The Lizard Queen Book One: This Shrinking World by H. L. Cherryholmes

The Lizard Queen Book One: This Shrinking World by H. L. Cherryholmes
Publisher: CreateSpace
Genre: Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (290 Pages)
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Cyclamen

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, along with the mythology of time prior to the great Lizard Queen’s expansion of this world, the prophecy of Lacáruna fell into legend.

Split among three nations, nine ancient books hold the key to this world’s creation but no one has the ability to read them. And many have come to believe the world is shrinking. The indications are there—nations’ leaders falling ill, swamps drying, militaries gathering—that is, if those signs are being interpreted correctly. No one knows because the prophesied Lacáruna, a female from another realm and the only being who can read the Lizard Queen’s language, never arrived.

What they don’t realize is that Amy Darlidale is just a tad late.

Taking a break from a stressful workweek, Amy, recently divorced CEO, drives out to her desert getaway. While on a morning jog she crosses paths with an orange lizard and, on a whim, chases it into a field. 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.

Amy Darlidale is looking for a quiet weekend after a stressful week. Instead, as she takes off after an orange lizard she spots on a morning jog, she finds herself transported into another world, a world where there are no stars and the moon is always full.

Amy is a recently divorced CEO who is extremely smart and totally driven. She is always in control, but now, she is in a world she doesn’t understand at all. She is lucky to be found by those who want her to fulfill an ancient prophecy, but soon she and her new friends are being pursued by those who will stop at nothing to keep that from happening.

This novel is the first in a planned nine part series, and as such, it does an excellent job of setting up the entire world. I was amazed at the depth of the details, from geography to flora and fauna which are radically different from anything Amy has ever experienced, to the social and religious beliefs of the land.

I found the language of the land, the variety of names, to be a hindrance to my keeping everything in order. Amy says that many of the words seem to be a form of Spanish, and that may be the case, but unfortunately, I know no Spanish, so I found that the multitude of new terms for everything in this world tangled me in a bewildering maze. While I’m sure my bewilderment matched Amy’s, I still found them daunting, and they frequently pulled me out of the story.

The plot has a number of exciting and tense scenes, with near escapes, and Amy is lucky to find true believers to help her, even if she herself doesn’t think she can fulfill a prophesy. There is also a lot of history that needs to be taught to Amy (and the reader) so that she can fully understand this world, and I was amazed at the depth of the descriptions. Truly this novel has set up a fantastic and wondrous world filled with new adventures.

Fantasy lovers who are looking for a new, rich, world to explore are sure to find that in The Lizard Queen.

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