Have you ever wondered what it would be like to read a fantasy novel that’s been soaked in Latin American religions and cultures? Well, if you have, Labyrinth Lost is the answer to your question, (it is the beginning of the brand new Brooklyn Brujas novels by Zoraida Cordova).
“Shell of sea and cinder flame,
show us the enemy to blame.
Dirt of earth and wing of skies,
stop his heart and blind his eyes.”
-Protection Canto, Book of Cantos
Labyrinth Lost is possibly one of the best fantasy novels that I’ve read in a long time, because, not only is it well written, it’s also really different. Cordova created her own world, but pulls from a plethora of Latin American cultures to create something new, that also happens to feel really vintage at the same time. She even splatters the chapter headings with quotes pulled out of bruja texts, and religious books, which makes the world feel real, familiar, and strange, all at once. I actually read the Author’s Note at the end to see how she created Alex’s world, and I’m so glad that I did. She pulls from festivities of The Day of the Dead, and even darker religious aspects to give us a well-rounded world, (that might even remind you of a really dark Alice in Wonderland if you look hard enough).
At its core, Labyrinth Lost is a fantastical adventure story, with some horror elements thrown in. But on top of that, it’s also about a girl’s journey in understanding who she really is; who she wants to love, how she feels about her family, and whether or not she actually wants her powers.
“I’m not the encantrix everyone thought I would be. Right now, I’m just a girl, and there is also magic in that.”
This novel is everything you want it to be. And you’ll be excited to follow Alex, Nova, and Rishi as they dive into a hole in the ground to rescue Alex’s family after a disastrous Deathday. Mixing magic, an unconventional love-triangle, and a diverse world written by someone of the respective culture, Labyrinth Lost is just what YA needs!
“La Mama gave her heart to El Papa.
They lived in the Kingdom of Deos for all their days,
chasing each other across the skies.”
-History of the Deos, Book of Cantos
Other Diverse Fantasy Novels:
- Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst (check out our review, here!)
- This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
- The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova
YouTube Channel: ZoraidaLand
Featured image via Delphi Forums