Everblaze: Keeper of the Lost Cities, Book 3

Book review by
Mary Eisenhart, Common Sense Media
Everblaze: Keeper of the Lost Cities, Book 3 Book Poster Image
Popular with kids
Exciting fantasy sequel has elf kids in cosmic struggle.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 10 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Kids at the Academy study telepathy and alchemy. In one scene, kids use astronomy instruments and charts to find local (fictional) stars. 

Positive Messages

Strong messages about friendship, loyalty, courage, the importance of everyone's talents in achieving a goal, and how to use extraordinary powers wisely and unselfishly. Think critically and ask questions when the answers don't make sense, and learn to make things right with someone you've wronged, even if you didn't mean to do wrong.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Sophie's brave and has a strong sense of duty. She always tries to do the right thing and takes on a lot of responsibility, all while dealing with ordinary middle school-type problems. She and her friends sometimes have misunderstandings, but they also have a powerful loyalty and stick together in times of crisis.


Much of the violence here is mental, involving mind manipulation for both healing and destruction. Characters, including a kind adult, die violently when an experiment goes bad. Various forces are vying for world domination and are willing to harm or eliminate anyone who gets in their way. Characters also disappear mysteriously.


The central characters in Everblaze are about 13; although there are hints of romantic tension as three cute boys all like Sophie, there's no kissing. In one scene a boy and girl take turns wrapping their arms around each other, but it's for mutual assistance, not romance. The elves' marriage customs have matchmakers drawing up lists of potential partners for each young person, with very strong pressure to marry someone "suitable."


Frequent humor involving pee, butts, poop (especially glittering), farts, and the like. Yeti pee is an ingredient in potions.


Sophie's iPod lets her watch what's happening in the human world.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters regularly get doses of various elf medicines. Sophie normally avoids any sedatives but accepts some during a traumatic time.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Everblaze, the latest installment in Shannon Messenger's Keeper of the Lost Cities series, is another fast-moving fantasy adventure that will particularly appeal to independent-minded tween girls, thanks to a 13-year-old heroine who, when she's not trying to save her world and protect her loved ones (including a winged horse), also is dealing with such familiar issues as mean girls at school. Faint stirrings of romantic competition among three boys. There are scary scenes, some characters die, and others often control people's minds, usually without their consent. Age-typical humor about butts, poop, farts, and pee; a sparkly horse is known as "Glitter Butt."

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byalyssaw December 13, 2014


This book was an amazing page turner. The days I read it I never got nay work done because it just sucks you into their world! The mystery behind it is amazing... Continue reading
Adult Written byBlackSheep2205 April 20, 2015
Teen, 13 years old Written byLizabelle February 24, 2020

Couldn't stop reading!

This book is definitely one of my favorites in the series! It's so exciting! I couldn't stop reading it! Sadly because of that I finished it very quic... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old September 5, 2019


This book was so good-just like every other book in the series. This book makes you want to read it over and over and over again. It has good messages on decisi... Continue reading

What's the story?

Now 13, Sophie Foster has found good friends and a few enemies at the Academy as she learns the ways of the elf world. Meanwhile, she's trying to learn more about the mysterious Black Swan organization -- and why it engineered her DNA to create capabilities she's still discovering. Fear and distrust lurk behind the scenes of the outwardly harmonious elf world, and it's hard to tell people's true intentions. As Sophie tries to come to terms with her new life and learn more about her origins, the Council calls on her to perform increasingly dangerous telepathic tasks. Some characters die, others live in a state of permanent insanity, and an unknown villain's pyrotechnic powers threaten to engulf the whole world in EVERBLAZE.

Is it any good?

Author Shannon Messenger creates appealing, relatable characters and then keeps the plot twists, intrigues, dangers, and ethical challenges coming. Readers who've been following the Keepers of the Lost Cities series may find themselves confused about its underlying cosmology and where the truth lies on many fronts -- even more than 13-year-old Sophie. But, as with that other series about a mysterious kid at a magical boarding school, this turns out not to matter very much.

With her independent spirit, strong principles, and longing to belong, Sophie will strike a chord with many tween girls. So will the recurring humor about how magical sparkly horses poop. A lot. But other kids also will find a lot to like in this exciting installment, which concludes with a strong sense that the adventure's just beginning.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why stories of school kids with superpowers are so popular. Does it make you feel better about your own problems when even telepaths and teleporters deal with some of the same things you do?

  • Sometimes, as in Everblaze, one friend does a terrible thing to another without meaning to. Have you ever been in this situation, on either side? Did you try to make things right, or did it end the friendship?

  • Would you like to have one of the special powers the characters have? Which one? How would you put it to use?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fantasy and adventure

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