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Reviewed by Jessica Barbosa for Readers' Favorite
The Valley Iris is the first book in A Lost Pharaoh Chronicles Prequel Collection by Lauren Lee Merewether. Tey, daughter of Rai, has envisioned her future for a long time. She imagines herself as a good wife to Woser, son of Theshen and Senisonbe. She imagines herself in a happy, loving marriage with him, surrounded by their loving children. What she did not imagine was to be rejected by Theshen and Senisobe, even though their two families were the closest of friends despite their difference in statuses. Tey thought they would approve of Woser’s intention to marry her, but, apparently, she is not good enough in their eyes. Tey is confused, heartbroken, and angry towards Woser for not fighting for their love. She is angry with Woser’s family for their prejudice against hers and with her mother for being on Foreman Theshen’s side. Tey tries to move on with Bek, a kind young man who is willing to wait for her, but moving on from her love for Woser is no easy feat. Tey’s jealousy and pain over the whole ordeal uncover a long-kept secret that will change her life as she knows it.
Tey, daughter of Rai, the protagonist of this novel, is an admirable, strong woman who is greatly affected by the sins of her parents. She goes through so much just to survive in an unkind world. Her reaction and confusion to Theshen and Senisobe’s rejection of Woser’s intention to marry her is understandable and I could feel the resulting heartache and fury through the pages. I felt angry and betrayed on her behalf when she found out the truth. The suffering she experiences cut through my heart and I wished greatly for her safety as she battles her inner demons and against the provoked mob. I was with the protagonist through every up and down and I sympathized with her. Honestly, this book caught me hook, line, and sinker. The Valley Iris relentlessly pulled me through its pages. The emotions it evoked in me were deep and unforgettable. Every character was memorable in their own way, they all played an important role and elevated the plot to greater heights. The Valley Iris is truly riveting and mesmerizing. Lauren Lee Merewether’s narrative delivers the emotions of the characters and effectively describes the setting, adding depth and easy visualization. Overall, a spectacular and noteworthy historical novel! Outstanding job!