Legacy (8) (Keeper of the Lost Cities)

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Product Description Illusions shatter—and Sophie and her friends face impossible choices—in this astonishing eighth book in the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling Keeper of the Lost Cities series. Sophie Foster wants answers. But after a lifetime of lies, sometimes the truth is the most dangerous discovery. Even the smallest secret comes with terrifying new responsibilities. And Sophie’s not the only one with blank spots in her past, or mysteries surrounding her family. She and her friends are part of something much bigger than they imagined—and their roles have already been chosen for them. Every clue drags them deeper into the conspiracy. Every memory forces them to question everything—especially one another. And the harder they fight, the more the lines blur between friend and enemy. About the Author Shannon Messenger graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, where she learned—among other things—that she liked watching movies much better than making them. She’s studied art, screenwriting, and film production, but she realized her real passion was writing stories for children. She’s the  New York Times and  USA TODAY bestselling author of the award-winning middle grade series, Keeper of the Lost Cities, as well as the Sky Fall series for young adults. Her books have been featured on multiple state reading lists, published in numerous countries, and translated into many different languages. She lives in Southern California with an embarrassing number of cats. Find her online at ShannonMessenger.com. Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. Chapter One ONE YOU LOOK CONFUSED,” MR. FORKLE said, and the lilt of his tone made Sophie wonder if his lips were twitching with a smile—but she couldn’t pull her eyes away from the round, gilded door he’d brought her to, tucked into the side of a rolling, grassy hill. The place reminded her of a hobbit hole. But Sophie had been living in the Lost Cities long enough to know better than to voice that observation. All it would earn her was laughter. Or perhaps some impossible-to-believe story about how Mr. Forkle had once brought J. R. R. Tolkien there and provided him with the inspiration. “I thought you were taking me to your office,” she told him, shifting her gaze toward the windblown meadow and searching the swaying wildflowers for clues as to where they were. “I did.” Sophie opened her mouth to argue—then realized what he meant. He’d brought her to his office. Not Magnate Leto’s office at Foxfire, like she’d been expecting. Which was an easy mistake to make, considering the fact that Mr. Forkle and Magnate Leto were actually the same person—and “Mr. Forkle” was his much more enigmatic side. “So, this is your secret office,” she clarified, feeling goose bumps prickle her skin at the thought. “One of them,” Mr. Forkle confirmed, winking as he shuffled his ruckleberry-bloated body closer to the door. He leaned in and licked a spot on the left side of the door, which must’ve been a camouflaged DNA sensor because a rectangular panel slid open in the center, revealing five spinning, fist-size cogs lined up in a neat row: one silver, one copper, one iron, one bronze, and one steel. “Did Tinker design this place?” Sophie asked, remembering the abundance of gleaming gears she’d seen decorating the walls of Widgetmoor, as well as the Technopath’s clear fondness for the number five. But that wasn’t the question she should’ve been focusing on, so she quickly added, “And why are we here?” Mr. Forkle twisted the cogs one by one, entering some sort of complicated combination. “You said we needed to talk. Isn’t that why you requested this meeting?” “It is, but…” Sophie’s words trailed off as the last cog clicked into place, making the ground rumble and the golden door sink into a slit that appeared in the damp earth. Cold air blasted her face from the dark room beyond, blowing strands of her blond hair into her eyes as she took an eager step forwa

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