Keeper of the Lost Cities: Stellarlune by Shannon Messenger

Keeper of the Lost Cities: Stellarlune

Shannon Messenger, Author

Aladdin, Fiction, Nov. 8, 2022

Suitable for ages 12 and up

Pages: 738

Themes: Fantasy,  Magic, Adventure, Magical creatures, Friendship, Villains

Book Jacket Synopsis:

Sophie Foster changed the game. Now she’s facing impossible choices: when to act, when to trust, and when to let go.

Her friends are divided and scattered, and the Black Swan wants Sophie to focus on their projects. But her instincts are leading her somewhere else.

Stellarlune—and the mysterious Elysian—might be the key to everything. But finding truth in the Lost Cities always requires sacrifice. And as the Neverseen’s plans sharpen into terrifying focus, it appears that everyone has miscalculated. The Lost Cities’ greatest lie could destroy everything. And in the battle that follows, only one thing is certain: nothing will ever be the same.

In this stunning ninth book in the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Sophie and her friends discover the true meaning of power—and evil.

Why I like Stellarlune:

Many teens have been gifted Stellarlune over the holidays. so I am going to be careful and not spoil anything for readers.  First of all, Karin Paorocki’s cover is stunning!  Gorgeous and packed with action!  

Shannon Messenger is certainly setting the stage in Stellarlune for the fate of the Lost Cities. Dedicated fans will find  her story gripping, risky, and thought-provoking. This story ties up loose ends as it prepares readers for what is to come in her final novel next year. How will it all end, only Messenger knows. And yes Shannon, some readers will think your ending is “evil,” (your words, not mine). But that cliff hangar is spectacular and will leave readers with gaping mouths and playing out many scenarios in their minds until the final novel is released and all is revealed. 

Two standouts for me in this series are Messenger’s magnificent worldbuilding and her impressive cast of characters, who are growing up. Sophie is more mature, and has her abilities under control. But she is a teenager, so there are times she is impulsive, over zealous, headstrong and reckless as she carries the elven world on her shoulders. Needless to say there is a lot of normal teen drama in this book. Her friends Fitz, Biana, Dex, Linh, Tam, Marilla, Maruca, and Wylie are upset with her lack of team work. So Sophie’s working hard on finetuning her leadership skills, to keep Team Valliant strong and one step ahead of the Neverseen. And there is a little more romance in this story. Keefe–Sophie fans will be cheering. But Keefe flees to the Lost Cities to hide from his evil mother, Lady Gisela, who is conducting experiments on him and triggering dangerous abilities he can’t control.

The plot is action-packed. It picks up from the previous book, where Sophie and a few friends return from blowing up a hidden Neverseen storage facility. They retrieve valuable information, including the stolen “caches” of former Councillor Kenric and Fintan, an evil Pyrokinetic. Readers will know that there will be retaliation at some point in the story. But, lines are beginning to blur a bit between good and evil, when Sophie tries to understand hidden secrets from the ancient world the Council has hidden for a millennium. A meeting with the enemy only reinforces that. premise. Sophie and Team Valliant are beginning to question how the secrets have contributed to the instability they are all feeling in the Lost Cities. Sophie knows that CHANGE is inevitable and it will be fascinating how it plays out in the end.  I will not share anything more as I don’t want to spoil anything for readers.  

So while we read, Shannon is masterfully writing and plotting the finale!  Stellarlune is a thrilling read for her worldwide fans! If you are new to the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, do not start with this book! Start with the first volume and you can binge read the entire series.

Shannon Messenger graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, where she learned — among other things — that she liked watching movies much better than making 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 her family — and 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.

16 thoughts on “Keeper of the Lost Cities: Stellarlune by Shannon Messenger

  1. I only read the first book in the series, but I know this is a super popular series. I’m super happy for Shannon because I knew her before she was published. Thanks for reviewing. Maybe someday I’ll binge on the series.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You have missed a great fantasy series. You could binge read them now, but they are addictive! I didn’t review fantasy books then, and finally did an overall review of the first four or five books. And then started reviewing the remaineder. Yes, I knew her just after her first book came out, but I hadn’t read it when I eventually joined the MMGM group. Such an extraorfdinary series.


  2. I ended up not buying this, but don’t regret it too much. My students do better with series that only last for five books (there are some exceptions, of course), but these would take up a lot of real estate on the shelves. Good for you for sticking with it! Our public library has it, and they are kind enough to deliver.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I understand! I have absolutely loved this series. My 16-year-old great granddaughter and her friends are hooked. As the characters mature, this book is really for teens 12+. She does have a very large following. The lines at her book signings prove that. But you are right — all 10 volumes nearly take up my entire book shelf — and with next year’s final book my shelf will be full. I kept them because I will sit down and read them again. They brought me pleasure.


  3. I confess that I’ve fallen behind on this series and think I’m actually due to read the book just before Stellarlune before I can pick this one up. It’s a series I know I want to finish–and I’ve loved cheering for Shannon’s success with it–so I appreciate this reminder to get reading! 😀


    • The 8.5 book is an inbetween book that Shannon prepared for her readers. It really gives one a sense of the scope of the Lost Cities. Didn’t realize it covered the globe. But, there is a short novel about 200 pages that is the lead in to Stellarlune. You may want to get a library copy and ready the 200 pages. Then you can read Stellarlune.


  4. Thanks for not dropping any spoilers. I’m three books behind in the series but hope to catch up in the next several months. Shannon has created a fantastic series and so many adore her writing including myself. Thanks for your fantastic review and for sharing in on MMGM.


    • I really had to restrain myself, but I didn’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t finished. Glad to know you are catching up. Disney has picked up the books for a move — Shannon’s first choice. And I heard something about a theme park somewhere — but that may be a rumor.


  5. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this series so definitely will have to check it out. I have to say 738 pages is quite a long book, brilliant if you know and love the series though! On my TBR! Thanks for sharing!


    • I loved Harry Potter, the Giver series and the Unicorn CHornicles, but hands down, Keeper of the Lost Cities is my absolute favorite! I would love to be a cell in Shannon’s brain as I am amazed with how she has plotted the entire series and comes up with such fantastic stories. Hope you read the series. The first books aren’t so long.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I read the first book in this series many years ago. Shannon is a terrific writer and I’m sure her fans will love this one, but I’m not much of a fantasy reader. Thanks for such a great review.


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