you didn't know, Dex is on the cover of book 1 and Keefe is on the cover of book 2)

- EVERBLAZE is NOT the end of the series. Book 4 (still untitled) will be coming out Fall 2015. And I'm not sure if book 4 will be the end yet--I'm still kinda sorta writing it. :)

Thank you all for being such amazing fans of the series, and for all you do to help me spread the word. You all = THE BEST. ((Team KEEPER group hug!!!)
Profile Image for Ashley Nuckles.
190 reviews7,253 followers
April 7, 2021
My favorite one out of the first three!! This was INSANELY twisty and so fast-paced! I don’t think I’ve had a book in a while that made my jaw drop like four times at the end with the different reveals. Cannot waaaaait to continue reading!
Profile Image for Nicole.
441 reviews13.4k followers
April 27, 2022
2021: 3/5
2022: 4,5/5
Myślę, że poprzednim razem przejście z oryginału na tłumaczenie było zgubne.
Poza tym WOW! Uwielbiam i baaaardzo polecam!
Profile Image for Gillian.
458 reviews1,079 followers
December 31, 2019
I cannot tell you WHY I am so invested in this series (I kind of hate the term guilty pleasure, but it kind of definitely applies to my middle grade break with sanity) or why I am so completely and totally Team Keefe but TEAM KEEFE

Seriously. Team Keefe.

Profile Image for Layla.
332 reviews368 followers
April 18, 2021
4 stars
(Re-read 12/7/20)

I liked this book. Not as much as the second, but better than the first.

• The plot: I thought the plot was really solid. All these revelations, and mysteries and easter eggs for the rest of the series were great. It really built on it, and I'm really excited to see where the next book leads.

• the characters: Some are very meh, but a set few hold a close place in my heart. Moment of appretiation for Grady because someone has to say it.

• the writing: it's not difficult. I got through the book fairly quickly despite it being a literal brick. I'm actually getting tierd of the repetition though. There was this one specific scene, where Sophie goes into a room, and is looking through something of Jolie's and then someone walks in and says something, she gets a jump scare, they apologise. This happend so many times it was uncanny and unnecessary. Not to mention the fact I still cannot fathom how the books get so long, but there are so far 9 books in the series?

• it was really enjoyable. Even though I knew what was going to happen, I still had a lot of fun with this book.

Okay, that's it. There isn't much I have to say, but I am really looking forward to the next book. And not only because some of my favorite characters are introduced in it. This reread so far has been pleasent, and I hope that streak continues.
July 1, 2018
How do you get rid of a glittering city? - You burn it!
With regular fire? - Nope, that would be too lame and plain ordinary. You do it with Everblaze!
Or a lovely, lively fantasy for kids!
SPOILER ALERT! It's a good thing I'm a sucker for all things epic. Even though I'm a tad sorry about Eternalia going to waste.

And the ending? It's pure mallowmelt and lushberry!

This misprint needs to be corrected, I think: Q: And when she focused what little energy she had left, the sound morphed into a string of feint words (c) faint, not feint. Right?

Remember who you can trust, and keep them close. (c)
All twelve Councillor’s arms flew up, their hands lightly smacking each side of their faces. (c)
You’re welcome to drop in anytime. I just never realized you’d do it so literally. (с)
THE PLAN HAD SEEMED SO BRILLIANT, until Sophie reached the cold, sandy shore.
She’d never been to the cave at night, and now she understood why. The roar of the surf sounded like a snarl, and the shadowy rocks looked like faces and limbs. Even the moonlight—and the blue glowing sphere Sandor had pulled from one of his pockets—couldn’t convince her eyes that she wasn’t stumbling into the lair of giant beasts. (c)
Who knew she’d miss her Black Swan stalkers? (c)
A few piddly waves won’t stop me.”
Sophie doubted a rampaging T. rex could stop him. (c)
“And I expect you to sing the whole time I’m gone.”
... “Oh wait—you’re serious?”
“Of course I’m serious. It’s how I’ll know you’re not in trouble.” (c)
“That . . . actually makes sense.”
“Of course it does. I’m a genius. That’s why you keep me around. (c)
I love when things go according to plan. That so rarely seems to happen these days. (c)
“Want me to go with you?” Sophie offered.
“Nah—then I have to act all brave and stuff. Freaking out sounds way more fun.” (c)
“You seriously need to cause more trouble, Foster. I mean, it’s been months since you almost blew up the school.” (c)
Ogres and goblins and missing dwarves?
Her life had officially turned into a fairy tale gone wrong. (c)
“When I attended here, these were reserved for extreme emergencies.”
“Well, maybe things have changed since the dark ages,” (c)
It felt like Bronte had custom ordered The Most Uncomfortable Chair Ever Invented—and the designer had exceeded his expectations. (c)
Now personally, I don’t believe a twelve-year-old will ever be ready to handle such a task—”
“I’m thirteen,” Sophie corrected.
“Oh, that’s much better, then. Everyone knows teenagers are so full of wisdom and experience.” (c)
The only thing she was desperate to do now was pelt Bronte with sparkly alicorn poop. (c)
He’d swept her away from her world of headaches and blaring thoughts and the inescapable sense that she was too strange, too different—and shown her where she truly belonged. And for that one brief moment everything felt right, like a missing piece of her life had finally clicked into place. (c)
NEXT TIME YOU ALMOST KILL a Councillor, can I be there? (c)
One second he was insulting me, next second he was collapsed on the floor.”
“Clearly it’s not a good idea to get you angry. (c)
Sophie repressed a sigh when she realized it had a train.
As if she didn’t have a hard enough time walking without tripping. (c)
And I should probably stop stalling, huh?
Nah—take your time. In fact, feel free to stall for the rest of the session. Then I don’t have to take a turn either. (c)
“Sometimes a mirror is just a mirror,” (c)
Her insides tangled into more knots than a friendship bracelet when they both whispered, “A place best forgotten.” (c)
Part of her was tempted to stand there forever.
But the brave part of her—or perhaps the part that was troublingly insane—wrapped her fingers around the chain and tugged. (c)
They wanted an Empath to get a reading on who you were as a person, a Telepath to judge your capabilities, and Councillor Grumpypants because, well, he insisted. (c)
She doubted Fintan would respond to love or joy or peace. But she could feed him pride and triumph, and hope it drew him back. So she inflicted the victory of every A she’d earned in school, and the confidence from every compliment she’d ever been paid. (c)
It reminds us just how small we really are, and how big the rest of the world is by comparison. One person is not the source of anything—it’s millions of pieces all working together. And it shows us that there’s always hope—always light. No matter how much darkness we might be facing. (c)
The people of our world fear the new and the different. (c)
“You guys shouldn’t be doing this,” Sophie said, wondering if Dex was about show up to complete the Let’s Ruin Our Lives Club. (c)
“Never mind, what I mean is, they’re only saying that because of me. Because of this like . . . aura of doom that seems to ruin everything I touch.”
“Aura of doom?” Keefe asked, a smirk curling his lips. “Sounds like my kind of party.” (c)
“You must think I’m a total idiot.”
“Nah. I am starting to wonder if you’re trying to beat Keefe’s record for biggest interspeciesial episode—and if you are, I’m pretty sure you’ve won. (c)
Elementine (c)
Weird that there’s a map of the unmapped stars, isn’t it? (c)
… they’re finally including me on the team! Hope they know this means their little rule book just went out the window—and the first change I’ll be implementing is clearer stinking directions. Any idea ‘where the lost have no end’? (c)
The days ahead will be dark and dour.
You must not fear yourself or your power. (c)
Why give away a secret if we don’t need to? (с)
Anyone who got close would surely notice that he was one buffed-out, armadillo-looking grandma. But from a distance he appeared to be a sweet, albeit rather lumpy looking, little old lady. (c)
… our family doesn’t decide who we are. We decide who we are. Believe me, it drives my parents crazy. And sometimes that’s the only thought that gets me through the day. (c)
… if whatever you’re chasing starts to catch up with you—run, don’t walk away. (c)
No matter how many times the elves explained the “illumination in a darkened world” analogy, she would never stop thinking it was weird to have a school named after glowing fungus. (c)
I don’t care if you dropped out of the sky or floated on the beach in an egg and hatched—you’re still my daughter and I will always love you. No matter what. (c)
I like Dex. But I kinda want to kick him in his special place.”(c)
“when are you going to realize that you could wrap yourself in neon green feathers and start walking around roaring like a dinosaur, and we’d still hang out with you? Shoot—I’d join in.”
“I would too,” Fitz agreed.
“Me too—though I’d want pink feathers,” Biana decided. (c)
It takes a special person to see darkness inside of someone and not condemn them. (c)
Her thoughts were still slower, and her headache couldn’t dull completely. But this time she felt confidence—and the confidence made her realize she was on the wrong track completely. (c)
The fall is never seen before the rising

The bold and brave are never seen...
She’d find random messages, or hear whispers—but never meet an actual member. She was starting to think the whole thing was just shadows and games… (c)
… gnomes believe anything beyond nature is corrupting … (c) I'm starting to love their version of gnomes, actually.
I’ll follow you if I have to, but I’d rather not have to be creepy like that. ©
“She’s cute when she’s in denial, isn’t she?... Especially covered in sparkly unicorns.” (c)
“... I don’t know when I’ll be able to come home.”
“Sounds perfect. Is now too soon to leave?” (c)
Profile Image for Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls).
1,594 reviews3,474 followers
May 23, 2023
Oh sure, end on a cliffhanger when I don't have the next book. The prior two books didn't do that and I still had the next book. 🤪

I felt this way in the second book, but I’m glad it’s being discussed in this book that Sophie is only thirteen and so many of the adults expect so much from her! I know it’s the burden of being the Chosen One and while I prefer finding out secrets from the past, I can’t help but want to big sister her. I mean, if y’all’s world is dependent on a 13 year old, y’all have some major problems. 🤨

I must say that the author has done an excellent job with the middle-grade writing style (even though I would not recommend this book to middle grade readers) because it’s super easy to follow and understand what is happening. Also for how prior books’ events are recapped in a manner that’s honestly neat perfect in how it’s reshared and reminds the reader, nothing is forced or feels like a catch-up, which is impressive.

Update on my feelings of Fitz vs Keefe: I'm still split between them. Fitz went down in my opinion in the second book, but I'm not a fan of all of Keefe's pranks and certain comments, so they're still tied in my opinion. Though, I do wish there was no romance potential at all because Sophie is 13 and this series is technically for MG readers?? (However, on the other hand, if this was a YA book, we would be having a lot more of being distracted by a guy when the main girl is supposed to be saving the world, which this series hasn't had at all so far, so props to the author for that, I guess.)

Main Content

Children (including our main character) are drugged, threatened with harm and death, tased, burned, hit, & attacked (by adults, also are in freezing conditions where frostbite or dying is a high possibility, up to semi-detailed); Lots of Pain, Injuries, Blood/Bleeding, & Passing out (up to semi-detailed); Thinking that someone is dead after jumping off a cliff & seeing blood (three people, up to semi-detailed); Fires & Lots of fighting, being attacked, seeing others seriously injured, blood/bleeding, etc (including those killed off-page and someone being forced to burn their hand off or almost jump off a cliff, up to semi-detailed); Burning skin & the smell (up to semi-detailed); Nightmares (up to semi-detailed); Inflicting on others (good feelings and bad ones, up to semi-detailed); Sophie has PTSD-like flashbacks of the kidnapping and will not take a sedative because of being drugged multiple times by the kidnappers; Sophie sees the nightmares of an animals’s past which includes being hunted and all of its kind being killed (it affects her, but the details are kept to a minimum for the reader).

No cussing, minor Middle-Grade language such as 'shut up', 'sheesh', 'shoot', 'stupid', ‘sucks’, ‘tick off’, ‘stinking’, 'dumb', ‘dang’, ‘wimp’, and 'idiot' are used; A couple mentions of curses (not actually written out on the page); Eye rolling & Sarcasm; Sophie lies & breaks multiple laws; Sophie is called a freak by some and calls herself a freak as well (some try to talk to her that she’s not, but she doesn’t take their words to heart); Dealing with a mean girl at school & her comments (and other snide/prejudice comments).

Death isn't common in the elf world, but there have been freak accidents that caused deaths; Going to a funeral and feeling the extreme sadness of everyone there (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of grief & the families missing their loved one greatly (including for parents, a couple for their daughter, & a fiancé); .

Many mentions of the kidnapping in Book #1, the kidnappers, & the very dangerous and deadly situation for Sophie (including her recalling it, up to semi-detailed); Many mentions of some elves' minds being shattered (either because of their guilt or for the Council to be able to get secrets out of them) and how the elf is considered "broken", they are only able to mumble and drool after it happens, and are fully dependent on someone else (not their families, though, as they've broken laws and are kept in a prison-like facility)); Many mentions of wars, fights, & rebellions; Many mentions of fires, deaths, and it possibly being murder and murderers (plus Sophie seeing someone’s memories of a fire and death, up to semi-detailed); Mentions of injuries, pain, burns, passing out, & blood/bleeding (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of a body being preserved in ice on a mountain; A few mentions of possible domestic violence (a husband hitting his wife, hints towards but isn’t actually happening); A mention of Sophie having to drug her human family in the first book.

Keefe's parents have very high expectations for him and show him no love, Keefe tries to act like it doesn’t bother him; Keefe says he’s pulled off lying to his parents many times (& there’s mentions of how to lie to Empaths); Keefe says that “our family doesn’t decide who we are. We decide who we are. Believe me, it drives my parents crazy. And sometimes that’s the only thought that gets me through the day.” (a couple adults say similar things about someone’s family doesn’t decided who they become and Sophie reminds him of that conversation again later when something is revealed.)

A few of the rebels are able to walk on water (Sophie wonders how they are able to do that, but is told to worry about that later and it’s never brought up again); A mention of rebels wanting to protect the earth by burning down nuclear facilities that have toxic chemicals; A mention of aliens.

An alicorn gets the nickname "Glitter Butt" because of it's glitter poop (the word booty is also used); Mentions of terrible smells (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of animal poop and pee (including being used being used for wounds and for pranks of pay-back); Mentions of farts; A couple mentions of an alicorn being drugged; A couple mentions of burps.

Sophie thinks about who her biological mother could be, not knowing “how long her embryo had been implanted in a human being”, but knowing that embryos can be frozen; Keefe teases Sophie about checking out his keester (a pun on his name and she throws a pillow at him both times he teases about it); Mentions of how the matchmaking system is to “ensure the strongest genetic potential for [their] offspring” because “left to our own devices, it would be far too easy to end up forming an attachment to a distant relative” (Sophie says “ew” to this); Mentions of a couple being called a "bad match" (which is an insult and means that the couple was ruled to be genetically incompatible and that usually means their kids will be inferior or have multiples; one father gets excited to show off his son who has a talent to all the “jerks who’ve judged them over the years”; a son says that he’s always felt like the waste of a birth fund—that is, the currency that all elves get when they are born); A few mentions of wanting to breed an animal so the type of animal doesn't go extinct.

Noticing cute guys & Nearness (Sophie gets flustered, blushes, & her heart flutters); Mentions of boys, crushes, who likes who, etc; A mention of a shirtless (goblin) guard; A mention of an ogre wearing steel underwear; A couple mentions of wanting to kick a guy in “his special place” (said by two guys and a goblin bodyguard).

There are special abilities like Telepath, Telekinesis, Inflicting (make someone feel certain things), & Mesmer (who can put someone in a trance) to name a few; By a certain age, the children elves are expected to "manifest" their special ability; There are Goblins, dwarves, orges, imps, banshees, dinosaurs/tyrannosaurus, saber-tooth tigers, mammoths, and other hybrid odd animals (but no mentions of evolution) (all of the animals are trained to be vegetarian); There are also mythological creatures like unicorn, alicorn, kraken, Bigfoot, and others; There is an emphasis on taking care of the living things whether that be trees or animals.
Profile Image for Lucy Tonks.
488 reviews716 followers
March 22, 2021
"She wasn't going to cry. She was going to fight."

I loved this book and I'll probably say the same thing for every book in the series, but I just love this story so much. The characters are amazing, the plot is so good and let's know forget how beautiful the covers are. Honestly, these books deserve more recognition than they are actually getting.

I love the cast of characters so much. Everyone brings something to the story, no exceptions. Keefe is and will forever be my favourite character in the series. His sass is all I need and with it he brings a lighter tone to the story. By the way, Team Foster-Keefe is superior!

The friendship between Dex and Sophie is one of my favourites in this series. Although, both of them screw things up, a lot, they are always there for eachother and god I really want to have a friendship as theirs.

The plot was amazing, I never got bored. I was hooked from page one. I loved all the plots and twists and by the end of the book my heart was slowly breaking for Keefe. He is so precious, he shouldn't have to go through this. I actually am pround of myself for figuring out something that happened at the ned of the book, like the clues we are there.

I beg you, if you have not read this book do it. Trust me, it is worth it. There will be times when you would laugh (like a lot), there will be times when you'd feel your heart breaking, but so far the rollercoaster of emotions was worth it.
Profile Image for tappkalina.
650 reviews399 followers
June 28, 2021
“Right. Because our family doesn’t decide who we are. We decide who we are. Believe me, it drives my parents crazy. And sometimes that’s the only thought that gets me through the day.”

Also, we need more found families. I literally live for them.
She pulled them close, needing to do this right.
“I love you, Mom,” she whispered. “I love you, Dad.”
“We love you too,” they both told her, their voices dissolving into sobs.

Buddy read with Rue.
Profile Image for BrooKe.
128 reviews34 followers
August 31, 2020
4.7/5 | Five stars for the cover alone.

This cover. Is fucking gorgeous. It may just be my favourite of the series, perhaps my favourite in the history of book covers I’ve ever encountered. It captures such an impactful moment so immaculately in terms of meaning and beauty. The colour scheme is gorgeous, really selling the whole magical, ethereal quality of the Lost Cities—not to mention it’s somehow accentuated by the title of the book: Everblaze. Of course it also helps that a fetching Fitz and Sophie illustration takes centre stage (GAH I love them so much!)


So we opened with Keefe and that was when I knew it was going to be a good book.

Okay, fine, I’m joking. Mostly.

In all seriousness, the beginning was incredible for reasons other than Keefe (though let us not forget he is always a generous contribute to my happiness). There was exploration of wondrous and, might I add, illegal places, mind-bending riddle solving and, at the centre of it all, the best character dynamic by far in this series: Sophie and Keefe.

Compare that to Exile where we spent like 300 pages on Sophie trying to get a completely random, annoying as hell alicorn to trust her! The difference in these openings marked the difference in plot to come because, from the very beginning of Everblaze, the events were much more ominous and plenty more enticing.

There was so much action that made this book addicting, as well. For example, the event illustrated in the eye-wateringly magnificent cover almost had me tearing up in real life! There was also the scene at the Wandering Woods, the Grady being a flawed fucking badass scene, the Councillors’ chosen punishment, the battle on the mountain. Oh the DRAMA! So much of it. So many emotions, so much heartbreak, so much romantic, familial and platonic love.

And THE PACING! Oh the bloody pacing! It’s the best thing ever. There was a rampage of action sequences that had my heart racing but it was never overwhelming because, dispersed between said sequences, was witty and meaningful dialogue mixed with banter and other clever and casual means of characterisation.

I didn’t mention this in the last two books but I always thought the concept of the Wandering Woods was so poetic! Instead of burying corpses, the elves plant personalised trees to represent the deceased, signifying that a part of you will always live on or maybe even conveying how premature their deaths were since elves have such a long lifespan. This is a brilliant example of how it should be SHOWN how the elvin world is better than the human world in this series rather than just being told 47 times like in Keeper of the Lost Cities how superior they are.

To bring this gush to a close, I really liked that the rebels are painted as the bad guys as opposed to some wronged organisation rebelling against the immoral higher ups for a ‘just’ cause. It isn’t like The Hunger Games or An Ember in the Ashes from the rebel heroes’ perspective but rather the government is dealing with the transgressive, violent rebels. It also shows disagreements between said higher ups so that there may be those 'in the right' and those 'in the wrong'; a whole range of different vantage points is explored. It’s refreshing because the honourable, ethical rebels is something I’ve read many, many times (granted, usually well done) and a change was very much welcome.


I usually go through this section character by character but let me just first and foremost establish that my absolute favourite part of this book had to be, hands down, the Keefe drama. I can’t go into it because spoilers but this sunshine kid, who we learnt last book becomes a shadow at home, had to deal with so many life-altering revelations and he and others surrounding him acted accordingly. The execution was phenomenal. Not only did it give a character I care for so deeply millions of layers of added depth but it also meant that the plot didn’t revolve around Sophie! I think THAT was the game changer that boosted Everblaze from a 4 star read to a 5 star read! If you think about it, my List Of Things Sophie Gets That No One Else Does Because She’s Special was significantly shorter this time around! It gave other characters a chance to shine.

Sophie Foster is a smart, compassionate girl and I really like her. She is largely in the spotlight of every installment—everything is about her—and this definitely grew old fast. While this was mostly the case in Everblaze as well, other characters got a chance and I think this served to not only help them grow as characters but it also benefited Sophie. I really just want to see what she’d be like in a supporting role! This may be the closest I’ll ever get to that so I’ll take what I can get.

Here is my significantly shorter List of Things Sophie Gets That No One Else Does Because She’s Special:
Sophie can breach ogre minds when no one else ever could, Sophie can implant memories, Sophie still has 37748291028372 powers (for most of the book, anyway), Sophie has the power to almost wage a war because everyone cares that much about what a thirteen-year-old thinks, Sophie is literally called the star prodigy of all of Foxfire in front of other students by the principal. Isn’t it Principal 101 that favouritism is frowned upon?

Sophie handles a ridiculous amount of bullshit yet again. I still have yet to understand why everything is her and only HER burden to bear when sometimes it legitimately isn’t. At least I can say this irritating factor was dialled down a little the third time writing a Keeper review. Despite Sophie’s lack of imperfections, I still really do like her and enjoy her as a protagonist—especially in excruciatingly relatable moments like this:

“Sophie thought slowly, fairly certain her brain was about to call it quits.”

Keefe, my love, my driving force. Is it just me or are his jokes becoming even MORE forced? In any other case, this would annoy me immensely, but, in this case, I applaud thee, Shannon Messenger. As his life continues to crumble, his jokes become more inappropriate and less humourous. I adore this type of character as they truly make my heart break the most because of how strong they are, covering up their misery with jokes for the benefit of others or perhaps even because they don’t know how to handle grief (as Keefe admitted in Exile). The execution was largely successful seeing as I still adore Keefe overall but sometimes it was a little problematic—especially towards the beginning of the book.

See, his transitions between incessant jokester and abused child were kind of... jerky? I’m all for these deeper levels of his but I just wish his personas were handled more carefully. It’s difficult to explain. It’s just that one moment he’d be on about sparkly poo and then the next he’d have his eyes trained on the ground, refusing to look at anyone. The switch from one to the other is a little too drastic for my taste. Too unrealistic—forced, even. But, hey, I’m nitpicking and this issue vanished quicker than Biana around the two-third mark of the book. Keefe’s the kind of guy that hides his negative emotions behind a smile, masking fear as a joke. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love that character concept. And don’t get me wrong: Keefe isn’t merely a concept but rather a remarkably well-rounded character.

“I want you to know that I’m not going to sit at home anymore, worrying about what might happen to you, or Keefe, or Biana, or my dad. I’m going to be right there with you guys, helping any way I can.”

I’ve also said this before and I’ll say it again: Fitz is FIERCE and very passionate. He did kind of become more of the ‘nice guy’ he was in Keeper rather than the fireball in Exile which was mildly disappointing but, hey, you can’t have it all! He’s supportive and smart and all but lacks flare. He’s definitely growing on me and, technically speaking, I really like him, but what I want is to LOVE him like I do Keefe or at least to like him as much as I like Sophie. For that to happen, I need him to be more of a fireball like last book (but less of an asshole than he was in the last book, mind you) or possess some discerning characteristic other than ‘Wonderboy’. ‘Wonderboy’ is not a flaw! Being too perfect is not a flaw! Well, okay, it is, but not the kind that makes me like someone!

Biana who? Is Biana even a main character? I’m sure she’s supposed to be yet she gets a fifth of the time Fitz or Keefe get in the front and centre. She’s meant to be Sophie’s age but then why do I feel like she’s so much younger than her—like she’s nine or something? She likes fashion, she has a crush on Keefe, she’s beautiful and powerful. That’s it. Girl needs some growth! All I can say (and this isn’t even strictly about Biana) is that I’m glad we’re not going down the cliche route of her living in her older brother’s shadow. I much prefer that the whole Vacker family are early bloomers as opposed to the ‘ugly duckling’ trope.

I firmly believe everyone was WAY too hard on Dex. Sure, he fucked up, but did he know he would? NO! He’s a thirteen-year-old boy, for god’s sake! His reasons were totally understandable and he didn’t even know what he was getting into. All he wanted was to make his family, who adores him and is constantly unjustly slandered, proud! UGH.

And just what is Marella's problemo?

Alden, AKA ‘No reason to worry’, was kind of brief but it’s all made up for because of that hilarious code Sophie, Fitz, Keefe and Biana devised. Grady is a king and nobody can convince me otherwise. Edaline is... slightly more interesting than she was before but is still almost as bland as cardboard, to be honest.

I KNEW I’d wind up liking Bronte! From the moment this asshole showed his pointy ears, I was certain he’d be among the most complex characters in the cast. His hatred for Sophie always seemed superficial to me because it was so overdone! I guessed he’d be a Severus Snape but done better, and so far so good.


Where, oh where, do I begin?

Let’s start collectively: the main friendship group.

“She turned to study the faces of her friends—the faces that had been with her through everything. She’d fought so hard to protect them that she hadn’t really considered how much they protected her.”

But here’s the catch: I’m talking about each character’s friendship with Sophie alone. Amongst themselves, Fitz, Keefe, Dex and Biana barely interact. For instance, it has long been established that Keefe and Fitz are best friends... but where’s the evidence? Other than Keefe being over at Everglen a lot, there isn’t any indication. It’s all talk and no tell and I could really use more of this friendship. Same goes for Biana and Fitz like these two are meant to be siblings yet I have zero grasp of their dynamic other than perhaps them flaunting their abilities to one another and being equally annoying about it. And Dex is such an outcast in this group; he hates Fitz and Biana and only tolerates Keefe. I’m afraid he’ll be conveniently ‘left behind’ because he just doesn’t fit! I suppose it’s difficult to accomplish all the relations when this is all following Sophie but I still think more could be done.

Oh yeah and what is this crush Biana has on Keefe that gets approximately one sentence of mention per book? That sentence count better increase.

Romance takes a backseat which did not quell my Sophie-Keefe shipping... but still! I don’t know if there is anything I like more than a book with subtle, if any, romance that still makes my heart ache for it! It’s the perfect recipe for an angsty but sweet slow-burn romance.

Keefe and Sophie are proper confidants, being the first to team up every time. It's almost by default now. The only thing I like about freaking Silveny is that she helped bring these two together. Their relationship has obviously progressed with all the casual handholding and, dare I say, simply holding each other? JUST SAYING! But most of all, I adore how Sophie is the only one truly there for Keefe with all he goes through. Honestly, if these two don’t get together, I will definitely throw a giant fit, but as long as their friendship remains this pure, if they don’t get together I’ll perhaps let it slide and binge fanfiction of them as opposed to hating this series for wronging me so.

“Breathe, Foster,” Keefe whispered, giving her palm a quick, reassuring squeeze.
She clung to his hand like it could keep her alive and forced herself to take a shaky breath.”

I’ve decided I’m fine with Fitz and Sophie. He cares a lot for her and is almost desperate to help her in any way he can. My issue is that it reminds me a little bit too much of how Alden cares for her; as if she’s his responsibility. It’s always so serious with them whilst, let’s say, with Keefe it’s always a lot more fun and for leisure rather than duty. She even seems to have more fun around freaking Dex than Fitz. Sophie just doesn’t seem super at ease with him because the tension is always so high. Also, the reason for their closeness is because Tiergen was basically playing matchmaker with Sophie and Fitz ‘for plot reasons’ because they needed to trust each other... you know, for the good of the world.

I mean, to their credit, Fitz and Sophie made me aw more than once. Even if they are being kind of forced to trust one another for plot reasons, the process of doing so is resulting in cute moments that are making me slightly conflicted.

I do like this ship. It’s cute so far, but it’s just that Keefe and Sophie are better.

What else? Sophie, Grady and Edaline made me cry once more because they’re so sweet. I repeat the same thing in every Keeper review because SERIOUSLY I CANNOT FOR THE LIFE OF ME GET OVER HOW SWEET THEY ARE.

I’m ending on the same note I did last time: Keefe’s family. It’s just so INTERESTING. He wilts in their presence, he isn’t himself around them because they disapprove of who he is and, well, let us not forget the things he learns about them!

... ...

I am binging this series and my grades are suffering for it but I almost don’t care.
Profile Image for Kacie.
250 reviews1 follower
November 29, 2020
I'm completely invested in this series at this point. Also may we all just appreciate how amazing Keefe is? Yes. Thank you.
Profile Image for Cassidy.
52 reviews1 follower
February 2, 2015





Video Review Link posted soon!!! It was fantastic!
Profile Image for Sina & Ilona Glimmerfee.
1,054 reviews122 followers
March 3, 2022
Noch immer plagt sich Sophie mit vielen Fragen herum, die sich um ihre Herkunft und den Geheimbund 'Black Swan' drehen. Das Allicorn Silveny scheint auch in der Zuflucht nicht wirklich sicher zu sein. Der Hohe Rat beschließt, dass Sophie versuchen soll Fintan zu heilen, ob sich das als richtige Entscheidung herausstellen wird?

Auch der dritte Teil der Reihe um Sophie ist absolut spannend und konnte mich begeistern. Die Charaktere machen interessante Entwicklungen durch und es wird wieder richtig gefährlich für Sophie und ihre Freunde. Das Buch konnte mich immer wieder überraschen und emotional berühren. Durch das aktuelle politische Geschehen in unserer Welt, wurde das Lesen zeitweise etwas bedrückend, da ähnliche Themen in der Geschichte vorkommen. Gerade im letzten Drittel wollte ich die Geschichte nicht aus den Händen legen, da es richtig spannend wurde und ich mit meinen Theorien, wie die Story verlaufen könnte, manchmal ziemlich weit daneben lag.
Um es kurz zu machen und nicht zu viel zu verraten: Absolute Leseempfehlung!

Das Buch wurde uns kostenfrei vom Verlag als Rezensionsexemplar zur Verfügung gestellt.
Profile Image for ✧˖° lydia °˖✧.
158 reviews115 followers
October 25, 2022
This one is definitely up there in my favorite three books of this series. It's even more suspenseful and plot-twist-y and interesting than the others 😉

Of course, there are a lot of Fitzphie moments which is just BARF but there's ALSO a lot of Keefe content who is ✨amazing✨ as usual.

Anyhoo, I'm getting even more excited for Stellarlune rereading these books. Like BRING IT ONNNNN.

Also yes. I have every book in this series shelved as fave-romances, even though there's not a romance yet. I has HOPE.

~God bless and Happy Reading ❤️~
Profile Image for Rachel.
313 reviews76 followers
March 7, 2021
I like this series :) ...but my enjoyment dropped a bit with this book.

I read the first two books in January and then started the third one in February. Now I struggle to keep the plot lines of all the books separated and it just feels like one big book to me.

However, the end of this book promises a change in scenery, which I'm looking forward to. I'm still going to take a little break from this series so it will feel fresh to me again once I continue reading!
Profile Image for Thalia Lin.
379 reviews53 followers
October 17, 2015
OMG this books was so amazing. Sophie and Keefe, ugh, I ship them so hard.

Also the plot twist and turns were so unsuspecting. KOTLC is definitely one of my favorites.

I can't wait for Neverseen and especially when I get to meet Shannon Messenger in a couple weeks for the release of the next book. I am so excited for it!!

Who are Sophie's parents? Who will she fall in love with?

The feels consumed me I was literally lying on the floor for at least five minutes with the book on my head muttering "Oh My Gosh" over and over again.
Profile Image for Bethany (Beautifully Bookish Bethany).
2,045 reviews3,441 followers
March 7, 2023
This series is very fun and action-packed, full of tween drama, crushes, and plot twists. I'm continuing to find the books enjoyable and these are a great option for upper middle grade/lower YA though I wouldn't hand them to an 8 year old. I would have eaten these up as a young teen. I like the relationship between Sophie and her adoptive parents in this one quite a lot. As a whole, the series does have some issues with not thinking through the hierarchical magic societies that somewhat mirror real world racism. That could be better. In general though, escapist fun with a good amount of peril.
Profile Image for LyraFirefly.
79 reviews22 followers
April 6, 2021
I've been inching my way through this series, and dang. This book was honestly worse than the first. People say they get better as the books go on, but this is the worst one yet.


Not good. At all. It was way too laid back and it made Sophie sound like a thickheaded, whiny idiot. It sounded like the author was a bit lazy while writing it. I'm sorry, but that's what I felt. There was no worldbuilding whatsoever, and it was pretty much filled with chapters on chapters of Sophie not being able to figure it out.


Again, not good.

Sophie: 2/10
Fitz: 2/10
Keefe: 2/10
Biana: 3/10
Dex: 5/10
Grady: 10/10
Edaline: 9/10
Alden: 4/10
Brant: 1/10
Lady Gisela: 6/10
Bronte: 10/10 >:)

Plot, Pacing, and Length:

The plot was okay. There wasn't anything special about it, and it was pretty generic, especially for an MG Fantasy.
The pacing was a bit fast, and even if the full 640 pages were to stay, the amount of information coming in was too much at once and would be a lot better if it were a bit slower. The unneeded part would definitely have to be cut out. That way this ook would be a nice 300-400 pages or so.


There is one important detail that keeps me from rating this 2 stars instead of 3. I actually enjoyed this, even with all the bad things. This half star was most likely because of Bronte though, I really loved his character arc.


1.5 stars, rounded up because I actually enjoyed it more than I should have.
Profile Image for Bruna.
618 reviews128 followers
December 25, 2020
✯ [5/5] ✯

What a roller coaster, I am so in love with this series but Shannon had no rights to destroy my heart like that, wow, I sobbed reading this one. The characters in this series are so amazing, I love every single one of them (even Sandor my big baby boy). I also hate other characters with a strong passion, and I really enjoy discovering who I will hate or not.

The plot keeps getting better, and I fly through this books, the author writing keeps you on the edge the entire book. While I was reading this I kinda thought this seemed like a series end coming near, but I haven't reached even half of this series, I hope this continue to be this good, because It's a new favorite of mine for sure.
July 4, 2020
Wow why is it always the third book in a middle grade series my favorite? This one will be hard to talk about because it's the third in the series but totally my favorite so far!(:
1) Keeper of the lost cities 4/5 stars
2) Exile 4/5 stars
3) Everblaze 5/5 stars

Profile Image for Maddie.
134 reviews20 followers
October 13, 2018

I know I’m not this series’s target demographic. But I still think this series has issues that would have bothered me even when I was in the target demo. Specifically: (1) the characters not spending a ton of time at Foxfire, (2) the characters/factions not having motivations that make sense and several of the characters changing drastically between books without much explanation, (3) the way science is used, and (4) the number of characters and their development (or lack thereof). I also don't think I've ever been this enraged about a love triangle/square in a long while.

This book is the only book in the series that comes even close to having an actual plot that makes sense. While I thought the second book was fun and a big step up from the the first, it was really bogged down by the way "science" was used to hand-wave a lot of the things about Sophie/her backstory that don't make sense. Which is a problem, because these books have what is essentially magic, and you don't NEED science in a world that has magic. Science has to follow strict rules and can't violate the laws of nature. Magic, but definition, violates the laws of nature.

These books have a serious case of Plot Convenience that makes it difficult for me to take them seriously. They borrow a lot from Harry Potter, Charlie Bone, Percy Jackson and other similar series, and yet fail to grasp why those books work. Namely because there are well-defined 'rules' and limits regarding magic/special powers and the characters are continually put in situations that they have to get creative to wiggle their way out of, generally by using their combined strengths. All three series of the above mentioned series also have strong world building and make the motivations of the villains explicit from the get-go.

Because the world in this series doesn't make a lot of sense, and because neither the motivations of the bad or good guys make sense or are even explained, none of the characters really have motivations that are well-defined or make sense. A lot of them have kind of surface level motivations (Alden being a good example), but there are very few characters in this series who feel like complete, complex characters. I think Sandor and Keefe are really the only two, with Sophie, Dex, Grady and Edaline on the cusp.

Overall: I think this series is fun, has potential, and does a few things very well (the adult characters and the subtle, nuanced way grief is handled). They're also fast-paced and good pallet cleansers for denser reads. But there is a lot that is missing that I think it inexcusable at this point in the series and I don't have much hope Messenger will be able to turn it around.
Profile Image for R.F. Gammon.
488 reviews177 followers
August 1, 2018
Yes. Yep, I need the next one now, please. The stakes are getting so high...the pace is nerve-wracking...it's so good. MORE. RIGHT NOW. <3
Profile Image for sumi ⭑₊˚⊹.
100 reviews59 followers
May 27, 2023
ˏˋ°•* ➵ ★★★★½ ⋆࿔*:・⋆ ˚。⋆

᠃ ⚘᠂ ⚘ ˚ ⚘ ᠂ ⚘ ᠃

*˚。⋆ ➵ this book is SO GOOD. the plot kept me interested from the very first page and never made me feel disconnected to the story. i was gasping out loud at every plot twist and i’ve literally read this book like four times. they were all so shocking and i was never able to see them coming. the found family in this book?? incredible. the characters are the best part of this series. i love them all so, so deeply and want nothing but the best for them. the stuff keefe and sophie go through this book oml. WHY? and also, why does literally nobody talk about dex?? i love that boy so much. he’s so sweet and caring and all he wants is for sophie to treat him the way she treats her other friends. he deserves so much better. omg, and the scenes between edaline, grady, and sophie in this book? they had me tearing up every time. they are so sweet and i just want them to live a happy life without having to worry about everything. oh and i hate the council (except for oralie and kenric; they deserved better). anyways, i’m off to bed now so i can wake up and read neverseen!! 🥀

᠃ ⚘᠂ ⚘ ˚ ⚘ ᠂ ⚘ ᠃

”she wasn’t going to cry. she was going to fight.”
”i’ve realized now that our world doesn’t define us. we define our world.”

᠃ ⚘᠂ ⚘ ˚ ⚘ ᠂ ⚘ ᠃
Profile Image for Izza Mae (books&teacups).
146 reviews51 followers
April 6, 2019
Initially, I was going to give this a 2-star rating, but after reading the last few chapters, I decided to increase it to three.

This book was a bit dreary compared to the first two books, and has the same formula. Sophie is so talented that she gets into trouble, and then cue her friends (either one or all of them) or the Black Swan to save her then she saved them after and the end - back to Havenfield (or Everglen) for recovery. Then repeat the cycle all over again.

I didn't like Sophie much in this book. She is selfish and doesn't think of the consequences of her actions. Then after everything goes wrong, she will feel sorry for herself Good thing her adiptive parents are the most forgiving person in their world, or else she will be in so much trouble.

The redeeming quality in this book are her friends. Good thing that they can think and act for themselves even without the help of Sophie.

I don't know if I'm going to continue reading the series now or will wait for the last book to be published. Because I don't think that I will continue reading it if the next book is still the same as this.
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