576p. (Keeper of the Lost Cities: Bk. 2). S & S/Aladdin. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781442445963; ebk. $12.99. ISBN 9781442445987.
Gr 5–8—This sequel to Keeper of the Lost Cities (S & S, 2012) continues the story of Sophie Foster, the girl who was brought up as human but who is really an elf with engineered DNA, which has conferred enormous power on her. She now lives with the elves in Havenfield, and has been adopted by a couple whose daughter died. Sophie tries to integrate into the elf community and be a regular kid at school. Her powers of telepathy and psychic healing, however, set her firmly apart as she helps to capture and train a unique alicorn (one with wings). As the mystery of the Black Swan group and their true allegiance continues, Sophie tries to help heal the broken minds of certain elves crucial to uncovering the secret. Clearly the middle book in a series, this title works best for readers familiar with the first book. There is plenty of action, but the story of Sophie's origins, the Black Swan and their role, and the struggle to save the world of the elves does not progress significantly. This installment lacks the sense of urgency and emotional connection of the first title.—Sue Giffard, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York City
Sophie continues to learn about her elven heritage and powers (including some disturbing ones) while struggling to clarify her connection to the rebel group Black Swan, which may have created her. Despite this installment's excessive length and inconsistent focus, Sophie's coming into her own as an unwitting "chosen one" is a compelling arc, set against a well-developed backdrop of social conflict.

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