Unlocked (Keeper of the Lost Cities #8.5) - Shannon Messenger

For Alex

You named this book—and taught me the magical ways of colorful Post-it plotting—so it seems only fair to give you the dedication too

Dear amazing Keeper readers,

I know you’re probably thinking, Okay, what exactly is this book that I’m about to read? And the answer is: something extra special, designed to be read between Legacy (Book 8) and the currently still untitled Book 9 (hence why we’re calling this “8.5”). So that means I need to start things off with a great big SPOILER ALERT.

IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE OTHER EIGHT KEEPER BOOKS—AND DON’T WANT TO HAVE ANY SECRETS SPOILED FOR YOU—STEP AWAY UNTIL YOU’RE CAUGHT UP!

(Hint: that means you’ll want to have read Keeper of the Lost Cities, Exile, Everblaze, Neverseen, Lodestar, Nightfall, Flashback, and Legacy—in that order—before reading this!)

The reason there are spoilers is because the first half of this book is a special kind of series guide, filled with details about your favorite Keeper characters and the world of the Lost Cities—plus new tidbits and information you won’t find anywhere else! You’ll also discover fun bonuses, like the gorgeous map of the Lost Cities, Keeper-themed quizzes and recipes, an Iggy coloring page, and tons of seriously amazing art—some of which comes with Keefe commentary!

And after all of that awesomeness, you’ll find a 236-page exclusive Keeper novella, continuing the main story of the series from the end of Legacy—but I’ll explain more about that when you get there.

For now, settle in for a super-fun look behind the scenes of the Keeper books—and remember to keep an eye out for those exclusive secrets!

HAPPY READING!

xo

The Registry

AUTHOR’S NOTE

ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS Sophie’s given after Fitz brings her to the Lost Cities is a registry pendant—a simple choker-style necklace containing a special crystal that allows the Council to monitor her whereabouts. I wrote that detail into the series because it felt logical that a world in which anyone can travel all over the planet on a beam of light (and where light leaping can go tragically wrong) would have safety precautions in place to allow someone to be found in an emergency.

But the Council uses the pendants for more than simply tracking a person’s location. In fact, the registry keeps files on everyone in the Lost Cities, monitoring all kinds of different things. (That’s why members of the Black Swan and the Neverseen sometimes alter their feeds to hide what they’re up to.)

So, I thought it might be fun to give you guys a peek at your favorite characters’ registry files. I have a feeling you’ll be surprised by some of the details you discover in them! And remember—these are the Council’s official records, so there may be times when you know things that they haven’t figured out yet. Don’t let that confuse you—just enjoy being smarter than the leaders of the elvin world.

(*whispers* You might also notice that certain files have been edited, both by the registry and by a certain powerful Technopath—and some files can’t be accessed at all.… The elves have tricky security!)

WARNING:

You are accessing CLASSIFIED Registry files. Unauthorized viewing is punishable by Tribunal.

REGISTRY FILE FOR Sophie Elizabeth Foster

KNOWN ABILITIES: Telepath, Polyglot, Inflictor, Teleporter, Enhancer

RESIDENCE: Havenfield

IMMEDIATE FAMILY: Unknown

ADOPTED BY: Grady and Edaline Ruewen

MATCH STATUS: Unmatchable

EDUCATION: Current Foxfire prodigy

NEXUS: No longer required

PATHFINDER: Not assigned. Restricted to Leapmasters and home crystals.

SPYBALL APPROVAL: None

MEMBER OF THE NOBILITY: Yes

TITLE: Lady

NOBLE ASSIGNMENT: Regent; leader of Team Valiant; point of contact for the alicorns

SIGNIFICANT CONNECTIONS: Cognate to Fitz Vacker; fealty-sworn member of the Black Swan; human family under the protection of the Council; former Wayward at Exillium

ASSIGNED BODYGUARD(S): Sandor (goblin); Flori (gnome); Bo (ogre—temporarily reassigned); Tarina (troll—indefinitely on leave); Nubiti (dwarf—indefinitely on leave)

A CHILD OF UNTRADITIONAL ORIGINS:

In what was hopefully a first (and last) for our world, Sophie was born and raised by two humans (formerly known as Will and Emma Foster, relocated once as Connor and Kate Freeman, and again as [REDACTED FOR SECURITY] in an area of the Forbidden Cities that the humans call San Diego, California. She had one human sibling (Amy Foster, relocated once as Natalie Freeman, and again as [REDACTED FOR SECURITY], who was briefly a resident of the Lost Cities and was allowed to retain her memories of that time. But there is no genetic connection between Sophie and her human sister, or between Sophie and her human parents. Sophie’s embryo was created from the genetic materials of two unknown elves and implanted into her human mother by a member of the Black Swan who goes by the false

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