Everblaze (Keeper of the Lost Cities #3), by Shannon Messenger

Everblaze Shannon MessengerSynopsis

Sophie Foster is ready to fight back.

Her talents are getting stronger, and with the elusive Black Swan group ignoring her calls for help, she’s determined to find her kidnappers—before they come after her again.

But a daring mistake leaves her world teetering on the edge of war, and causes many to fear that she has finally gone too far. And the deeper Sophie searches, the farther the conspiracy stretches, proving that her most dangerous enemy might be closer than she realizes.

In this nail-biting third book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Sophie must fight the flames of rebellion, before they destroy everyone and everything she loves.

Genre

Fantasy – Middle-Grade


My thoughts

I stubbled upon Keeper of the Lost Cities while searching for the perfect middle-gradee series to replace the irreplaceable Rick Riordan. As you may know (or perhaps you don’t), it took me over a year to finally read the first book. But once I did, I couldn’t stop (read my review for the first two books here).

So it should come as no surprise that I quickly started reading book three, Everblaze. And the least you could say is that I flew through it… Sure I was doing a readathon, which meant I was obviously going to be reading a lot. But I couldn’t have picked up a better book for that, cause after just a couple pages I was hooked and couldn’t put the book down.

“But . . . I know your heart was in the right place—even if your brain had clearly gone on vacation for the afternoon.” 

I had said, after reading book one and two of the series that it had the potential to be epic. Everblaze clearly confirmed that for me, with its intense and thrilling story. Pages after pages, and book after book, we get to discover an increasingly complex universe, full of mysteries. Whenever you think you’re finally getting answers you end up with a dozen more questions.

So don’t ever tell me middle grade books are simple, predictable and boring! On the contrary, I keep being surprised by this series. And I must say this third volume touches on some pretty tough and deep topics, that you might not expect from a book for younger readers. Plus, the final reveals from that book completely caught me off guard and I have no idea what to expect for book four.

“The right road is rarely the easy road. And no war is ever fought without casualties.”

Also, I loved that Sophie keeps growing up and is becoming more mature with each books. That also applies to the rest of the characters, who’ve become a real, unified group in this book. That « team spirit » was kind of lacking from the first two book, but it makes sense. We needed to see them become a strong team for it to seem genuine. And given the challenge they will be facing as we continue with the series, it was all the more important.

Of course, I am stil Keefe’s number one fan (can’t resist a sassy boy), and even more so after reading Everblaze. Fitz also charmed me in this book, which was a nice change from Exile in which he pissed me off. As for Dex, I must say he is not my favorite. I understand him and his actions but he’s the least mature of the groups and tends to get on my nerves. And then there’s Bianca, who was the real surprise of this book… So far she had been pretty useless and I didn’t have much of an opinion about her. But here she became this bright, courageous and fantastic character. Can’t wait to see more from here.

“Because our family doesn’t decide who we are. WE decide who we are. Believe me, it drives my parents crazy. And sometimes, that’s the only thought that gets me through the day.” 

Finally, Everblaze was heavily centered on family. What does it mean to be part of a family? Can you chose your family? Does it define you? A big topic that was well managed and very interesting in this book. I especially enjoyed the relationship with Sophie and her adoptive parents, one scene in particular had me tearing up (a bit). The parallel between them and Keefe’s situation was particularly interesting.

Long story short, I am a big fan of this saga now and I love this book. Of course, I have now acquired the entire series which won’t be staying on my TBR for long!

My rating

5/5

Gaëlle

 

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