Author: H.L. Cherryholmes
Rating: 4 stars
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.
300 years ago, in a nameless world, a prophecy passed unfulfilled. A secret society that formed to prevent its occurrence believed it was their doing, while the secret society created to ensure that the prophecy came to pass wasn’t certain it had been stopped at all. Eventually, the prophecy of Lacáruna, a female from another realm and the only being who can read the Lizard Queen’s language, fell into legend. What no one realizes, however, is that Amy Darlidale is just a tad late.
THIS SHRINKING WORLD
Taking a break from a stressful workweek, Amy, a recently divorced CEO, goes out for a morning jog and crosses paths with an orange lizard. Suddenly, she finds herself under a starless sky confronted by oddly marked and strangely colored people who claim she’s there to rescue the world from evil’s grasp and expand it once again. But not everyone wants that to happen so there’s a price on her head. This is far from the relaxing weekend Amy had intended.
FROM THE ASHES
Along with the young companions who found her, Licha and Jandro, Amy has accompanied the swaggering Colonel Dack Sangcertigre—a member of the Trotéjo, the secret society sworn to protect her—to his home nation in search of a plan to fulfill the Promise of a New Morphósis. As the body count rises and she is confronted with raving rulers, military machinations, and crafty clergy, she quickly realizes there must be much more at stake than merely finding the prophecy.
A SPECTACULAR LIE
The sense of order in this mysterious world continues to collapse. Fires rage, clans are being slaughtered and townsfolk massacred, and leaders have proclaimed a great evil has returned. As Amy searches for clues within the first mythic journals of this world’s origins, she’s begun seeing visions and receiving messages from forces unknown. While she’s trying to understand the extent of her power others have become aware of it as well. Soon a new group with its own mysterious agenda believes Amy may have another fated purpose and only she can save herself from their terrifying trap.
The Lizard Queen, Volume One, is actually a mammoth of a book combining the first three books in the Lizard Queen series, a collection of sorts. The books are: The Shrinkiing World, From the Ashes, and A Spectacular Lie.
In This Shrinking World, we’re introduced to our main character, Amy, a recently dicovered CEO who goes on a jog one day, comes across an orange lizard, and is transported to a world very different from her own. Here, evil awaits around every corner, strangely colored people claim she’s been sent to rescue their world, and there’s a bounty on her head.
While the idea of a modern-day person being sent into a fantasy world is by no means original, the author does manage to give the story a lot of different, original spins, making it an intriguing fantasy world. It all starts and falls with the main character, and Amy is most definitely intriguing. As a nearly forty-year-old woman, you wouldn’t think she’d make a good choice as protagonist, but she’s excellent. She’s mature, accepts help when she needs to, she’s clever, witty, and brave.
This book is pretty much an introduction, and it has a slow build up, as the author describes the setting, the world the heroine finds herself in, the rules of this world and its inhabitants. In the second book, From The Ashes, the plot really picks up. I don’t want to spoil the plot, since we’re already in the second part of the three-part volume here, but the pacing picks up, the characters grow and change, and evil comes closer.
The third book, A Spectacular Lie, closes off volume one. The author keeps on expanding the back story and adding more to the history of the world Amy finds herself in, and that makes the story richer and grander, a fantasy epic in the making.
This is an intriguing first volume in a well-crafted fantasy series, with expansive world-building and memorable characters. While Amy was my favorite, I liked the secondary characters – in particular her traveling companions – too. The first part is a bit slow to get through, but the pacing really picks up in part two and three.