A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
The Keeper of the Lost Cities series involves magic and elvin fantasy rather than educational subjects, but it involves concepts like ecological balance, preserving species from extinction.
Strong messages about courage, friendship, family, loyalty, forgiveness, kindness, and being able to recognize when something's not right. You need to learn to face the truth -- and put aside your feelings to deal with a more pressing crisis.
Positive Role Models
Sophie discovers a lot of inner strength, comes to terms with a lot of unexpected realities, and grapples with the challenges of being a leader. Her friends (and frenemies) work as a team and take many risks to support her and battle the dark forces of the Neverseen. Some adult characters (including parents of some of her friends) are destructive and evil, or at least cold-hearted, while others are supportive, brave, and loving.
Violence & Scariness
By now all the teen characters bear physical and mental scars from past deadly battles, and have lost many beloved companions who've died. Between those who want to kill them and those who want to convert them to the dark side, they face many mortal dangers and sustain some injuries. Sophie's newly enhanced powers knock adversaries unconscious.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Hand-holding and hugging. That kiss we've been waiting for for eight volumes now? There's still lots of related tension and anxiety about that and general relationship woe. Two characters are in a forced marriage and avoid each other a lot, while others tease them about romance. Much of the story involves Sophie's quest for her biological parents.
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Some butt, poop, and pee humor.
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Products & Purchases
One scene involves snagging assorted human snack foods, e.g. Keebler elf cookies and assorted British biscuits, which don't appeal to the elves much.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Elvin medicines and potions are part of the plot. The teens joke about drugging adults to escape their supervision.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Legacy, Book 8 in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, continues the saga of Sophie Foster, a teen girl who's discovered that she's been genetically engineered by elves for some yet-to-be-determined world-saving task. There's plenty of action, between the visits to locations from the underground kingdom of the dwarves to downtown London. And there's romantic tension as Sophie and love interest Fitz grapple with boyfriend-girlfriend social issues and misunderstandings, while other love interest Keefe provides unwavering support. Part of the plot involves Sophie's quest to find her biological parents, and many of the issues, decisions, and feelings will be relevant and relatable to many adopted kids. Along the way, in a fast-moving plot that takes place over a few days and delivers yet another cliffhanger ending, there's a lot of adventure, magic, and self-discovery as dark forces threaten and harm Sophie's family and friends, and she faces life-changing decisions. Lots of combat, imprisonment, peril, and villains who get their way by threatening their victims' loved ones. The romantic tension involves a kiss that may or may not ever happen. There's also a bit of pee and poop humor.
Is It Any Good?
Book 8 in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series ups the ante with a raft of action, character developments, new magical powers, ethical dilemmas, world-saving, and teen romance. By now we're beginning to suspect that author Shannon Messenger has no intention of wrapping up the series in this lifetime, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. This year's doorstop-size volume brings a satisfying immersion in glitter, cosmic conflict, increasingly complex characters, teen anxiety, new magical powers, moral dilemmas, page-turning plot developments, and cliffhanger endings. Sophie and her friends battle evil, question authority, and struggle to do the right thing in impossible situations yet again, and many peripheral characters from previous installments make return appearances.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.