Book: Lost in the Labyrinth

Lost in the Labyrinth
Patrice Kindl

This book is a little different from Kindl’s other novels in that it is a retelling of a specific story. The book retells the legend of the Minotaur from Greek mythology from the point of view of Xenodice, one of the Minotaur’s human sisters. To set the world for the story Kindl used archaeological finds to establish a female-controlled island country based on factual information (if not fully supported in the legend itself). This world quickly proves itself to be very different from the Greece we are familiar with through myth and allows the characters to feel more real than they might have otherwise. Xenodice is an interesting subject to have as our viewpoint throughout the story because she is not really a central player in the legend, but has a uniquely placed point of view to show us another side of the story we are familiar with. Through her eyes we are made to feel sorry for the Minotaur, Asterius, and irritated with the heroes of the legend, Theseus and Ariadne.

The writing is as excellent as ever, just what I have come to expect from Kindl. It flows well and her characters have a definite voice each their own. The pacing, which could easily have dragged given how short the source story is, moves just right and pulls you along with it without being frustrating, boring or confusing. This book is very different from Kindl’s other books in that the reader knows what is going to happen in the end, so the book is largely missing her usual surprising plot turns. That said, there were certainly aspects of the story that surprised me, even though I knew what would eventually happen. I knew Icarus and his father would fly away, but their flight still surprised me in it’s timing. I really liked that she could surprise me despite the familiarity of the story, it gave her book a freshness that many retellings lack.

This book is excellent. It is not quite as good as some of Kindl’s original stories, but it is definitely fun to read and feels just as realistic as any of her other books. I highly recommend this book!

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