The Lord of Opium (#2)

Previous: The House of the Scorpion

As the teenage ruler of his own country, Matt must cope with clones and cartels in this riveting sequel to the modern classic House of the Scorpion, winner of the National Book Award, a Newbery Honor, and a Printz Honor.

Matt has always been nothing but a clone—grown from a strip of old El Patron’s skin. Now, at age fourteen, he finds himself suddenly thrust into the position of ruling over his own country. The Land of Opium is the largest territory of the Dope Confederacy, which ranges on the map like an intestine 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 in Opium is the cure.

And that isn’t all that awaits within the depths of Opium. Matt is haunted by the ubiquitous army of eejits, zombielike workers harnessed to the old El Patron’s sinister system of drug growing—people stripped of the very qualities that once made them human.

Matt wants to use his newfound power to help, to 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, some from the enemies that surround him…and some from a voice within himself. For who is Matt really, but the clone of an evil, murderous dictator?

Reviews

“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. The satisfying ending is left open enough to allow for further stories, and Farmer includes an appendix that links real people and places to the book. A stellar sequel worth the wait.”

Booklist, 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."

Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Matt discovers that good and evil are not always clear-cut as he struggles to gain control over an empire long ago corrupted. Readers of the first book will be able to fill in the background on all that Farmer implies, and will appreciate the continuing stories of familiar characters.”

School Library Journal

"The landscape of dystopian literature has changed significantly since the first book, but this sequel is still a cut above the rest."

Horn Book

"This sequel to the award-winning House Of The Scorpion [...] is both science fiction and a reflection of contemporary issues. Politically savvy teens will recognize the dilemma of leaders caught in an intricate web of choices and consequences (Guantanamo, anyone?). Cloning, legalization of drugs, environmental degradation, runaway technology—all make an unsettling appearance [...] The story is stronger and more cohesive, the moral questions more subtle than in House Of The Scorpion."

VOYA

Awards & Accolades

Rights