Thursday, September 15, 2016

Blog tour: Labyrinth Lost

Welcome! This week is the Labyrinth Lost blog tour, and one of the stops today is me! I really enjoyed this book, it has a great mix of character and magic and danger and mythology. There isn't really another book like it, so you really want to read it. And because it's a blog tour, I got the opportunity to ask author Zoraida Córdova a question. :)

"As an older sister with a younger sister, the relationships Alex has with Lula and Rose hit home for me. That combination of affection and support mixed with jealousy and frustration. Of being angry when they're in the way but ready and willing to stand with them if they need help. Was it a struggle to write the dynamic between Alex and her sisters, or did it come easy?"

"Writing the sibling dynamic was a lot of fun. I only have a little brother, but we have a lot of cousins that are close. They are as much my siblings as my brother. It was important for me that Alex have strong family ties. It's what grounds her. It's what her magic is linked to, even if she doesn't want to realize that right away. Without her family, who is she? I think that's a question we all ask ourselves. How far do you go for your family even if they make a mistake? That's a huge theme in this book. Everything that's happened in Labyrinth Lost has an effect in the two installments that will follow. Though Alex's story ends with Labyrinth Lost, the world continues. Lula's story has to be told. Alex's choices have impacted her whole family. I'm having a great time writing book 2."

Thanks so much to Zoraida for answering my question, and thanks to Raincoast Books for the chance to take part in the blog tour. If you haven't read Labyrinth Lost yet, check it out!

Title: Labyrinth Lost
Author: Zoraida Córdova
Release Date: September 6, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation...and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can't trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin. The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland...

Labyrinth Lost is a story of magic and myth, of family, and of courage. Of being afraid of what's inside you and trusting in that power, in discovering your own strength and protecting those you care about.

Alex is smart, strong, and full of denial and fear. As prevalent as magic is in her life, as important as it is to her family, for her mother and her sisters, Alex hates it. Fears it. Wishes it wasn't it in her, that it would leave her alone. She connects it to the disappearance of her father, to the time when her family went from happy to sad and lost, from whole to broken. In her mind, her powers ruined everything. She ruined everything. If she could do without magic? Great. Perfect. Where can she sign up? But it's hard to escape fate, hard to control it. Especially when it's looking like you're the strongest bruja in years. Now comes time for Alex to face her fears, to embrace her power and use it to save her family. At least she's not alone, she's got Nova at her side, along with a close friend or potential ally or two, but Nova leaves more things unsaid than spoken aloud.

The in-between world of Los Lagos, a dangerous, fantastical realm filled with magical creatures and lost souls, is richly described by the author and richly experienced by Alex and Nova. It's a place to be wary of, to be cautious of, a place where the river is filled with lamenting souls. Where creatures are chained and forced to obey, where winged beasts take to the skies. Where evil lurks, waits, and craves power. All of the Latin American traditions and mythology were new to me, were rich in history and belief and power.

This book hooked me from the premise, from the first few chapters. Brujas and brujos. Deep, dark, powerful magic. The unwavering support and affection that comes from a large, close-knit family. Sisters at war with each other over clothes and chores. A girl afraid of the power inside her, a girl who's trained to run in order to run as far as she can from that power but to no avail. A girl tossed head-first into a dangerous land with only her wits, a map, and a deceptive boy with starry eyes to help her. A bisexual girl whose attraction to guys and girls felt real, felt honest, and not forced. The characters were bold and flawed in different ways, the world was lush with magic and death, and the connection to family and history was strong. A must-read for urban fantasy, mythology, and magic fans. The next book cannot come soon enough.

(I received an advance copy of this title from Raincoast Books.)

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