It's 2137, and a new Lord of Opium has come into power. Matt was once just a lowly clone, but after the events of The House of the Scorpion and the death of El Patron, he finds myself in a completely new and completely perilous situation. He has to gain the respect of all of El Patron's allies. He must protect the ecological biosphere in his land, and free the eejits from their zombielike trances. Not only that, but he must prevent the deaths of those he loves--including Maria. And above all, he must protect Opium, the largest land in the Dope Confederacy, without Tam Lin. It's enough to drive any fourteen-year-old clone nuts.
I found myself completely captivated when reading Nancy Farmer's The House of the Scorpion, and so as a result I found myself clamoring to get a copy of The Lord of Opium as soon as it was made available to me. However, though at this point it seems inevitable, The Lord of Opium fell short of my expectations. Compared to its predecessor, it didn't have enough plot to keep the story moving. There was a subplot involving a wacky romance which I did not find important to the development of the plot at all. In addition, the ending didn't seem decisive enough. One of The House of the Scorpion's greatest strengths was that in addition to great worldbuilding and plot, it was a coming-of-age story. That element is stripped from The Lord of Opium since Matt's growing up happened already. However, this book still has some strengths. I enjoyed how Farmer built even more of her world on top of what we already learned in Book One, and Matt's character became much more troubled in this volume. I found myself hooked to the book because of all the characters' lovableness. Overall, The Lord of Opium was a good, not great, read for any fans of The House of the Scorpion.