Monday, March 9, 2020

36. Exile (Keeper of the Lost Cities #2)

Exile. (Keeper of the Lost Cities #2) Shannon Messenger. 2013. 576 pages. [Source: Library][j fantasy; mg fantasy; j fiction; mg fiction; elves; magic]

First sentence: Sophie‘s hands shook as she lifted the tiny green bottle.

Premise/plot: Exile is the second novel in this fantasy series for young readers. Sophie, the heroine elf, has quite a lot going on in her life. Every day brings to light something new: a new gift or talent, a new clue to her past, a new clue to present threats and dangers, a new crisis or disaster. The novel opens with Sophie “discovering” an alicorn. Sophie being Sophie, the two form an unbreakable bond. If anyone can train or tame this magnificent creature, it will be Sophie. Much depends, so readers are told, on this alicorn coming to their Sanctuary. Sophie though new seems to be the one, the key to solving many, many problems that have been damaging or divisive to the community. But can Sophie really be the answer?!

My thoughts: I am pleasantly surprised by how much better this one is to the first book. Don’t get me wrong, you have to suspend your disbelief to read this one. Not just because there are elves, goblins, imps, and feathery dinosaurs—and of course the alicorn. But because of the description of how magic works and feels as you use it or experience it. It can come across as silly or goofy if you take it too seriously. But if you accept it as a purely for entertainment escape from the real world, it’s quite a ride.

I like the characters and relationships. I think my favorite sidekick is Keefe. Followed by Dex. Those two would be my favorites. Fitz wouldn’t be. But at least at this point, it’s just friendships. No crushes admitted aloud, no crushing on awkwardness, no worrying about if so-and-so like-likes me. No obsessing. Just good, solid, foundation building. But if I were to pick a team, at this early stage, it would be Keefe.

© 2020 Becky Laney of Young Readers

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