The Land Series

Welcome to The Land series by author Sandra-Jo Matusky


Queen Crystal and The Land is now available on Amazon

My first book is now available for download on The original story shows all chapter images in color just as you see them on my website. If you would like to continue Crystal's tale, link to the Bringer of Balance website and download your free copy of Book Two from

Click the link below and start reading Book One ~ Queen Crystal and The Land.

Discover how the series has blossomed

  • The following site offers information about the author, how written scenes are developed from her awareness of nature, and you can view sketches used by the author to help her visualize Crystal's journey. There are moments in each story directly influenced by real life events.
  • A real life moment used in Book one came from a trip to the Olympic Mountain range. I stopped walking during my hike into the woods and heard nothing: no birds, no wind, no sound. Later I discovered that the area is known for its silence. While writing Queen Crystal and The Land I described this odd experience in chapter three as Crystal traveled toward her next challenge. 
  • Reviews are listed below - two for Queen Crystal and The Land (one adult and one young adult), and one for Bringer of Balance.
  • You can click on any link below to order a book through amazon. 
  • The first book begins with the story of young Princess Crystal and her struggle to become queen of The Land in Queen Crystal and The Land. Order now.
  • The second story follows the king and queen of The Land across the continents Noore and Palleo in an effort to expose the Protectors plague in Bringer of Balance. Order now.
  • The last book of the series starts a new adventure as our pampered prince Orielle is whisked away to the frigid city of Sassalan in Prince Orielle and the Wyvern War. Order now.

The author and the story

Sandra-Jo Matusky

Born in Ohio, moved to Florida at 12 yrs. old and presently resides in Ridgefield, WA. B.A. in Fine Art from University of South Florida, 1988. Second B.A. in Art Education, 1992. Taught 14 yrs. middle school art in Florida, and combined 14 yrs. working at The Beck Gallery in Florida and the Craft Warehouse in Vancouver, WA as a framer. The image on the left was taken during a trip to Cape Meares along the Oregon Coast. 

Landscape that influenced The Land

Please take a look at the pictures in my photo gallery that influenced the writing of The Land. You will see images from all over the United States and some from my own backyard. This sunrise was taken early morning and overlooks the Washington State University. The campus is a short jog from my house and Mt. Saint Helens is close enough to be seen from my bedroom window. Stepping outside is more valuable than looking down at my phone. 

Real or fantasy

Our world is as amazing as any fantasy. I took this picture during my second trip to Mount St. Helens. I heard a person comment about seeing a rainbow and when I looked at the clouds above the mountain this is what I saw. After taking this photo I entered it in a contest and many people thought it was an altered image. It amazes me how the world we live in is as rich as any fantasy book.

Reviews for Book one and two

Queen Crystal and The Land adult review

  • Genre: Youth/Adult Fiction
    Title: Queen Crystal and The Land
    Author: Sandra-Jo Matusky
  •     “Listen to your inner spirit.”
  •      At first glance you would assume the story to be just another fantasy but in reading this fast paced tale, you will find it has been intricately woven with many valuable life lessons.
         Since Crystal’s mother, the Queen’s sister, was brutally murdered by her father years ago; Crystal is heir to the throne of ‘The Land.’  She possesses magical powers but is unaware of her strengths.  It soon becomes apparent that she has 10 days to complete a journey through an exotic world to gather knowledge and strength. The journey prepares her for the battle against her corrupt father in order to prevent the destruction of this magical, happy place.  Her deceased brother guides her, communicating through a magical newspaper as well as the irresponsible Knight who had been forever banished inside a ruby on the handle of a sword.  Crystal rescues him from a Lion’s pit and you will be surprised at who he turns out to be!
         Sesha is not only her horse but a faithful friend and they communicate telepathically. Although her magic works wonders, it is Crystal’s ingenuity that invents or creates ways to make the magic useful and stronger.
         To give away any more detail would certainly spoil the fascinating journey she embarks on, I will however let you know that of the mystical creatures there are both saints and devils.
         Throughout the journey she believes she has her first love ignoring her natural instincts. She learns the hard way another of life’s lessons- “Love is built on trust.”
         She treats all forms of life with respect, the way she would like to be treated. This helps her to find that paths open for her and other beings like the ‘frogman’ become much happier and therefore more helpful.  “ I allowed myself to see more than at first glance, more than skin deep.”
         Emotions of love and hope for the future are an asset to this tale.  You will find the ending is filled with many emotions, sadness for those who are lost and happiness for those who find their way.
         Young ‘Crystal Elderbee’ is born and lives in the dreams of an extremely talented artist,
    Sandra-Jo Matusky.  Her style is captivating and each character is so well presented that you literally see them before your eyes.  I will look forward to Book Two:  Bringers of Balance as Crystal struggles to unite humans across Noore Continent.
         Sandra-Jo Matusky has Bachelor’s degrees in Fine Arts and Art education. She teaches middle school art in Florida. Her hiking trips are inspirational for her illustrations and her vivid dreams.
  • Highly Recommended by Reviewer:  Cheryl Ellis, Allbooks Reviews.
    Pre-pub review (soon to be released) Published by: Dream Catcher Publishing Dec. 2006    

Queen Crystal and The Land teen review - SPOILER ALERT

  • Queen Crystal and The Land
  • Sandra Jo Matusky
  • Dream Catcher Publishing (2007)
  • ISBN 9780978612023
  • Reviewed by Spencer Zaborowski (age 13) for ReaderViews (3/08)
  • “Queen Crystal and The Land” by Sandra Jo Matusky is a magically wonderful book about fairytale-like giant birds, animals that talk telepathically, wizards, powers, kings, queens, enchanted places, and anything else that you would ever expect or need in a dreamy, fairy-tale land. I really enjoyed this book because I love fairy tales. This book is about a seventeen-year-old girl named Crystal. She is the only blood-related relative next in line for the throne of her land. After her power-hungry father tries to kill her, she sets off to try to save ‘The Land’ with a magical paper that her brother got trapped in. On her adventure, she meets a talking sword that is supposed to be her grandfather, many animals who try to help save her, small penguin men, a green frogman named Freddy, and a wizard father and his handsome son. Whew! It takes concentration to keep all of the characters straight! While she is on her quest, she travels to different palaces where her great grandparents have laid out tests for her. She meets a protector who was taking care of her on the quest. She falls in love with him but is never allowed to see him. When she finally gets back to the palace in ‘The Land,’ she finds that most of the men are dead and the servants are in the palace dungeon. Then she has to battle her evil father for the throne. There is more to this book that meets the eye. I enjoyed this book because it was funny, sad, romantic and adventurous. I think there are some lessons in this story, also. It teaches how important patience is, because Crystal has many tasks to do on her quest. Things are not always as they seem, and sometimes family members can be deceptive. Crystal is a great hero, and you will not want to put down this book until you find out what finally happens! Does Crystal win and save the kingdom? This book is easy to read, with good grammar and lots of description. I very much enjoyed this book, and I hope that when you read “Queen Crystal and The Land,” you will like it also!

Bringer of Balance adult review

  • Genre:  Fantasy
  • Title: Bringer of Balance
  • Author: Sandra-Jo Matusky

  • In this sequel to ‘Queen Crystal of The Land’, the tantalizing fantasy picks up with Queen Crystal marrying a former protector, Riley.  The Land now has both a Queen and a King, renewing hope and happiness to all people.  For many years there had been a prophecy that Crystal would become the ‘Bringer of Balance’, but she battles her own pendulum of emotions. Unless she can find her inner peace, she and her powers can potentially destroy the world. The protectors, once the ‘keepers of balance’ now believe that mortals are the causing the world to become unbalanced, and are methodically trying to extinguish all mankind.  The pair compliments the other’s special powers, creating a magical force as they set out on a treacherous journey across Noore Continent. Their goal, either unite all human races against the protectors or do battle with the now evil, immortals themselves. Throughout many death defying challenges during their journey, the alliance comes across good and evil, health and growth, but also witness vast devastation of once luscious land. Sadly they come to realize it is due to human intervention.  Sandra-Jo Matusky, writes to her readers of what she sees in a dream. Intentional or not, intricately woven inside her words are many life facts. How misunderstandings grow to infiltrate small groups, then spread to a whole race. How oddities between races create mistrust, because we fear what we do not know. How real love is founded on trust and respect.  Sandra-Jo has been given a gift. Not only to remember her dreams but to vividly convey them to her readers. You will be able to immerse yourself in the story, and feel like you belong. Her descriptions, follow through, maps and references make the novel all the more intriguing. Bringer of Balance is the sequel to Queen Crystal and The Land.  Not notorious for speed reading, I couldn’t put the book down. I believe Sandra-Jo’s work will rise to the bestseller list. Highly Recommended, reviewer: Cheryl Heinrichs, Allbooks Review 

  • Available through
  • Title: Bringer of Balance
  • Author: Sandra-Jo Matusky
  • ISBN-13: 0-97861207-8
  • Pages: 451

Visualizing Crystal's world

Our world is a dream

We can all experience an adventure by stepping out and investigating our own world. These images were found during my travels and incorporated into each story. The incredible landscape imagined in Crystal's world came from a place you can explore.  

Creatures watching over us

Crystal's ability to communicate with animals is most intriguing. While visiting Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands I thought about Riley following Crystal as the protector--watching over her during her quest. The wildlife in each story is based on my own encounters with animals.

Pay attention to detail

We often glance at our surroundings without taking notice of the small details. By doing so, much of our world is over-looked and true gems may never be discovered. It's an artists job to be observant, pay attention to detail, and offer his or her audience an unseen beauty.  

Rivers to cross

Below you will see a video taken during one of my hiking trips. It shows how experiencing our own world translates into a passage used in Book one. Crystal has to cross a river to complete her quest and this river in Washington was very much what I had imagined in the story.

View before the fall

This image taken along the Columbia River Gorge shows the Oregon side. In chapter five of Book one - Unveiling - Crystal falls off a cliffs edge along with many others. Sad that she would never be able to save her kingdom of The Land, she awaits her death only to be rescued by her protector.

The fog thickens

If you are from Washington this scene is common. It is a picture from my backyard. One foggy morning I took this picture and thought of Crystal riding into the woods. As the fog thickens she comes across the Lions Den--her first test in the quest to defeat her father and become Queen of The Land.

Book illustrations

Book one has an illustration for every chapter although Book two and three do not. Most of the sketches below were used in Queen Crystal and The Land. A few were added to Book Three and one image from Book two Bringer of Balance was never added. Adding images to paperback books can be costly, so I changed the format. Numerous illustrations not added to Book two can be viewed on the Bringer of Balance website.

Photos of our world

Many of the photos below were taken during my hiking trips or they are from my neighborhood. These images help me depict Crystal's world and her adventures through Noore and Palleo. By having the ability to draw on my own experiences, I can describe a scene from Crystal's journey with accurate detail.

Crossing the river

I was able to understand Crystal's journey after hiking numerous trails in the Northwest. On page 36 of Book one, Crystal must cross a dangerous river to complete her journey.

     Finally, we came to a clearing and saw the sun ahead. When we reached the sunlight we were standing on a rocky embankment along a wide, turbulent river. This was Raven River and across the river I could scarcely see the trail continuing east of the riverbank. How would we cross the river?  

Thank you for visiting my site

I'm happy to share Crystal's world with everyone. If you are interested in reading the entire saga, click here to go to my first website and purchase book one. Book two is available if you wish to continue Crystal's story. You can leave me a message at the Queen Crystal site or the Bringer of Balance website. I'll be happy to hear your requests or comments. I'm also excited to continue Book four of The Land series. Orielle and Rose continue their adventures in a tale that intertwines our world with their world of Estra.