Lost In The Labyrinth

( 6 )


From the deepest layer of the Labyrinth under the Royal Palace to the topmost floor of the prison tower, this enthralling version of the myth of the maze and the Minotaur by master storyteller Patrice Kindl is filled with the marvelous and the strange.

Fourteen-year-old Princess Xenodice tries to prevent the death of her half-brother, the Minotaur, at the hands of the Athenian prince, Theseus, who is aided by Icarus, Daedalus, and ...

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Lost in the Labyrinth

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From the deepest layer of the Labyrinth under the Royal Palace to the topmost floor of the prison tower, this enthralling version of the myth of the maze and the Minotaur by master storyteller Patrice Kindl is filled with the marvelous and the strange.

Fourteen-year-old Princess Xenodice tries to prevent the death of her half-brother, the Minotaur, at the hands of the Athenian prince, Theseus, who is aided by Icarus, Daedalus, and her sister Ariadne.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
"Kindl inventively meshes classical myths, archeological findings and imaginative speculation in an intriguing tale full of mystery and emotion."
Kindl, author of the YA novels Goose Chase, The Woman in the Wall, and Owl in Love, retells the ancient story of the maze and the Minotaur in this compelling tale. As she states in an Author's Note at the end, "This book is an attempt to reconcile the archeological findings with that myth," so the story differs in some ways from the traditional tale. For one, she has a queen rather than a king as the powerful ruler of Crete. Our heroine is the queen's gentle 14-year-old daughter, Xenodice, who loves animals, the handsome Icarus, and also her strange younger brother, who is half-man, half-bull, kept hidden in the depths of the Labyrinth under the palace. This brother is known as the Minotaur to the Athenians, who send seven sons and seven daughters to the queen every year, to compensate for the killing of the queen's son in Athens. This year, one of those Athenian sons is the brash hero Theseus, son of the Athenian king, who is determined to kill the Minotaur. Xenodice's imperious older sister, Ariadne, falls in love with Theseus, and betrayals ensue, resulting in terrible tragedies. This is a fine version of the story in its own right, as well as an excellent companion to any study of mythology and ancient history. Kindl's writing is both terse and poetic, with a wry humor and a deep understanding of character. A powerful version of the myth; for all libraries. Category: Hardcover Fiction. KLIATT Codes: JS*—Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2002, Houghton Mifflin, 194p. bibliog.,
— Paula Rohrlick; KLIATT
Children's Literature
On Kefti, a small, quiet island off the coast of Greece, Princess Xenodice spends most of her afternoons outdoors in the royal menagerie filled with animals, or in the inventor's workshop with her childhood love, Icarus. Her world gets turned upside down when a young man named Theseus, the Prince of Athens, threatens to kill the Minotaur, a half-man half-bull. Normally one would not care if a monster were destroyed, but this monster is Xenodice's half-brother, Asterius. A riveting tale unfolds as Xenodice tries to save her family, her friends, and most of all, her brother in this gripping tale of the Labyrinth. Kindl takes the readers back into an ancient culture and depicts some of the ceremonies and rituals of that time and place. As is true of many historically based books, one can get stuck on the ancient names and terminology. Nevertheless, Kindl paints a very unique picture of what life was like in ancient Greece. 2002, Graphia/Houghton Mifflin Company, and 16.00. Ages 8 to 12.
—Annette Crouch
Greek mythology is given a new twist in this novel about Ancient Crete and the terrifying, half-bull-half-man, the Minotaur. Told by his sister Xenodice, this story of the Minotaur reveals him to be less brutish and more misunderstood. Xenodice provides the background for the myth of the Minotaur-how Athenian children are sent to Crete to serve as slaves, an annual tribute demanded by King Minos for Athenian treachery toward Minos' oldest son Androgeus. Xenodice is the Minotaur's only ally when Theseus, Icarus, and Daedalus attempt to destroy him. The book concludes with a tantalizing report of the 1900 discovery of "an enormous, labyrinthine palace of immense antiquity" on the island of Crete. Here the major players of legend take on believable human traits and emotions, as Xenodice, her family, and her attendants are immersed in palace intrigue and international relations. The court of King Minos is rich in the details of daily life, making the ancient story and characters come to life on every page. Kindl's language is strong, eloquent, and determined, as would befit the voice of Princess Xenodice. Her compassion and love for her brother will resonate for young adult readers today. Fans of mythology will appreciate a fresh perspective on this tale of violence, revenge, and family loyalty. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2002, Houghton Mifflin, 194p,
— Chris Finer
School Library Journal
Gr 6-10-Kindl retells the legend of Theseus and the Minotaur through the perceptive eyes of Xenodice, the younger sister of Ariadne. In this inventive version, no Athenians are killed by the Minotaur, who is gentle despite his monstrous appearance, unless provoked. Xenodice loves and tries to protect her human/bull brother, not only from the harshly heroic Theseus, but also from the schemes of her own family. The author artfully includes many elements of the legend while at the same time creating a fully realized and original setting. Xenodice elegantly narrates the events, introducing characters and providing background information without disrupting the flow of the storytelling. Early on, she acts more as an observer than a participant in events, and her automatic obedience to the strong-willed Ariadne hides the courage she shows later. The story becomes more involving when Xenodice herself takes a more active role, attempting a midnight rescue of her brother and later helping Daedalus and Icarus (whom she loves) make their winged escape attempt. Readers who know the legend will enjoy the parallels and contrasts that occur throughout, but the strong storytelling lets Xenodice's tale stand on its own, as well.-Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR
Kirkus Reviews
The legends of Theseus and Icarus are here braided together in a historical novel imagined from the Cretan perspective. The 14-year-old Princess Xenodice keeps herself out of much of the intrigue of the court of Knossos; in this place of seething emotions and barely suppressed resentments she is more than content to be an observer. A loving, if sometimes exasperated sister, she does the bidding of her imperious older sister Ariadne-heir apparent to the throne-but manages to find time for her two pleasures: visiting with the handsome craftsman Icarus in his father's workshop, and with Asterius, her part-boy, part-bull younger half-brother, in the Bull Pen at the center of the Labyrinth. But then the latest shipment of Athenian slaves arrives. The hairily uncouth Theseus and his vow to kill Asterius precipitate a chain of events that leaves Xenodice herself utterly alone. Kindl (Goose Chase, 2001, etc.) does a good job at imagining the setting, creating out of the wisps of legend and archaeology a fully realized matriarchy (an author's note explains that this is her own hypothetical leap), a cultural and economic powerhouse that holds itself as vastly superior to the upstart Athens. Xenodice's narrative, however, is overly formal, resulting in a frequently ponderous tone: "My head drooped; I stared at my feet. Never before had I desired another's death. But now I was frightened. I did not know the precise nature of the danger, but my forebodings centered around the young Athenian." Only very rarely is this tone leavened by the wry and clever wit that has marked the author's previous novels, and although the story is certainly compelling, Xenodice is always somehow at arm's length from thereader. Worth purchasing for the originality of the perspective and careful realization of the setting, it would do well paired with a new copy of Renault's The King Must Die (cited as suggested further reading). (Fiction. 12+)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618394029
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/1/2005
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 206
  • Sales rank: 1,446,046
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 0.47 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 8.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Patrice Kindl's first novel, Owl in Love, was an ALA Notable Book for Children, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, and an SCBWI Golden Kite Award Honor Book. She lives in Middleburgh, New York.

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Table of Contents

Ariande, Descending 1
1 Knossos 2
2 Icarus 13
3 Lost 27
4 And Returned 40
5 Bull Rider 56
6 The Presentation 68
7 The Festival of the Bulls 81
8 My Father's Son 97
9 Theseus 112
10 In the Workshop 126
11 A Clew of Thread 140
12 My World Vnmade 153
13 Icarus, Rising 167
Ariadne, Descending 180
Author's Note 189
Genealogy 192
Further Reading 194
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2013

    I was bored to tears

    This book was horrible

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2012

    Do not buy this book

    Do not buy this book it is a waste of money. It is so boring you do not even know what is going on. I would want to give this book a zero but you can not.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2011

    Wouldn't Recommend This Book

    I have to say, this is a waste of money. This book is very depressing and sad. It's like the author was hoping for bad reviews when she wrote this. This piece literature is unworthy to be published. Please don't buy this book, it is a waste of money.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2003

    One Out of Four Isn't Bad

    This book was a real dissapointment to me. I am a huge Patrice Kindl fan. I cherished Owl in Love (which gave me my first taste of Kindl's genius), and I hold Woman in the Wall in the highest regard. Even Goose Chase was pretty good. But this... well, though I loved idea of the plot and the exposure it gives its reader to Greek mythology, I ended up finding it sorely lacking. In all it really let me down. She would have been better off cutting fiction out of it all together and writting a book soley on the Greek myths or writting a new ficticious tale instead. If you haven't read Kindl's work before, PLEASE don't let this be your first! I don't want this book to ruin her work for you. Try Owl in love.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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