A Vivid World of Blood and Magic: Labyrinth Lost

Labyrinth Lost (2016)
Written by: Zoraida Córdova
Genre: YA/Urban Fantasy
Pages: 340 pages
Series: Brooklyn Brujas, Book 1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Why I Chose This: I saw this cover while browsing my local bookstore and immediately fell in love. Magic, mayhem, a world of monsters and gods? I was sold straight away.

The premise:

The only way to get her family back is to travel to a land in between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…

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’s not sure she can trust, but who may be Alex’s only chance at saving her family.

No Spoilers Below.

Discussion: Magic seeps from every page of this beautifully written book. Alex’s hesitation about her magic, her love of her family and her fear of what she can do, all come to life with  Córdova’s fluid writing style. I loved that Alex didn’t jump straight into wanting to be a powerful “chosen one.” Even though being a bruja (witch) runs deep in her family, Alex originally wants to reject that power and responsibility because she fears it with good reason.

For me, the beginning dragged just a pinch. I wanted to jump straight into the meat of the story straight away, but there is a buildup towards the terrible decision I could see Alex moving towards. I understood her reasoning, but I hated to see the recoil of her Deathday rebellion. However, from that moment on the book moved with incredible speed and wonder.

Los Lagos is terrible and wonderful. The land of magic and gods is being destroyed by a power-hungry woman called the Devourer, and if Alex wants to save her family, she has to destroy the Devourer once and for all. The creatures that appear on Alex’s quest are fantastical and horrifying all at once. There’s a very Alice in Wonderland feel to the journey but darker and more twisted.

The characters are by far my favorite part of this book. I loved Alex for her stubbornness, kindness, and struggle to find herself. She takes responsibility for the mistakes she’s made and works hard to make things right both in Los Lagos and in her family. Nova, the mysterious brujo (male witch), is complicated, conflicted and cute. His powers are great and his help is invaluable, but he’s not without faults (by far). The dynamic between the two and the inhabitants of Los Lagos make a compelling group to learn about throughout Labyrinth Lost.

With twists and turns I didn’t see coming, I sped right on through the final section of the book in a desperate bid to find out how Alex could possibly rescue her family. The ending didn’t disappoint at all.

Lately, I’ve been burned on series, but even though Labyrinth Lost is book one in the Brooklyn Brujas series, it wraps up Alex’s story with just enough of a cliffhanger to tie in to the next book.

In Conclusion:  Labyrinth Lost is a fine, vibrant read about the cost of magic, the love of family, and the importance of accepting yourself. I loved it and plan on re-reading it before the second book comes out. Book 2: Circle Unbroken will be out in April 2018. I can’t wait!


  • Lane Robins August 9, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    Wow, Cordova hit the cover lottery! Both covers are unbelievably good!

    • Shara White August 9, 2017 at 8:17 pm

      I’m not as a big a fan of the second cover. After that first one, the second is REALLY lacking to me. But I appreciate the attention to detail.

  • Nicole Taft August 9, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    I love this cover for sure. And it’s hilarious that you used the words “magic, mayhem” because I specifically made my own display featuring books like this one, Caraval, and others, and called it “Magic and Mayhem” 😀 Glad it was also a good read!


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