Book Review: The Lord of Opium – Nancy Farmer

Published: September 3, 2013
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Format: Novel
Genre And Themes: Young Adult, Dystopia, Romance, Drugs, Death
Length: 411 pages, Hardcover
Ebook ISBN/ASIN: 1442482540 (ISBN13: 9781442482548)
Characters: Matteo Alacran, El Patron, Tam Lin, Maria Mendoza, Chacho, Fidelito, Ton-Ton, Celia, Mirasol

Now, The Lord of Opium may not have the same literary awards received by its predecessor – The House of the Scorpion but it’s still as strong, story-wise.

This book started a good few hours during the funeral of El Patron and from thereon, Matt’s young life is about to really change because he is technically The Lord of Opium (still no spoiler) thus becoming the most powerful man in the world (by default).

This one is as riveting as the first book. I loved the characters of the “Lost Boys” especially little Fidelito. He is my favorite character here aside from Matt. I really connected to his character because he kinda reminded me of my 6 year old nephew.

Then there’s Mirasol. The author really knows where to give us the feels. The ‘relationship’ between her and Matt was just heartbreaking. I dare you not to feel anything for her. You’d lose.

There are tons of things here that maybe a bit too much for some I think. I mean, I loved every single details of it although some readers may find it too crowded. Nevertheless, it’s good to imagine such things and wish for a possible third book.

The relationship of Matt and Maria was finally rekindled here and I loved that Matt was finding his own identity separate from El Patron. It’s odd that he is basically the same person but different at the same time.

I just want to dissect everything about this book, including the zombie-like eejits, the drug lords, the countries surrounding Opium and more importantly – how Mattero will run it as a totally grown man! Man’ I’d kill for a third book!

Again, my friends – I cannot recommend this high enough!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

About The Author
Nancy was born in 1941 in Phoenix and grew up in a hotel on the Arizona-Mexico border where she worked the switchboard at the age of nine. She also found time to hang out in the old state prison and the hobo jungle along the banks of the Colorado River. She attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon, earning her BA in 1963. Instead of taking a regular job, she joined the Peace Corps and was sent to India (1963-1965). When she returned, she moved into a commune in Berkeley, sold newspapers on the street for a while, then got a job in the Entomology department at UC Berkeley and also took courses in Chemistry there. Restless, again, she decided to visit Africa. She and a friend tried to hitchhike by boat but the ship they’d selected turned out to be stolen and was boarded by the Coast Guard just outside the Golden Gate Bridge. Nancy eventually got to Africa on a legal ship. She spent more than a year on Lake Cabora Bassa in Mozambique, monitoring water weeds. Next she was hired to help control tsetse fly in the dense bush on the banks of the Zambezi in Zimbabwe. Part of the time she spent in the capital, Harare, and was introduced to her soon-to-be husband by his soon-to-be ex-girlfriend. He proposed a week later. Harold and Nancy now live in the Chiricahua Mountains of Arizona on a major drug route for the Sinaloa Cartel. This is the setting for The Lord of Opium. They have a son, Daniel, who is in the U.S. navy.
Nancy’s honors include the National Book Award for The House of the Scorpion and Newbery Honors for The Ear, the Eye and The Arm, A Girl Named Disaster and The House of the Scorpion. She is the author of nine novels, three picture books and a number of short stories. Her books have been translated into 26 languages.

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