November 20, 2017

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Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova | SLJ Review

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redstarCÓrdova, Zoraida. Labyrinth Lost. 336p. (Brooklyn Brujas: Bk. 1). ebook available. Sourcebooks/Fire. Sept. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781492620945. POP YA-HS-Corvado-Labyrinth Lost

Gr 9 Up –Alejandra Mortiz comes from a long line of powerful brujas (witches), although she has unsuccessfully tried to hide her powers from her family. They dismiss her disinterest as typical teenage behavior and continue to have high expectations of her and her abilities. At her Deathday celebration, a special ceremony where she is expected to take her place as a bruja and embrace her abilities, Alex rebels. Seeing magic as a curse, Alex rejects her destiny by secretly casting a canto (spell) to strip herself of magic but instead banishes her entire family to Los Lagos, the underworld. Horrified by what she has done, Alex is determined to make things right and free them. She embarks on a dangerous quest into the deadly underworld with the aid of the untrustworthy and handsome Nova and her nonmagical BFF Rishi. What they find is certainly more than any of them bargained for. This work is a magical journey from start to finish. Córdova’s realistic world-building is the backbone of this engaging read. She spins a fantasy tale based in Latin American culture, with original mythology that rings true. Her focus on family and relationships, along with themes of loyalty, friendship, love, revenge, and being true to oneself, comes across effortlessly. A complex cast of characters drives the plot while keeping readers captivated. VERDICT A compelling must-have for teens.–Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY

This review was published in the School Library Journal July 2016 issue.

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