“Keeper of the Lost Cities” is an Enthralling Tale of Magic and Mysteries


Madison Fishback

Keeper of the Lost Cities book cover from Simon & Schuster. The cover features Sophie Foster and Dex Dizznee. Art by Jason Chan.

“Keeper of the Lost Cities” is a fantasy fiction book series that follows Sophie Foster throughout her life in the lost cities. The story begins by explaining that elves and humans used to live together, but humans were deemed a threat, and elves pretended that they died out. Sophie was created by a group called the Black Swan. The Black Swan placed her in the human world when she was a baby. When she is discovered in the human world by elves, Sophie is told she is an elf and is brought to the lost cities. Now learning to control her powers, Sophie is starting to learn about who she is and the new world she was thrown into. However, Sophie’s time in this world doesn’t stay safe as the elusive group the Neverseen, finally starts to appear.

With 8.5 books currently released, “Keeper of the Lost Cities” is definitely a gigantic book series. The series will conclude with ten books, with the last book planned to be released in 2023. I enjoyed the length of the books because it gave more time for Shannon Messenger, the author, to develop the world. This is great because my favorite thing about long series is the world-building, which “Keeper of the Lost Cities” definitely excels at. It’s really fun getting to learn how the lost cities work and what the extent of what elves can do is.

Most elves develop a “power” that elves call abilities while they are in school. These abilities are fascinating because there are so many different ways they could potentially be used. Currently, there have been 24 different abilities mentioned in the books, but there are more that haven’t been mentioned. A few of the abilities that have been mentioned are conjurers, empaths, mesmers, and telepaths. One of the rarer and more interesting abilities is a mesmer. A mesmer can manipulate someone’s will, which allows them to control a person’s actions and behaviors. Mesmers are very rare and are extremely distrusted because of their abilities. It wasn’t officially stated how many abilities there are, which allows readers to theorize what kind of abilities might exist.

The locations described in the books always have interesting and intricate designs, which is probably because of the money system in the lost cities. Every elf was given the same amount of money, more than anyone could ever possibly spend. This basically makes money irrelevant, so the elves can build whatever they want. A lot of the structures are built out of gems and precious metals, just so it looks pretty. One location that really stuck out to me is Atlantis. The lost city of Atlantis is an underwater city, kind of like a snow globe. It seems cool that elves can live wherever they want, with no problems.

Another thing that stuck out to me would be that elves don’t seem to be mortal. No elf has ever died of old age, which makes death an extremely foreign concept in the lost cities. However, in the rare instance that an elf dies, their hair is wrapped around a seed and planted. When the tree grows it is covered in things that resemble the deceased. It’s a fascinating concept that is probably really helpful to elves.

“Keeper of the Lost Cities” is currently one of my three favorite book series. Which is to say, I would highly recommend reading this series. While it is a huge time commitment to read these books, I believe “Keeper of the Lost Cities” is an incredibly enjoyable series.