When she was found barely coherent and staggering over sand dunes, word spread fast that the prophecy had finally come to pass and Lacáruna had been delivered to initiate the next expansion of this world. The trouble is Lacáruna has been removed from the world she’s intended to expand. Amy Darlidale must return to her mission before any harm can come to her friends. Fortunately, she knows the way back and, unlike the first time Amy found herself under a full moon in a starless sky, she knows what she’s up against.
In order to fulfill the Promise of a New Morphósis Amy understands that the actual prophecy has to be found, but 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. Licha and Jandro, the young companions who have been with her from the start, along with the Trotéjo comrades who have sworn to protect her—Dack, who has saved her life more than once, and their new ally Sheng, a Palace Guard who has joined their quest, continue pushing forward as their obstacles multiply. Unsure what answers might be found in the first mythic journals of this world’s origins, Amy searches for clues.
But secretly she’s begun seeing visions and receiving messages from forces unknown. As she tries to understand the extent of her power others are becoming 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.
A Spectacular Lie
by H.L. Cherryholmes
Lizard Queen #3
April 7, 2015
Picks up in the real world, but doesn’t stay there too long.
A Spectacular Lie is all about Amy and her companions’ escape from the Centurions and their concurrent journey towards where they believe the next three Extiguos are held. As with the previous two, this one features quite a bit of time on the road, figuratively speaking.
What I liked most about it was that we finally get to learn more about La Reina, the mysterious Lizard Queen who expanded the world. Stuck aboard a ship that takes a detour to process fish, Amy has plenty of time to dig in and read the hard-won first three Extiguos. It’s a story within a story. I found the purposeful discrepancies between the translations mentioned by Amy’s companions, the scattered beliefs of the various countries and religious factions, and the version Amy reads fascinating. I’m impressed at how well each version is kept straight and consistent by the author.
I also like the intrigue that blooms aboard the ship when Amy and the others discover someone has likely learned who they are and what they have. Dack’s attempts to divert without consulting Jandro or Amy add a bit of tension.
It annoyed me a little how silly and careless Amy can be. She may be 40ish, but the teenager in her seems to peek out at the worst times. She knows she’s sought after, but when Dack tries to protect her, she gets obstinate. It seems the main way the story is shifted in preparation for the next book in the series, only the details are different.
Overall, I really liked the story. The intriguing backstory and solid, expansive world-building are what I enjoyed most. Folks who like quests and mysteries in a fantasy setting will likely enjoy this story.
The review copy of A Spectacular Lie was supplied by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.
ABOUT AUTHOR H.L. CHERRYHOLMES
H.L. Cherryholmes, author of The Lizard Queen Series, Come Back for Me, and A Slight Touch was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico but has spent most of his adult life in Southern California. He has a BFA from University of New Mexico and a Master’s degree in Playwriting from the University of California, Los Angeles. Currently, he lives in Los Angeles and Palm Springs with his husband, Ron Cogan.