SpoilersThe Water Mirror (Dark Reflections, Book 1)
by Kai Meyer
Alternate Universe Venice! Where it's practically flooded and being protected by The Flowing Queen from an ancient Egyptian Pharaoh who has otherwise taken over the entire world. There are a species of stone lions that patrol the city! And magic mirrors! And mermaids with mouths that go from one ear to the other and are full of sharp teeth! All in all, pretty fun world building.
Our heroine Merle, while on a flirtastic adventure with Serafin, discovers a traitorous plot to rid Venice of The Flowing Queen so the Egyptians can move in after 30 years of siege. So she ends up drinking The Flowing Quee. Who ends up taking over her thoughts and sets her on a quest to visit the Lord Light, ruler of Hell. On the back of flying/talking stone lion Vermithrax.