Why I’m Team Keefe for the Keeper of the Lost Cities Series (Spoilers)

Spoilers for books 1-7 of the Keeper of the Lost Cities series!  Read at your own risk!

Read enough children’s books and you know exactly how the romance will go.  Not once have I ever read a love triangle in a YA book and been surprised at the final outcome.  And never have I rooted against the eventual “winner” because it is usually so obvious that the other boy is not compatible with the protagonist.  However, the Keeper of the Lost Cities series finally has me guessing about a romance.  And I may or may not be rooting for the eventual winner.

When I began the series, I simply assumed that Sophie would end up with Fitz.  Even among elves, who are all fabulously wealthy and incredibly beautiful, Fitz, as a member of one of Eternalia’s leading families, manages to exude an aura of excessive wealth and extreme good looks.  He even has an accent for no apparent reason, making him seem like sort sort of British prince waiting to sweep Sophie off her feet.  More than this, however, is the fact that Fitz was the first elf Sophie met, the one who brought her “home,” the one she formed a first bond with.  And, of course, he’s a Telepath and, eventually, her Cognate, meaning they must share all secrets with each other.  Imagining Sophie in a relationship with someone else and sharing all that with another man is, to put mildly, an uncomfortably weird image.  Will she end up telling Fitz secrets from her eventual marriage??  It almost seems like Sophie must end up with Fitz, lest her lover get jealous or uncomfortable with her incredibly intimate relationship with another man.

Interestingly, however, as the series has progressed, Fitz has managed to fade into the background–even though Sophie has had a crush on him as long as she has known him.  Even though Sophie is supposed to be doing Cognate training with him.  Sophie seems to spend the majority of her time, not even with her “best friend” Dex (who has really disappeared over the course of the series), but with Keefe.  And, even though Keefe is supposed to be a “bad boy” (meaning he pulls juvenile pranks at school), it is Keefe who has shown the most emotional maturity of any of Sophie’s friends.

Keefe’s abilities as an Empath make him naturally attuned to Sophie’s emotions.  He has used his knowledge of her emotions to help support her in ways the others cannot, since Sophie so often closes herself off to others (especially her parents).  Keefe has undoubtedly become Sophie’s rock and he knows her better than anyone–even Fitz–because Sophie chooses to open up to him, even when she does not have to, because she believes that doing so helps Keefe open up himself.  They have been exchanging secrets and worries for a long time, building up their relationship, becoming closer, choosing to accept each other even with their flaws.  Sophie has never reached that level of emotional intimacy with Fitz both because she’s too afraid he will reject her.

Fitz very may well reject Sophie–not because of who she is or what she has done–but because, over the course of the series, he has revealed that he is very invested in his social image.  If Sophie is not on his Match list, if Sophie is not going to be an asset to his reputation, Fitz seems perfectly capable of dropping her, even if he likes her.  He, quite simply, is not as emotionally mature as Keefe, even though it is Keefe who has a bad reputation and Fitz who is the “perfect” catch.  And he has revealed that in more ways than one.

Book seven made Fitz’s anger issues particularly prominent.  Fitz has a habit of blaming Sophie for things that are not her fault, and then refusing to speak to her.  For example, when her null accidentally interferes with his attempts to punish his brother, he initially becomes angry, then denies he was angry at her.  No one, including Sophie, knew the null could interfere with other signals–yet Fitz lashes out.  And that’s not even getting into his reaction to his brother’s probation, his desire to kill his brother, and his eventual choice to allow his brother to die.

More concerning, perhaps, than Fitz’s anger issues is, however, Sophie’s acceptance of them.  She always wants to support Fitz, so she never tells him he is wrong.  Instead, she affirms all his choices, so he never has to feel bad about them.  It is always Keefe, Fitz’s best friend, who finds the words to tell Fitz that he supports him, but also that he expects Fitz to do better.  Again, Keefe shows his emotional maturity in his ability to challenge his friend to be his best self; Sophie simply enables Fitz, hoping it will make him like her.  But if Sophie cannot be honest with Fitz, if she cannot find a way to disagree with him, she should not be in a relationship with her.

I really thought at the beginning that Fitz would be Sophie’s final choice.  As the series has progressed, however, it seems like Shannon Messenger may have changed her mind.  Perhaps Fitz was once meant to be “the one.”  But, as the book has expanded from five books, to seven, to nine, I think some unexpected character changes have occurred.  Fitz is becoming an unviable love interest while “bad boy” Keefe has become sensitive, sympathetic, and supportive.   Things may look bleak for Team Keefe at the moment.  But I think there’s still time for the Fitzphie ship to sink and Team Foster-Keefe to rise.

What Team are you on?

24 thoughts on “Why I’m Team Keefe for the Keeper of the Lost Cities Series (Spoilers)

  1. Aria says:

    I’m totally for Keefe + Sophie !!
    Like you said, he is the one who understand her the best and do all to support her. =) (unlike Fitz who just except her to share the same opinion as him all the time, and think he understand her the best just because there are Cognate …).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Krysta says:

      Yeah, even though Sophie and Fitz are Cognates, it seems like Sophie is more open with Keefe about a lot of things! And Keefe is always there for Sophie, while Fitz has some anger issues he needs to resolve first.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Annie says:

        This is so true. When you get to book eight there’s some problems with being a bad match. I feel like Fitz would pressure Sophie into telling who her biological mother and father were and it would just push him away. Where as, Keefe probably wouldn’t mind being a bad match at all. So that’s another reason I’m team #sokeefe

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Vivian says:

    [SPOILERS AHEAD] Definitely team Foster-Keefe. I feel like even if Fitz and Sophie were to get back together for some reason, her not telling him who her biological dad is or her not revealing to the world her biological mom will push them apart. Fitz cares a lot about his image, and I feel like that will be the end of their relationship – dating at least. Also, Fitz will probably get mad at Sophie again over something else that wasn’t even really her fault which would just be adding salt to the wound.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Krysta says:

      Yes, it became increasingly clear over the series that Fitz has some things he needs to sort out before getting into a relationship. He cares far too much about his social image and definitely has some anger issues! Issues Sophie is always quick to forgive, meaning no one ever asks Fitz to address the problem.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. anonymous says:

    I was always on team Sophitz. But I realized (after reading your opinions), that Fitz cares too much about his image. After him getting so mad at Sophie about something that upset her, her biological parents, I knew that he had a really short temper. It’s time for Sophie’s hopeless crush on Fitz to end and Team Foster Keefe to shine!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Keefee boi says:

    I didn’t really like Keefe at the start of the series, and I still even preferred Fitz throughout Exile, even though my friends all switched over to Sokeefe. Then through Everblaze (which is actually a good book for Fitz) I noticed how at ease Sophie seemed with him compared to Fitz, and how much more deep of a character he was than I originally though in the first two. Sokeefe forever!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Book Gal says:

    I must admit, through the whole series till Unlocked I was Team Sophitz, but them I read it, and since there were parts from Keefe I saw how deep he was and how he was willing to give up Sophie to make her happier. Then I realized how shallow Fitz was, getting mad at her countless times for things beyond her control and making her go through so much heartbreak. Then I went to Team Foster-Keefe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Krysta says:

      Yeah, for the first book or two I was rooting for Fitz, but eventually it seemed like he cares more about himself/his image than he cares about Sophie. I think he has the potential to change, but he isn’t there yet!

      Liked by 1 person

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