The Lizard Princess

by Tod Davies, with illustrations by Mike Madrid

Lizard_Princess_300The third book in The History of Arcadia series

“Complex and gripping. . . . Newcomers to Arcadia will be captivated by the rich history, while those familiar with it will find that Sophia’s legend grants them a new perspective on the earlier tales.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“This fantasy quest lends a hand toward making our contemporary world a little better.”—Foreword Reviews

“The impressive The Lizard Princess continues Tod Davies’ imaginative History of Arcadia series with her trademark brilliant storytelling.”—Largehearted Boy

“[The Lizard Princess] encourages big-picture thinking. . . . The combination of a straightforward quest complicated by hindsight, with magic, science, and meditations on the building of myths and the role of stories, makes for a book not like much else out there. . . . Gorgeously written and complex.” —New York Journal of Books

“A fantasy novel that includes a conflict between a world that admits of the supernatural and skeptics who deny anything beyond the material, it is a tale for our time. “—Sects and Violence in the Ancient World

“Look inside this world and find wonder.”—KATE BERNHEIMER, editor of My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me and Fairy Tale Review

“Innovative form and spellbinding content. . . . Stories, as Tod Davies’s History of Arcadia novels ultimately suggest, serve as civilization’s backbone, and it is therefore in stories too that we can discover the potential for fundamental change and a better society.” —Marvels & Tales

More aptly called “Wonder Tales” than “Fairy Tales,” the first two novels in The History of Arcadia series were embraced as crossover titles, prompting critics and booksellers to ask readers to “imagine Lewis Carroll with footnotes by Jonathan Swift” while others made comparisons to Nicholson Baker, the Spiderwick Chronicles, Susanna Clark’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell, Homer, C.S. Lewis, the New Testament, Descartes, L. Frank Baum, Doris Lessing, and Joseph Campbell. The author herself credits Ursula K. LeGuin, Octavia Butler, and J.R.R. Tolkien as noble ancestors of the world of Arcadia. With their strong and loving female protagonists, accessible storylines, fantastical settings, sophisticated illustrations, and powerful messages, each novel in The History of Arcadia series is truly visionary.

Readers, however, won’t need to have read Snotty Saves the Day or Lily the Silent to love The Lizard Princess, which features the compelling, wild and wisdom-making adventures of Lily’s daughter, who grew to become the great queen of Arcadia, Sophia the Wise. When the Lizard Princess plunges into the world of symbol made visible, discovering who she is and what her world needs, the reader, too, can experience these wonders with her. In addition to Sophia’s story, The Lizard Princess includes Mike Mardrid’s sophisticated illustrations, an Arcadian scientific treatise, an afterword by Sophia’s granddaughter Shanti, and the tale behind the book’s arrival at Exterminating Angel Press.

What Booksellers Are Saying About The Lizard Princess

“Spellbinding, fast-paced, and mesmerizing. It’s brilliant. I’ve been toting it around like a security blanket.”—KATHRYN LESTER HARRIS, Paperbacks Plus Bookstore (St. Paul, MN)

“Magical story-telling at its finest. The prose is superb.”—SCOTT MAHOOD, Powell’s Bookstore (Portland, OR)


About the Author and Illustrator

TOD DAVIES lives with her husband, the filmmaker Alex Cox, and their two dogs, Gray and Pearl, in the alpine valley of Colestin, Oregon. She is the author of Snotty Saves the Day and Lily the Silent, the first two books in The History of Arcadia series, as well as the cooking memoirs Jam Today: A Diary of Cooking With What You’ve Got and Jam Today Too: The Revolution Will Not Be Catered. Unsurprisingly, her attitude toward literature is the same as her attitude toward cooking—it’s all about working with what you have to find new ways of looking and new ways of being.

MIKE MADRID, a native San Franciscan, is the illustrator of Lily the Silent, the second book in The History of Arcadia series, as well as the author of The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines; Divas, Dames & Daredevils: Lost Heroines of Golden Age Comics; and Vixens, Vamps & Vipers: Lost Villainesses of Golden Age Comics.

More About The History of Arcadia series

The History of Arcadia series tells the story of a world that was literally formed by a story, by one person discovering and claiming who she really is . . . and of the subsequent events that led first to a deceptively happy world, then to an inevitably tragic outcome, and finally to a slow rebuilding of the world on foundations more deeply and thoughtfully laid. Each book includes bonus Arcadian legends and fairy tales, and relates how the manuscript crossed the barriers between Arcadia and our own world to arrive at Exterminating Angel Press. The first three novels in the series are Snotty Saves the Day, Lily the Silent, and The Lizard Princess.

Hear Tod and Lyn Moelich, on KBOO Radio’s Between the Covers, talk about The Lizard Princess…and the difference between knowledge and wisdom… 

To read a “Conversation with Tod Davies” about The Lizard Princess and The History of Arcadia series, go here…

Hear Tod read an excerpt from The Lizard Princess on The Next Best Book Blog…

An interview with ‘Literary Ashland’ about the making of The Lizard Princess…

And the playlist for The Lizard Princess at Largehearted Boy…

Selected Praise for The History of Arcadia series

“With Mike Madrid’s illustrations throughout (appropriately compared to Arthur Rackham’s). [The History of Arcadia series] reads fast and furious and promotes love and friendship, all while making sure readers never forget to keep a solid head on their shoulders.” —Bookslut

“Smartly explores the power of storytelling in our lives.” —Largehearted Boy

“Blends folklore, fairy tales, fantasy, and even oral tradition—and does so brilliantly.”
New York Journal of Books

“Told in lush but specific language, that reminds seasoned readers to seize their destiny.”
Library Journal

“Absorbing.” —Publishers Weekly

“Fascinating.” —Foreword Reviews

“Imaginative.” —JACK ZIPES

“Blending the magic of fairy tales with the great existential mysteries, Tod Davies leads us into a phantasmagorical world that resurrects the complex lore of times past with vibrant narrative energy.” —MARIA TATAR, author of The Annotated Brothers Grimm and other volumes, and chair of the Program in Folklore and Mythology at Harvard University.

Extras from The History of Arcadia series

  • View the three-part trailer for Snotty Saves the Day, filmed in the mountains, along the beach, and at independent bookstores, including Powell’s Books, Orca Books, Village Books, Books, Inc., and Gallery Bookshop & Bookwinkle’s Children’s Books:

Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:

  • Check out Tod Davies’ playlists for the first two History of Arcadia books at Largehearted Boy: (Snotty Saves the Day: & Lily the Silent:
  • Listen to Tod Davies discuss Lily the Silent and the ways stories shape our culture on KBOO’s Between the Covers:
  • Read more about Tod Davies and the series in the Oregonian and discover why she takes inspiration from the mustang at TNBBC: The Next Best Book Blog:
  • Find out what links Snotty, from Snotty Saves the Day, has to the Harry Potter series’ Hermione and Meg of A Wrinkle in Time by downloading Carmen Nolte-Odhiambo’s Children’s Literature Hawai’i” conference presentation:

Books from The History of Arcadia series

The Lizard Princess:

  • Trade Paperback Original ISBN: 978-1-935259-29-9 / $15.95 / 304 pages / November 2015
  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-935259-30-05 / $15.95 / 304 pages / November 2015

Lily the Silent:

  • Trade Paperback Original ISBN: 978-1-935259-18-3 / $14.95 / 224 pages / October 2012
  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-935259-19-0 / $14.95 / 224 pages / October 2012

Snotty Saves the Day:

  • Trade Paperback Original ISBN: 978-1-935259-07-7 / $13 / 208 pages / May 2011
  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-935259-09-1 / $13 / 208 pages / May 2011
  • Enhanced eBook ISBN: 978-1-935259-20-6 (with linked footnotes and embedded videos) / $14 / 208 pages / August 2012

Distributed to the trade by Consortium Book Sales and Distribution: 1-800-283-3572


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