57 pages 1 hour read

Olivie Blake

The Atlas Six

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2020

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Summary and Study Guide


The Atlas Six, the first book of Olivie Blake’s Atlas series, was published in 2020. Mixing fantasy and magical realism, The Atlas Six is a young adult novel that explores power, ambition, morality, relationships, and LGBTQ+ themes.

Olivie Blake, the pen name of Los Angeles-based author Alexene Farol Follmuth, is a writer of fantasy and romance novels. Following the success of her self-published romance Alone with You in the Ether (2020), The Atlas Six gained acclaim on TikTok leading to its ascension as a New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller. Its sequel, The Atlas Paradox, was released in 2022. Blake has also written several graphic series illustrated by artist Little Chmura, including Clara and the Devil (2020-ongoing) and the Alpha series (2017-ongoing). Her young adult novel My Mechanical Romance was published in May 2022 by Holiday House in the US and Macmillan Children’s in the UK.

This study guide is based on the 2021 Kindle edition of the text.

Content Warning: The source material mentions the characters’ past experiences of domestic abuse and sexual assault, and contains depictions of suicide.

Plot Summary

In a world similar to our own, magicians of high caliber called medeians wield specialized magic, such as naturalists who can grow plants, physicists who can manipulate matter, empaths who can influence emotions, and illusionists who can disguise people’s appearances. Six of these medeians are recruited by Atlas Blakely, a mysterious Caretaker who invites them to train in order to be initiated into the Alexandrian Society. The Society, which has been secretly taking care of the archives of the Great Library of Alexandria after it faked its destruction to escape human greed, initiates five out of the best six medeians in the world every 10 years.

The newest recruits are Libby and Nico, two physicists, Callum, an empath, Tristan, an illusionist, Reina, a naturalist, and Parisa, a telepath. Over a year, while living in the Society’s house, they learn about the Society’s history and hone their specialties while experimenting with time, space, and thought. They also learn about an enemy group called the Forum that wants to make knowledge freely available. Eventually, they learn that for five of them to be initiated, the sixth must die. As they navigate internal alliances and conflicts, they are also threatened by Atlas, who has been working to take down the Society. His accomplice Ezra, who posed as Libby’s boyfriend, is a medeian with the ability to jump through time, which he uses to abduct Libby. At the end of the book, the five others are initiated by Atlas, whose plans they are not aware of, and they swear an oath to find Libby.

The narrative style of the story is intricate, characterized by complex sentences, figurative language, and literary and philosophical references. The characters’ points of view are heavily reflective, bringing to light the complexities of their relationships. The tone is often dark and almost lyrical, with occasional light-hearted interactions between the characters.