The Lord of Opium: Book summary and reviews of The Lord of Opium by Nancy Farmer

The Lord of Opium

by Nancy Farmer

The Lord of Opium

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About this book

Book Summary

Matt has always been nothing but a clone - an exact replica, grown from a strip of old El Patron's skin. Now, age fourteen, Matt suddenly finds himself thrust into the position of ruling over his own country, Opium, on the one-time border between the US and Mexico, stretching from the ruins of San Diego to the ruins of Matamoros. But while Opium thrives, the rest of the world has been devastated by ecological disaster… and hidden somewhere in Opium is the cure.

And that isn't all that's hidden within the depths of Opium. Matt is haunted by the ubiquitous army of eejits, zombie-like workers harnessed to the old El Patron's sinister system of drug growing...people stripped of the very qualities which once made them human. Matt wants to use his newfound power to help stop the suffering, but he can't even find a way to smuggle his childhood love Maria across the border and into Opium. Instead, his every move hits a roadblock - both from the traitors that surround him and from a voice within himself. For who is Matt really but the clone of an evil, murderous dictator?

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Once again, Farmer's near-future world offers an electric blend of horrors and beauty. Lyrically written and filled with well-rounded, sometimes thorny characters, this superb novel is well worth the wait. Ages 12–up." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Most young readers who loved The House of the Scorpion (2002) when it was first released are now adults, and today's teen audience will need to read the first title in order to fully understand Farmer's brilliantly realized world…. A stellar sequel worth the wait." - Booklist

"A vividly imagined tale of a future world full of fascinating characters and moral themes - a tremendous backdrop for one young man's search for identity." - Kirkus

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Author Information

Nancy Farmer Author Biography

Nancy Farmer has written three Newbery Honor Books: The Ear the Eye and the Arm; A Girl Named Disaster; and The House of the Scorpion, which, in 2002, also won the National Book Award. Other books include Do You Know Me, The Warm Place, and three picture books for young children. She grew up on the Arizona-Mexico border, and now lives with her family in Menlo Park, California.

Bibliography (to June 2008)

Novels and picture books

  • The Mirror [novella] (1987)
  • Do You Know Me (1993)
  • The Ear, the Eye and the Arm (1994)
  • Runnery Granary [picture book] (1996)
  • A Girl Named Disaster (1996)
  • Casey Jones' Fireman [picture book] (1999)
  • The House of the Scorpion (2002)
  • The Sea of Trolls (2004)
  • Clever Ali [picture book (2006)
  • The Land of the Silver Apples [...

Full Biography
Author Interview
Link to Nancy Farmer's Website

Name Pronunciation
Nancy Farmer: Nansee FAHR-muhr

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