Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Keeper of the Lost Cities #2: Exile by Shannon Messenger

Exile (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #2)My name is Sophie, and I don't understand the changes that are happening. How can the alicorn I found mentally communicate with me, and why is this beautiful creature so important to the Council? Is it because elves are losing faith in the Council? Who kidnapped me, and why did the Black Swan come to my rescue? Is this group good or evil? I was hoping my return to school would make my life more normal, even though I was dreading my Impaling classes with Councilor Bronte, but then something horrible happened to Alden at the opening ceremonies. He's a father figure to me, so I was devastated when he suddenly collapsed. The doctor says there's no way to save him, but I won't give up. My abilities should be able to help him... unless they're broken.

You must read the first book in the series to fully understand what's going on. I'm enjoying the mystery surrounding Sophie's past, since it's unclear why the Black Swan created her. She has more talents than any other elf, and there are memories hidden inside her mind. This makes the Council leery of her, and she has questions about herself. Her telepathic ability has always been important to the story, but it takes on a crucial role with Alden's problem. Her relationships with Dex, Fitz, and Keefe are confusing. Often, middle grade novels will develop boy/girl relationships, but she blushes at times with all three boys. Blushing implies an emotional connection beyond friendship, so her feelings are unclear. Dex clearly wants to be more than friends, while there are hints the other two boys  might feel the same way, especially Keefe. This whole situation causes some uncomfortable situations. The introduction of the alicorn called Silveny is an interesting addition to the cast of characters. Sophie develops a connection to her, but she's under tremendous pressure to acclimate Silveny to other elves. Sophie's relationship with Silveny is a subplot, but there's a strong sense that it will become important to resolving the bigger conflicts in the plot. Overall, I recommend you give the series a shot.

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