5 Star Review
Inhabited by various creatures, the magical world of Testatha has existed in peace since the White Crystal, which can open rifts between worlds, has been lost. This is until a rumor surfaces that twenty-two years after the crystal shook the world, it has been found again and hidden…
Natka Roqueze has never been anything special. To be precise: she isn’t even sure who or what she is. All she knows is that her depression is getting out of control, and that she might find the answer to her pain, when she finds the White Crystal.
But who has it? The humans might wield it, to banish all magic. The angels might have it, so that they can return to Heaven. The Fae might keep it, to rule the world. The daimons, including the gorgeous but dangerous Devton, might use it for personal gain.
Everyone in this world has secrets. Everyone has something they want to hide. With death and danger looming over the Clepsydra Society, depending on the White Crystal’s untamed power, Natka will have to find the artefact before the world suffers the consequences of someone beating her to it.
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by Michael Beas
Book Review: "Lapidary" - A Riveting Blend of Magic, Mystery, and Self-Discovery
In her spellbinding debut novel, "Lapidary," author Tayla Jean Grossberg invites readers into the enchanting world of Testatha, where mystical creatures coexist and secrets abound. Set against the backdrop of a peaceful realm that has thrived since the disappearance of the White Crystal, a powerful artifact capable of opening rifts between worlds, Grossberg weaves a captivating tale filled with intrigue, danger, and a protagonist's personal journey of self-discovery.
Natka Roqueze, our resilient and relatable heroine, finds herself grappling with the burdens of depression and an overwhelming desire to uncover the truth about her identity. Drawn by a glimmer of hope, Natka embarks on a quest to find the elusive White Crystal, believing it holds the key to alleviating her pain. However, the search quickly becomes a race against time as rumors circulate that the crystal, after twenty-two years of being lost, has resurfaced, only to be hidden away once again.
As Natka delves deeper into this treacherous pursuit, she encounters a multitude of factions vying for control of the White Crystal's untamed power. The humans seek to eliminate magic, the angels yearn to return to Heaven, the Fae hunger for dominion over the world, and the daimons, particularly the dangerously alluring Devton, crave personal gain. With each step she takes, Natka finds herself entangled in a web of secrets, where trust is scarce, and everyone harbors something they desperately want to hide.
Grossberg's adept world-building transports readers to the vivid landscapes of Testatha, where mythical creatures and breathtaking vistas come alive on the page. The author's attention to detail is evident in every description, immersing readers in a world both familiar and fantastical. The Clepsydra Society, the custodians of the White Crystal's mysteries, adds depth and complexity to the narrative, highlighting the magnitude of the artifact's power and the dire consequences if it falls into the wrong hands.
"Lapidary" brims with tension, driven by a tightly woven plot that keeps readers guessing until the final page. Grossberg expertly balances moments of heart-pounding action with introspective scenes that delve into Natka's internal struggles. The protagonist's journey of self-discovery serves as a poignant undercurrent, reminding us of the profound resilience and strength that can emerge even in the face of uncertainty and despair.
The author's prose is elegant and evocative, painting a tapestry of emotions that resonates with readers. The complex relationships and multifaceted characters add further depth to the narrative, ensuring that no one is as they initially seem. Natka's determination and vulnerability make her a compelling protagonist, and her interactions with the enigmatic Devton ignite a palpable chemistry that intensifies the stakes of their shared quest.
"Lapidary" transcends the boundaries of traditional fantasy by delving into themes of identity, mental health, and the power of choice. Grossberg's seamless integration of these deeper threads adds layers of complexity to an already engrossing tale, resulting in a story that resonates long after the final chapter.
In conclusion, "Lapidary" is a mesmerizing debut that transports readers to a world of magic, secrets, and self-discovery. Tayla Jean Grossberg's rich storytelling and her ability to effortlessly balance action, mystery, and emotional depth make this novel an enthralling read. With its vibrant characters, intricate plot, and thought-provoking themes, "Lapidary" is a must-read for fans of fantasy and those seeking an immersive and compelling journey through the realms of magic and the human spirit.
About the Author
Tayla Jean Grossberg
Mermaid. Heroine. Actress. Assassin. Princess. Dragon rider.
Tayla Jean Grossberg was all of these things as a child—she had overactive imagination. She grew up on a game ranch in South Africa, among animals such as leopards, buffalo, zebras, and giraffes. She expanded her horizons by traveling to America and Europe. Her experiences, the people she meets, the places she visits, and the animals she loves inspire her to write novels. Now Tayla spends her time reading, writing, and continuing her crazy adventures. The only thing she can’t do is reach the top shelf.
You can connect with Tayla on social media: Instagram (@tayla.jean.grossberg) TikTok (@taylajeangrossberg)