Sunday, December 29, 2019

Book Review: Legacy by Shannon Messenger (Keeper of the Lost Cities #8)


Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Fast moving fun fantasy
Cons: Size might intimidate some before they start it
The Bottom Line:
Sophie’s adventure
Takes another step forward
Long yet absorbing




Sophie’s Journey Continues – Now with Twice the Alicorn Cuteness

I don’t pick up 800 page books often.  I just don’t have the time to immerse myself in books that long any more.  However, I make an exception for the Keeper of the Lost Cities series.  I’ve been reading since the first book came out and the books were a few hundred pages shorter, and I have to keep up with Sophie’s adventures.  Legacy is the latest in the series, and the pages just flew by.

If you aren’t familiar with this series, this is a fantasy series aimed at middle graders.  And yes, they do get excited for books this long.  I go to the launch parties every year, and they sell out with kids anxious to dive in and find out what happens next to their favorite characters.  Anyway, the series focuses on Sophie Foster, a young elf who has been recruited by a group called the Black Swan to fight the Neverseen, a group who wants to overthrow not only elf culture but rule the entire world.  That’s the simplest explanation of the series, but considering we are in book eight, trust me, Sophie’s life is much more complicated than that.

Before we go further, let’s discuss spoilers.  No, I won’t be spoiling the events in this book, and I am even going to dance around the cliffhanger at the end of book seven.  However, due to the evolving nature of Sophie’s life, there is no way to read this book without getting major spoilers about what has happened in previous books.  So it is best to read the books in order.  Besides, that’s the only way to fully understand everything that happens here.

This book opens nine days after the previous book ends.  Sophie is finally able to talk to Mr. Forkle, one of the leaders of the Black Swan.  However, he is most interested in discussing the most likely target for the Neverseen’s next attack instead of answering Sophie’s questions.  His theory makes sense, but can Sophie and her friends figure out a way to stop them?  Meanwhile, the Council has a surprising and game changing offer for Sophie.  Will she take it?

Yes, that’s all I’m teasing from the plot.  Truly, it is best to watch things unfold in their own way and their own time.  Naturally, there are all sorts of other storylines and sub-plots going on, but it gets too hard to tease what is happening with each of the characters without some major spoilers.

I did complain in the last book that the pacing was off.  Yes, there were a couple of times here I felt things could have been trimmed, but those never lasted for long.  And, when you think about how long this book is, the fact that I only felt that way once or twice tells you how fast the pace was overall.  Each time I picked up the book, I found myself transported to Sophie’s world and completely lost in whatever she was currently facing.

There are some pretty interesting developments that fans of the series will be happy to learn.  Yes, we still have some questions, but we’ve gotten some major answers as well.  And I can’t wait to see what this means going forward.  I definitely feel like this book advanced the overall story in some pretty major ways.

All your favorite characters show up, which is no surprise.  Some get more page time than others, but everyone gets a chance to shine, and I liked seeing how relationships grew and changed as a result.  Some characters have limited page time based on what is going on with them, but that’s story driven.  In a book this long, there would be room for everyone if the story called for it.

While the stakes of these books are always high, that doesn’t mean the isn’t plenty of time for fun along the way.  Some of the characters never fail to make me laugh, and that holds true here, too.  There are some moments that might make you tear up.  (I plead the fifth on whether they did for me or not.)  And for cuteness, it’s hard to top the alicorns in this book.

And that cliffhanger!  How long until the next book is ready?

I often say that I wish I had more time to read fantasy, and this series helps scratch that itch.  I’m glad I picked up Legacy, and if you, or your middle grader, enjoys books you can get lost in, you’ll be glad you picked up Legacy as well.  Just be sure to read it in order.

Need to backtrack?  Here are the Keeper of the Lost Cities books in order.

This review is part of Marvelous Middle Grade Monday.

4 comments:

  1. I've never read any of the books in this series, but you make them sound so inviting, maybe I'll give them a try in 2020. Thanks for your in depth review and your fun, informative blog. I wish you a very Happy New Year and lots of fun blog topics in 2020.

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  2. Enjoyed your light review of such a heavy book -- no pun intended. I'm glad there are some answers in this book. I read another review that made me wonder. I am on chapter 3. Have been so busy reading and reviewing, that I saved Legacy for me over the holidays! I am as awestruck as her MG fans! Love this series and love to get lost in Sophie's world. Since book five, the books feel like they are darker -- just like the Harry Potter series. And with relationships, the final books feel like they are for teens 14 and up. But, my 13-year-old great granddaughter can't get enough and asked for more Keeper books for Christmas. Don't know if you've read Jennifer Alvarez's Riders of the Realm series (trilogy). Another excellent series. My granddaughter loves that one two. The main character is a boy.

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  3. Oh my, I'm so behind. I've read the first four and haven't found the time to continue the series. I will hopefully remedy the situation soon. Shannon has nailed the ingredients for a perfect fantasy.

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  4. I've only read the first book in this series. Shannon is a prolific author! Thanks for telling me about this one.

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