The Keeper of the Lost Cities book series is a popular young adult fantasy series written by Shannon Messenger.
The series follows the adventures of Sophie Foster, a twelve-year-old girl with telepathic abilities who discovers that she is not human, but instead is an elf from a world called the Lost Cities.
Throughout the series, Sophie learns about her past and her powers while attending Foxfire, a school for talented elves.
She makes friends and enemies and ultimately must use her abilities to help save the Lost Cities from various threats, including a rebel organization known as the Neverseen.
The series currently consists of ten books: Keeper of the Lost Cities, Exile, Everblaze, Neverseen, Lodestar, Nightfall, Flashback, Legacy, Unlocked, and Stellarlune.
The books have been praised for their compelling characters, world-building, and exciting plot twists, and have attracted a dedicated fan base of readers.
If you or your kids are big fans of the Keepers of the Lost Cities novels, then they are sure to love other fantasy books such as the infamous Harry Potter series as well as the likes of Endling: The Last, and A Tale of Magic. Check out our list of the ten best books like Keeper of the Lost Cities.
Themes In Keeper Of The Lost Cities
One of the central themes of the series is the search for identity. Sophie struggles to come to terms with her elf heritage and the truth about her past, and she must navigate the challenges that come with being different.
Friendship is a key theme throughout the series. Sophie’s relationships with her friends, including her mentor Fitz, her best friend Keefe, and her protector Biana, are central to the plot and Sophie’s personal growth.
Power And Responsibility
As Sophie’s powers grow, she must grapple with the responsibility that comes with them. She must decide how to use her abilities to make a positive impact on the world, and she must confront the consequences of her actions.
Betrayal is a recurring theme throughout the series. Sophie must navigate the complex alliances and loyalties of the world of the elves, and she often finds herself betrayed by people she thought she could trust.
Sophie faces many challenges throughout the series, and she must find the strength and resilience to overcome them. The series explores the themes of perseverance, determination, and resilience in the face of adversity.
Books Like Keeper Of The Lost Cities
Written by Chris Colfer- actor known for his role as Kurt Hummel in Glee and author of the popular Land of Stories series-, A Tale of Magic follows the adventures of Brystal Evergreen, a young girl who discovers she has magical powers and sets out to become a powerful witch in a world where magic is outlawed.
- Engaging storyline
- Strong characters
- Unique world-building
- Positive themes
- Slow start
- A somewhat predictable plot
Themes: Self-discovery, friendship, the power of knowledge, prejudice, discrimination, overcoming adversity
This next novel follows the adventures of Morrigan Crow, a young girl who is believed to be cursed and is blamed for all the misfortunes in her town.
On the night of her eleventh birthday, Morrigan is saved from certain death by a mysterious stranger named Jupiter North, who takes her to the magical city of Nevermoor.
Morrigan discovers that she has been selected to compete in a series of trials to join the Wundrous Society, a prestigious organization of talented and powerful individuals.
- Creative world-building
- Unique characters
- Exciting plot
- Some clichéd tropes
- Lack of diversity
Themes: Perseverance, friendship, individuality, courage, belonging
The first book in the Five Kingdoms series, Sky Raiders follows the adventures of a 13-year-old boy named Cole Randolph, who discovers a magical portal that takes him to a mysterious world known as the Outskirts.
In this world, Cole learns that there are five kingdoms, each with its own unique characteristics and challenges.
In the Outskirts, Cole finds himself embroiled in a war between the Sky Raiders, a group of ruthless pirates who kidnap children and sell them as slaves, and the inhabitants of the kingdoms who seek to stop them.
Cole must join forces with his new friends, Jace, Twitch, and Mira, to save the children and stop the Sky Raiders.
- Fast-paced plot
- Compelling characters
- Imaginative world-building
- Predictable plot
- Lack of character development and depth
Themes: Loyalty, bravery, friendship, good vs evil, self-discovery, resilience
Furthermore follows the adventures of a young girl named Alice Alexis Queensmeadow, with the story being set in the magical land of Ferenwood.
In Ferenwood, color is magic, and since Alice is the only person in her village without any color, she is also the only one with no magic.
Alice’s father has been missing for years, and when the village leaders come to her for help finding him, she embarks on a dangerous journey to the dark and threatening world of Furthermore to find him.
Alice is accompanied on her journey by a boy named Oliver Newbanks, who is also searching for his missing father. Together, they face a variety of challenges, including dangerous magical creatures, treacherous landscapes, and even betrayal.
- A fantastical world
- Engaging characters
- Excellent writing
- The world-building can be hard to follow at times
Themes: Self-discovery, family, friendship, bravery, self-acceptance, courage
Spy School is a popular book series by Stuart Gibbs that focuses on the adventures of a young boy named Ben Ripley who dreams of becoming a spy.
He gets his wish when he is unexpectedly recruited to attend a top-secret spy school called the CIA Academy of Espionage.
At the academy, Ben and his classmates learn a variety of spy skills, including hand-to-hand combat, surveillance, and cryptography.
But when Ben is chosen for a special mission outside of the school, he quickly discovers that real-life spy work is far more dangerous and complicated than anything he’s learned in the classroom.
- Educational value
- Strong character development
- Exciting and engaging storyline
- A lack of diversity
Themes: Espionage, loyalty, friendship, adventure, action, morality, ethics, deception, trust, betrayal
This next fantasy series aimed at tweens is set in a dystopian world of Quill where creativity, individuality, and imagination are illegal and punished, with the population being divided into three groups: Wanteds, Necessaries, and Unwanteds.
A group of children labeled as Unwanteds- including thirteen-year-old protagonist Alex- are sent to a place called the “Death Farm” to be eliminated.
However, the Death Farm is actually a secret magical world called Artimé, where their creativity is nurtured and celebrated.
- Action-packed plot
- Very creative world
- Strong themes
- Somewhat formulaic
Themes: Creativity, individuality, self-discovery, loyalty, friendship, consequences of power, rebellion, oppression, familial bonds
The Flame of Olympus follows a young girl named Emily who encounters the mythical Pegasus after the creature crash lands onto her building roof in Manhattan during an awful storm.
Emily’s meeting with Pegasus leads to her becoming embroiled in a war between the Roman gods and the Nirads, a race of stone warriors with multiple arms, to save Olympus.
- Unique premise
- Strong female lead
- A fascinating mix of mythology and contemporary setting
- Underdeveloped secondary characters
Themes: Friendship, loyalty, trust, betrayal, overcoming fear, the power of storytelling
Harry Potter is a series of seven fantasy novels that follow the life of the titular Harry Potter, who discovers on his eleventh birthday that he is a wizard.
Harry also learns that he is famous in the wizarding world, having survived an attack by the dark wizard Lord Voldemort when he was a baby.
As the series progresses, Harry attends Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he makes new friends and learns to hone his magical abilities.
He also discovers more about the wizarding world, its history, and its politics, as well as the truth about his own family and the prophecy that ties him to Voldemort.
- Richly detailed world
- Memorable and well-developed characters
- Engaging plot with numerous twists and turns
- Lengthy and complex
- Lack of diversity
Themes: Love, friendship, courage, identity, power and corruption, prejudice and discrimination
Endling: The Last is set in the world of Nedarra, a place that was once filled with many different creatures, but is now inhabited only by humans and one very rare creature, the “endling”.
The story follows the journey of Byx, the last dairne, a type of dog-like creature with the ability to speak. Byx embarks on a journey to find others of her kind, who she believes may still exist, despite rumors that they have all been hunted to extinction.
Along the way, she meets Tobble, a wobbyk, another rare creature, and Khara, a human girl who becomes their friend and ally.
The trio travels through different territories and faces many challenges, as they try to find a safe place for Byx and any other dairnes that may still be alive.
- Unique and engaging world
- Memorable characters
- A somber tone that might be too melancholy for some
Themes: Friendship, environmentalism, conservation, courage, loyalty, perseverance, determination, ethics and morality, loss, and grief
The first book in the bestselling Wings of Fire series, The Dragonet Prophecy follows the adventures of five young dragons, known as dragonets, as they try to fulfill a prophecy that predicts their role in ending a war between the seven dragon tribes of Pyrrhia.
- Exciting action and adventure
- Creative world
- Strong character development
- Lengthy exposition
Themes: Heroism, courage, responsibility, duty, overcoming prejudice and stereotyping, friendship
This series of three books- The Ever After, Among the Stars, and Warrior Princess– is a series that follows the adventures of a young girl named May Bird, who is transported to a ghostly world known as the Ever After.
- Engaging protagonist
- Strong supporting characters
- Unique setting
- The series can be a little dark, which might not be suitable for younger kids
Themes: Loyalty, friendship, finding your place in the world, overcoming fears, courage, determination
The first in a series of four books, this novel follows a group of four gifted children who are recruited by a mysterious benefactor, Mr. Benedict, to save the world from a dangerous mind-control scheme.
The four child protagonists of the series are Reynie Muldoon, an orphan with a remarkable ability to solve puzzles and think logically; Kate Wetherall, a resourceful and athletic girl with a talent for disguises and gadgets; Sticky Washington, a nervous and shy boy with a photographic memory; and Constance Contraire, a stubborn and sarcastic girl with an unexplained connection to Mr. Benedict.
Together, the children must use their unique skills and work as a team to infiltrate the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, a mysterious school that is suspected of being involved in the mind-control scheme.
- A diverse cast of characters
- Relevant themes
- Engaging storytelling
- Heavy use of exposition
Themes: Knowledge, intelligence, friendship, belonging, identity, moral responsibility, authority and power, environmentalism, deception, and manipulation
Percy Jackson and the Olympians is a popular book series that follows the adventures of a young boy named Percy Jackson, who discovers that he is the son of Poseidon (the Greek god of the sea) and is thrust into a world of mythological creatures, epic battles, and ancient gods.
The series has already been made into a popular film series, but it is also getting a new television series on the streaming service Disney Plus.
- Great incorporation of Greek mythology and history
- Lots of representation
- Highly engaging storyline
- Some readers have criticized the gender stereotyping in the series
Themes: Identity, friendship, family, responsibility, self-acceptance
So there you have thirteen books that are perfect for tweens, preteens, and young teens that are looking to engage in some fun, fantasy novels that are chock-full of imagination and engaging, unique worlds.
No matter what kind of fantasy you or your kids are looking to engage in, be it magical fantasy, spy adventures, or mythological stories, you are sure to find something that takes your interest from our extensive list!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Most Appropriate Age Group For Keeper Of The Lost Cities?
Keeper of the Lost Cities is best suited for upper middle-grade kids to young teenagers, so around age twelve and up.
What Is The Most Recent Book In The Keeper Of The Lost Cities Series?
The most recent installment in the series is Stellarlune, which was released on November 8th, 2022.