by H.L. Cherryholmes
Though she’s unable to finish reading the final Extiguo to determine her role in bringing about the New Morphósis, Amy Darlidale quickly learns that Runakopolis puts her and her friends on the threshold of another major discovery.
A new mystery seems to hold clues to the origins of the Trotéjo and the Arañalianza. Beginning to sense that the ideologies at conflict have been preserved not only by clergy and government but also by culture, Amy is drawn into an enigmatic society of scholars.
At first, pages missing from library books and a new theory about the first Morphósis don’t seem to be connected to the Lacáruna prophecy, but the lines of military, church, and academia continue to intersect and familiar faces and adversaries reemerge. Rumors of war are spreading quickly, and whispers that La Arañota will soon rise again are amplifying. This world seems on the verge of shrinking much faster than anyone anticipated.
This is book 8 of 9 in the Lizard Queen series, and it doesn’t disappoint. It unfolds like a mystery as Amy and her companions chase lead after lead. The Extiguos, the books they’d thought would reveal the prophecy, didn’t pan out and now they’re struggling to figure out what’s next.
I really liked how this book draws everything together from the previous books. All the little threads that were woven in but not explained previously are tightened up and start to take shape. Several of the characters are going through some tough times, trying to recover from traumatic experiences, which makes things interesting. Even Amy seems to be getting to the end of her tolerance. But still, it’s the new threads that kept me reading.
The new characters are as interesting as the established ones, particularly as good and bad get a bit fuzzy. I also enjoyed the revelations surrounding the Trotéjo and Arañalianza, as well as all the new theories some of the new characters bring to the table. It’s a very cerebral read in that respect, all full of lore and theory. Still, there’s some action and magic, and plenty of sleuthing, which keeps it moving in between the debates.
I did notice, however, that debates and dialog were quite heavy in this installment. I suppose it had to be as everyone’s trying to figure out together what’s going on and trying to understand what’s happened before, but I think it led to a lot less action than in some of the previous books.
Anyhow, I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to the last one. I’d recommend this to folks who enjoy fantasy with magic, parallel worlds, and lots of intrigue and mystery.
I received the review copy of this book from the author.
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