|This article is about Book 5: Lodestar. You may be looking for the Lodestar Initiative or the Lodestar Mirror. The corresponding disambiguation page is Lodestar.|
Lodestar is the fifth book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series by Shannon Messenger. It was released on November 1, 2016. The cover shows Tam, Fitz, Sophie, and a cloaked figure with the Neverseen symbol on the left arm.
The lines between friend and enemy have blurred, and Sophie is unsure whom to trust. But when she's warned that the people she loves most will be the next victims, she knows she has to act.
A mysterious symbol could be the key—if only she knew how to translate it. Every new clue seems to lead deeper into her world's underbelly and the Black Swan aren’t the only ones who have plans. The Neverseen have their own Initiative, and if Sophie doesn’t stop it, they might finally have the ultimate means to control her.
What is the Lodestar Initiative? This name has been mentioned a couple of times in series now. Within this book, there are thrilling adventures, each with multiple game-changing events, the most prominent being Keefe joining and ditching the Neverseen (in a facade), Sophie and Edaline going to the Peace Summit and Mr. Forkle (a.k.a. Magnate Leto and Sir Astin), Brant dying, and many more threads that tie into the intricate plot. Will Sophie be able to beat the Neverseen or will they stomp out her efforts like every other time? She is growing stronger every day, her failures increasing her resilience, but will that really push back against this organization which is evidently constantly multiple steps ahead? With the help of the Black Swan and her friends, will she ever be able to live up to her potential?
This is what they want.
The words tumbled through Sophie’s mind as she raced up the spiral staircase, counting her steps, trying to guess which door to take.
The first handle she tried was locked.
Another opened into darkness.
A third revealed a path that glowed with eerie blue balefire sconces.
The floor shook as she hesitated and threads of dust slipped through the ceiling, scratching her throat and making it hurt to breathe.
She followed the flames.
Back and forth the halls snaked—a careful maze, designed to deceive. Swallow. Separate.
The tremors grew with every step, the shifting subtle but unmistakable.
And too far away.
No one else would feel the ripples swelling, like waves gathering speed.
They were too focused on their celebration.
Too caught up in their imagined victory.
The ground rattled harder, the first fissures crackling the stones.
This is what they want.
Keefe, Sophie's close friend and possible love interest, is acting as a double agent. He tries to discover the Neverseen's secrets and their two caches, Fintan and Kenric's. Sophie tries multiple times to pull him out of the Neverseen, but he doesn't agree until very late in the book. He manages to steal the two caches but sacrifices his blood, an important key, in exchange.
- A 'Lodestar' is found in both Prentice's mind (when Sophie searches his memories) and certain parts on different Neverseen hideouts and cloaks. (i.e. On a disk in Keefe's Neverseen cloak, one part of the Lodestar symbol is found. When he changes hideouts, the part of the Lodestar on the disk changes). It is revealed to be a map of all the different Neverseen hideouts. The code that is found from the area a Neverseen was in (Like the hideout Sophie went to when she was kidnapped) can go into the different lines of the lodestar.
- An Exillium camp is set up at the new Foxfire buildings. The book suggests they are preparing for a potential war. All elves, of every age, practice their skills. One such skill, Outward Channeling, helps Gethen destroy Lumenaria.
- Sophie, Biana and Fitz go to Rimeshire for a "slumber party" but end up doing some work half the night.
- Maruca is related to Wylie and her mom freaked out when Maruca told her about Wylie's condition after hearing it from Stina, who had eavesdropped on her parents. Maruca requests Sophie to convince the Collective to allow her and her mom to visit Wylie.
- A band of rebel ogres (not under King Dimitar) attacked Lady Cadence when she was over at Havenfield and everyone else who was there. Only one managed to escape: the one who killed Brielle. Sophie was trying to get information out of Gethen with Mr. Forkle, while Sandor waited outside when this happened. (Sophie and Mr. Forkle were the only people allowed to visit Gethen because they were the only people (other than Edaline) who were attending the Peace Summit.)
- Marella attempts to trigger her ability with Mr. Forkle's help. At the end of the book, it is unknown.
- When looking into the Lodestar Mirror (which reflects pure light) you also see the mirror opposite of that mirror. In the other mirror, which enlarges shadow, Tam tried to control the shadows and made a portal. When going through the portal, there is a mark in which allows you to go to all of the Neverseen's hideouts if you have a Shade.
- When Sophie, Tam, and Fitz accidentally go to a Neverseen hideout after discovering the symbol, they come upon Keefe, Alvar, Ruy, and Brant. Ruy traps Fitz and Tam in a force field (scene on the cover), but Tam is able to break through using the shadows. After defeating them, Sophie, Tam, and Fitz take Alvar, Ruy, and Brant as a prisoner. Sophie urges Keefe to come with them, but refuses and takes Alvar and a leaping crystal to Alluveterre in order to gain more trust.
- King Dimitar requests that the ogres leave the treaty and that the rest leave them and their lands in peace. He also realized that the Neverseen's methods to get the Council's attention were useless, only bringing his people pain, and is not trustful of them anymore.
- Sophie at the end of the book finds her human sister, Amy Foster/Natalie Freeman. She visits her human home with Fitz and Keefe, finding Amy in a closet. Sophie notices that she seems much older, but still recognizable.
- The book ends with a cliffhanger.