Keeper of the Lost Cities (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #1) by Shannon Messenger | I’m hooked and plan to binge-read this series!

I need to thank Regan from PeruseProject for voraciously reading this fantasy series last year, always so excited about the next installment! Her reading vlogs made me want to purchase the entire box set for myself, and that’s when I spotted the ARC of the first book on NetGalley

Simon & Schuster Children’s UK are re-publishing this wonderful middle-grade / YA series, and I’m so happy that I got approved and had a chance to try the first book.I instantly became addicted to the characters and already got myself a couple of next books in this series.

goodreads blurb:

Twelve-year-old Sophie Foster has a secret.

She is a Telepath, and has the power to hear the thoughts of everyone around her – something that she’s never spoken about, even to her own family.

But everything changes the day she meets Fitz, a mysterious boy who also reads minds. She discovers there’s somewhere she does belong, and staying where she is will put her in grave danger. In the blink of an eye, Sophie is forced to leave behind everything and start a new life in a magical world.

Sophie has new rules to learn, and not everyone is thrilled with her “homecoming”. There are secrets buried deep in Sophie’s memory, secrets that other people desperately want.

Would even kill for . . .


Thank you Netgalley and Simon & Schuster Children’s UK for a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the company or its affiliates in any way.

Do you see the sticker on the cover that says “Perfect for the fans of Harry Potter”? Well, that’s one of those stickers that are actually true! This book is perfect not only for the fans of Harry Potter, but it’s also perfect for everyone who is looking for:

  • a new magical world, 
  • school setting,
  • classes in magical subjects, and stressful exam time,
  • friendship, and
  • a lot of mysterious things (that we aren’t allowed to know until the later books in the series!). 

I’m completely smitten with Sophie and her group of friends, and I hope that every single one of you also picks up this book sometime in the future!


1 – «Keeper of the Lost Cities» reminded me just how much I love reading books about magical schools! And it’s not only the premise, I also love the mundane, day-to-day things – from getting up to studying and attempting not to fail exams. Sophie discovers her heritage when she is already twelve years old, which means that those 12 years that she could have spent in the magical world, she spent with humans, learning things that are useless (and at times completely wrong!). 

Even though I’m much closer to my 30s than to my early teens, when I was reading this book I felt the same tug that I used to feel when reading Harry Potter – the wish to be a kid again, to find out that I actually belong in another world and study in a magical school

2 – Now that I keep mentioning Harry Potter, I just have to say that «Keeper of the Lost Cities» does have a similar structure to Harry Potter books. The first book began early into the second year at Foxfire academy and ended with the summer holidays. Our main heroine, Sophie, only found out about her real heritage when she was 12. The mysteries unravel during the school year, just like in HP. 

Besides the nostalgia, reading «Keeper of the Lost Cities» brought me so much joy! 

3 – I’m very excited to discover more details about this world. Shannon Messenger is an amazing writer. Her stories flow so well, and little details that she adds helpt to build a vaster, more interesting world. The first book left a lot of unanswered questions, many different ways the plot could explore, and introduced us to a very large cast of characters. There are a lot of things to learn still, and I’m planning to read «Exile», the second book in this series, in March. 

(All I want to do is pick it up right now, but I need to read my initial February TBR!)

4 – Even though this is a middle-grade book, none of the mysteries were predictable. Each reveal was still a huge surprise. I’m sure I would have loved this book even more as a pre-teen or early teen. But the fact that I was able to enjoy it so much as an adult speaks highly about the quality of Shannon Messenger’s book. 

My Rating:

After scrolling through GoodReads reviews, I noticed that most people that didn’t like the book talk about how it “copied” a lot of Harry Potter things. For me though, if I loved Harry Potter, I most definitely will like anything similar to it! «Keeper of the Lost Cities» is told in a similar way that Harry Potter was, but the story, the setting and the magic is completely different. 

Do you look for books inspired by Harry Potter? Have you read «Keeper of the Lost Cities»? 

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11 thoughts on “Keeper of the Lost Cities (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #1) by Shannon Messenger | I’m hooked and plan to binge-read this series!

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