Nightfall: Keeper of the Lost Cities, Book 6

Book review by
Mary Eisenhart, Common Sense Media
Nightfall: Keeper of the Lost Cities, Book 6 Book Poster Image
Popular with kids
Teen elves face cosmic peril, crushes in epic installment.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 20 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

This is a fantasy story, but there's a bit of science: The elves try to save endangered species; plant biology is important to the plot.

Positive Messages

Strong messages of friendship, family, and courage in the face of terrifying dangers, and making the most of your particular talents. Also, humor and fun make things better.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Besides Sophie herself, who at 14 not only has to save the world but also decide which of two guy friends she likes best, most of her teen friends get a moment to shine in this installment, using their powers where they're most needed, and often at great cost to themselves. Some adults are extremely evil villains, but others are kind, loving, supportive -- and capable of changing their minds when they realize they're wrong.


Physical and mental violence, from magically enhanced combat to destroying people's sanity and wiping their minds, are a constant presence in the story -- as are related ethical angst and difficult choices. Elvin healing powers go a long way to restoring mortally injured characters, but there's still a lot of trauma and loss. Also coming to light: villainous elves' plans to torture and kill the human race.


One kiss -- which serves to demonstrate that the couple involved has no chemistry. Several teens struggle with unrequited crushes and/or romantic confusion about, say, which of two boys a girl likes best. Some adults are in happy relationships, while others are estranged from their spouses, some by misunderstanding and others by malice.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Use of sedatives and power-enhancing brews. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Nightfall, the latest doorstop-size installment in Shannon Messenger's Keeper of the Lost Cities series, will keep young readers busy for days as they wend through 800 pages of exciting adventures in the elvin world. As in previous books, plenty of dark forces are afoot, and there's danger, magical and physical violence (from magically enhanced combat to destroying people's sanity and wiping their minds), and loss -- all the more compelling here because it's Sophie's human parents who've fallen into the villains' hands. But in between cosmic crises and world-saving, the teen characters also struggle with awkward crushes, family problems, and life lessons. There are a few references to pee and poop, often of the sparkly unicorn variety, and some fart humor. Plenty of positive messages about friendship, family, and doing the right thing even when it's really hard.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 7, 11, and 11-year-old Written byAnnieAverett January 28, 2021


This book is one of the best things I’ve ever read. It is descriptive, deep, and really fun in general. I would highly recommend it.
Adult Written byRachel W. March 18, 2018

(review from 9 1/2 year old follows)

If you are good at sorting fact from fiction then this is the book for you!!!
But if you are more sensitive and get scared of things like, Harry Potter or Star... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byLlamaLover July 22, 2020

Team Keefe!!

Very good storyline, plus I'm obsessed with the series! I do hope a book 9 comes out though...TEAM FOSTER KEEFE ALL THE WAY, YEAH!!! (Keefe is always there... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old April 7, 2020

This book was so interesting.

This book was one of the best! It has positive role models and a very interesting plot.

What's the story?

As NIGHTFALL opens, 14-year-old Sophie Foster and her elvin friends face many challenges in their ongoing cosmic conflict with the Neverseen, whose sinister agenda is wreaking havoc in both the elf and human worlds. Worse yet, the villains have kidnapped and imprisoned Sophie's human parents, and the elf kids have taken Sophie's human sister to their world for protection. Meanwhile, friend Keefe's murderous mom tries to convince them to cooperate with her plans, a new monstrous villain and her plans come to light, and there's deadly magic and warfare aplenty. In the midst of all this, there's romantic tension as bad-boy Keefe and Mr. Perfect Fitz vie for Sophie's affection, and other kids deal with unrequited crushes.

Is it any good?

Fans of Sophie Foster are in for 800 pages of cosmic conflict, magical adventure, and relationship issues as the brave and talented elvin kids rush to rescue Sophie's human parents from villains. There's one big surprise involving a recurring character, and the teens' harrowing adventures trying to solve the mystery of Nightfall give each kid a chance to shine. Ogre princess Ro almost steals the show, and some new characters are welcome additions. And there's more to come in the next installment ...

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the responsibility of using your talents wisely and well in Nightfall. What does someone with unusual powers have to consider when deciding whether to use them?

  • A recurring theme in this series is how the elves are horrified at much human behavior, but they do things humans find just as horrifying. In our world, where many people think and behave differently, what's the best way to find common ground and get along? Or should we even try?

  • What other stories do you know about Atlantis? Why do you think it's been such a popular theme for all these centuries?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love adventure and fantasy

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Top advice and articles

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate