Keeper of the Lost Cities: Legacy by Shannon Messenger

Keeper of the Lost Cities: Legacy, Volume 8

Shannon Messenger, Author

Aladdin, Fiction/Fantasy, Nov. 7, 2019

Suitable for Ages: 8-12

Themes: Fantasy, Magic, Abilities, Magical Creatures, Evil, Relationships, Friendships


Sophie Foster wants answers. But after a liftime of lies, sometimes the truth is the most dangerous discovery. Even the smallest secret comes with terrifying new responsibilities.

And Sophie’s not the only one with blank spots in her past or mysteries surrounding her family. She and her friends are part of something much bigger than they imagined — and their roles have already been schosen for them.

Every clue drags them deeper into the conspiracy. Every memory forces them to question everything — epecially one another. And the harder they fight, the more the lines blur between friend and enemy.

Illusions shatter — and Sophie and her friends face impossible choices — in this astonishing eighth book in the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Keeper of the Lost Cities series.

Why I like this book:

Shannon Messenger is a superb storyteller. Her writing is powerful and richly textured.  Her settings and magical world building in Legacy continue to be vividly creative and seductive. Her plots are thrilling and DANGEROUS.  Once you begin Legacy, you will be drawn into her magic until you have read the nearly 800 pages. And when you reach the last 100 pages, you’ll want to slow down because you don’t want the story to end.  Every chapter ends on a cliffhanger, as does the book’s ending. And yes, adults enjoy her books too.

Like other reviewers, I don’t want to give away any spoilers for those who haven’t read their Christmas copy or are just beginning the series — like my great granddaughter who’s on Volume 6. So my review will focus on my observations.  I will say that the verdict is still out on Sophie’s relationship with Keefe and Fitz. And both relationships are very important and different, providing a certain amount of support and stability for Sophie.  However there is a lot of drama and adventure in Legacy, and more reveals to come in Unlocked, Volume 9, that may leave us all speechless.

Even though the books are known for their magic, there really is a lot of realism in Legacy and the series. I don’t know why it took me a while to realize it, but Legacy brought the realism more into focus. Yes Sophie is the Moonlark, who’s DNA is genetically engineered to give her certain powers. But she is also human and makes big mistakes. She has flaws, stumbles, misjudges, and disappoints, but she always picks herself up and doesn’t give up.

Sophie realizes some flaws in her abilities and she asks Mr. Forkle and the Black Swan team to reset her abilities, a huge risk to her life. The adjustments enhance her abilities. Another major character undergoes a resetting, but I won’t give that away.

We see Sophie and her friends, Bianca, Fitz, Keefe, and Dex, Tam and Lihn maturing and trusting in each other’s abilities — even though one member is forced to join the Neverseen enemy.  I was delighted to see characters we haven’t seen or heard a lot about in earlier books, take more prominent roles — like Stina and Maruca, who were once at odds with Sophie. Their confidence is growing and it has opened the door for strong teamwork to form. We also see the parents, the Black Swan, and the Councilors taking a huge step back and trusting Sophie and her friends. This may be a build-up for the finalé next year.

And, yes there is one HUGE reveal in Legacy that jolts Sophie and we won’t know how that works out until Unlocked is published November 17.  But there also is some happy news with a  birth.  So in Volume 8, we are beginning to learn some secrets that will have to find resolution at the end. Legacy did advance the story for me.

Shannon Messenger graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, where she learned — among other things — that she liked watching movies much better than make them. She studied art, screenwriting, and film production, but she realized her real passion was writing stories for children. She’s the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the award-winning middle grade series Keeper of the Lost Cities, as well as the Sky Fall series for young adults. Her books have been featured on multiple state reading lists, published in numerous countries, and translated into many different languages. She lives in Southern California with an embarrassing number of cats. Visit Shannon at her website.

Greg Pattridge hosts Marvelous Middle Grade Monday posts on his wonderful Always in the Middle website. Check out the link to see all of the wonderful reviews by KidLit bloggers and authors.

*Reviewed from a purchased copy.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

26 thoughts on “Keeper of the Lost Cities: Legacy by Shannon Messenger

  1. I only read the first book in this series. Not sure why I didn’t read further since I enjoyed it. You are making a compelling argument that I need to catch up on this series.


    • One of my favorite fantasy series. The first four books are excellent. The other mature and become more complicated, but I loved every page of every book! Hope you find your way back to the series. My great granddaughter is hooked on the series. I gave her two volumes for Christmas and she’s been able to binge read the series over the past year. It’s nice to pick up the next book and remember where the last one left off.


  2. I’m up to book four and appreciate your review of the latest. Great points made throughout. It seems the great storytelling continues. I’ll catch up some day and finish the series.


    • Book four, Neverseen, is my favorite book of the entire series. The gnomes play an important role in this novel and it is such an imaginative addition. Shannon balances plot and characters. This in’t just a book for girls, there are too many major male charactes that create a balance and team. if you read Neverseen, you’ll continue.


  3. This sounds really good! I really need to catch up.on this series. It is so popular with my kids, their friends and my niece. The fact that she has a cinematic background shows in her writing.


    • You know, your point about her cinematic background does show in Messenger’s writing and I never thought to single that out. She sees things in pictures/scenes. Thanks. Hope you catch up, because you will enjoy every moment with her series!


  4. I’ve always loved this series, and I can’t believe I’m so behind—I haven’t even read book 7 yet! It’s nice to see that some of the early secondary characters become more important. Thanks so much for the great review!


  5. I’m so glad to see you finally got to reading Legacy! And I’m even happier you liked it!! I was so excited to see your thoughts on this series. You articulated everything so well, and without giving anything away! I totally agree on Keefe and Sophie and Fitz’s relationship dynamic being so different, it’s so interestin (and juicy!) for me to read about. I totally agree about the realism, I think it’s a part of why I’m still so drawn to this series so many years later (I think I’m even older than Sophie now?! That’s totally insane.)

    Awesome review!! Thanks for sharing 😀


    • Thanks! We are both so hooked to this series. I read the book some time ago. But, others had released their reviews, so I waited so I could give it some more book love. Anything can happen and will! I hope we get some resolution, but she may be sneaky and leave some things to our imaginations.

      Liked by 1 person

    • If you do start reading, you’ll be able to travel from volume to volume without having to wait for the next one. It has been fun watching her grow as an author. And, as someone mentioned below, her cinematic background does show as she creates unbelievalbe scenes. The first book is just magical!


  6. I have had the first book in this series on my list since I started reading MMGM posts years ago on Shannon’s blog! I have it in my library, but I haven’t read it yet. I do love the covers and the stories sound right up my alley! I have to get to book one this year. Thanks for the reminder. Moving it up my TBR. 🙂


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