Cerece Rennie Murphy

* YA Fantasy *


Author: Cerese Rennie Murphy

Publisher: LionSky Publishing

Pages: 242

Genre: YA Fantasy

Once great and powerful sorcerers, the Amasiti were hunted to the
brink of extinction by the Hir and his followers. For four hundred
years, their legacy faded from memory waiting for the hope of Aferi to
be renewed…

In the Land of Yet

At the edge of the Forbidden Forest

A young woman lives alone.

Forced to fend for herself after the brutal murder of her family,
Ameenah Yemini has made a life for herself as a master tanner and
farmer, only venturing into the world to earn her living then return to
the safety and seclusion of her home.

Until a chance encounter brings her work to the attention of the powerful Hir and her careful life begins to unravel.

Drawn to the hidden magic that lingers in everything she touches, the
new Hir insists on having her for himself, using the people around her
to force Ameenah into his grasp.

When she realizes that her greatest enemy may hold the key to a
secret she thought lost to her forever, Ameenah is determined to reclaim
her stolen past.  But, at what cost? As an ancient power waits to be
unleashed, Ameenah’s choices will make the difference between awakening a
new magic or delivering it into the hands of evil.



I knelt before Safaro, as I swore I would never

and accepted his chain.  I watched as he

swelled with pride, eclipsing any possibility that he would discover my plan.

Blind purpose and certain victory propelled him forward without the slightest

concern for why a woman who had defied him every day of her life would have

surrendered so easily.  I bowed my head

and followed, prepared to betray everything I knew to preserve the hope of what

we could become.

Like a slave, he brought me dutifully to his

master.  We rode through the gates of

Elan to the Hir who sat outside the battlefield on a tall, white horambus that

was draped in blood-red velvet.  The Hir

spared only a second to regard me with contempt before sending me with Safaro

to the center of the battle where our right to exist would be decided. 

All around me, from every corner of our world,

the people of Yet fought against the tyranny of the Hir.  Closing my eyes, I could smell their desire

to live, to protect their loved ones, and see them survive past this day as if

the earth itself was calling out to me. Once again I looked to Safaro for any

sign of the boy I loved, but he was nowhere to be found.  He knew, as I did, that while their resolve

was as hard as iron, the people of Yet were not warriors.  Worse, we’d only had months to prepare.  From the power-crazed look in his eyes as he

surveyed the battle, I knew that the Hir had been planning the expansion of his

Kingdom his entire life.

The final battle came to our doorstep just

outside the city of Elan, where our defenses had held as fiercely as they

could, but it was only a matter of time. 

The people of Elan, the peoples of Yet had given no ground easily, with

mounting casualties on both sides, but the Hir had too much of everything we

lacked: weapons, men, strategy, and now the most powerful Amasiti at his beck

and call. 

With me at the their side, they pressed

forward.  The poison chain connected my

will to Safaro’s, so that the power between us acted as one, except only I

understood the true meaning behind the Hir’s command to create an earthquake

that would swallow his enemies.  Safaro

could wield my power, but only I could give it the purpose that would call it

into being. 

I knew what the Hir’s soul was meant to be.  His greatest enemies were not in front of

him; he was surrounded by them, masking the truth of his insanity behind greed

and false adulation. 

And so, when I spread my hands wide and bellowed

across the sky “I am the Sorceress of Elan, now and always,” I did what I was

meant to do: create.

The boats of Elan were just out of firing range,

harboring the men, women, and children who were unable to fight.  Only the strongest were allowed to keep the

front. It would be difficult for them to escape, but they had a better chance

than anyone who was not privy to my plan. 

I felt the fissure crack open far beneath me,

then bubble up and break with a diagonal energy just 100 feet from where I

stood.  The fissure would only hold for a

few minutes, announcing itself as a warning of things to come, so that my

people would have some time to retreat, before the fault folded back on itself

and consumed everything standing.

Safaro watched with satisfaction as the people

of Yet began to run.  He did not

understand until he watched them forego the high ground of Elan and run into

the sea.   He rushed forward just as the

fissure we created together broke open into a chasm that pulled the dirt right

out from under the Hir’s army.

The people of Yet scattered as the depths

swallowed the Hir’s front line.  As soon

as the last of my people were safe, I took it all. The land that held Elan to

the shore of Yet fell away, allowing the water to rise up, pounding out new

territory as it ripped through the battle field.  But it was not enough. 

It was only then that I understood that creation

and destruction are often the same thing. 

As the sea claimed its prize, I opened up the foundation of Elan

itself—breaking it from the bottom like an egg. 

The power of the sea did the rest, opening her

arms to the island in an eternal embrace that left only the tip of the land

visible, with the children I had left there clinging to the ancient trees.

Fear, terror, and isolation had burned through

their innocence, but in exchange I had given them something else—a chance to

survive and create something new, to evolve into sorcerers who were also


As Safaro twisted the poison chain around my

neck, I imagined I could see the eyes of all those Amasiti children and hoped

only for their forgiveness.

And in the burning light of my death, I ascended

to the withering screams of the Hir, Safaro, and all his murderous men and was

at peace.


My Review
The Wolf Queen is a young adult fantasy novel about a young woman named Ameenah who keeps to herself at the edge of the Forbidden Forest. She's a tanner and a farmer, and she sells her goods in the market in a city called Djobi. It's there that her carefully crafted loner life begins to crumble.
I honestly don't know what to say about this book except "Wow!"
The cover is stunning. The world-building and imagery crafted by the words is beautiful and magical. Ameenah is a strong, wonderful character you can easily get attached to. Everything about this story is fantastic.
The plot is paced nicely, and while I did keep going back to the map on occasion to make sure I could keep track of where the action was taking place, it's not really necessary. The world is immersive, and at times I wished I could live there.
One of my favorite things about the book was Ameenah's friend, Oorala, and her "pet lizard" Benbe. I immediately found myself drawn to them when they were introduced, and I'm really hoping for more of them in book two.
The Hir is easy to hate on. Evil. Nasty. Power-hungry. Couldn't stand him.
If you enjoy YA fantasy with strong female heroines, a hint of romance, lots of action, and amazingly vivid world-building, you'll want to get a copy of The Wolf Queen today.
5 stars!

Cerece Rennie Murphy fell in love with science fiction at the age of
seven, watching “Empire Strikes Back” at the Uptown Theater in
Washington, D.C., with her sister and mom. It’s a love affair that has
grown ever since. As an ardent fan of John Donne, Alice Walker, Kurt
Vonnegut and Alexander Pope from an early age, Cerece began exploring
her own creative writing through poetry. She earned her master’s degrees
in social work and international relations at Boston College and Johns
Hopkins School for Advance International Studies, respectively, and
built a rewarding 15-year career in program development, management and
fundraising in the community and international development arenas – all
while appreciating the stories of human connection told in science
fiction through works like Octavia Butler’s “Wild Seed,” Frank Herbert’s
“Dune” and “The X-Files.” In 2011, Cerece experienced her own
supernatural event – a vision of her first science fiction story.
Shortly after, she began developing and writing what would become the
bestselling Order of the Seers trilogy.  Order of the Seers was selected
as one of The Best Kindle Books of 2014 by Digital Book Today.  To
date, Mrs. Murphy has published nine speculative fiction novels, short
stories, and children’s books.

In addition to working on the 3rd book in the award-winning Ellis and The Magic Mirror children’s book series with her son and releasing her 5th adult novel, The Wolf Queen, Mrs. Murphy has launched NARAZU, an online
platform designed to deliver the best in indie sci-fi content and comic
culture to the fans who love it most. You can visit the new site at
 Her current writing projects include the second book in The Wolf Queen
duology and plotting a science fiction thriller set in outer space. 
Mrs. Murphy lives and writes in her hometown of Washington, DC with her
husband, two children and the family dog, Yoda.