Review: Labyrinth of Shadows by Kyla Stone

About the book:

A hero sworn to slay the monster. A princess determined to save it. But only one can live…
They call me the cursed princess. Daughter of a tyrant king. Sister to the monster. For seven years, I’ve watched helplessly as my father sacrifices human tributes to the monster trapped within the dark maze.

When the queen begs me for help, I seize the chance to prove myself–to finally break the curse, rescue my brother, and transform him into his human form. But is there any humanity in him left to save? Or will he try to kill me, too?

Either way, I have to try. I must enter the Labyrinth myself, where darkness reigns and terror lurks…

To survive, I’ll need the help of the tributes, especially brave, heroic Theseus. Determined to free his people from the terrible blood tithe, Theseus vows to slay the monster, no matter what.

But I won’t let that happen.

And I can’t let myself fall for Theseus’s charms either. My quest may cost me everything, including my heart…

To save my brother, Theseus must die.

Review by Katy Haye:

I’ll be honest, I picked this up mainly for the cover. Isn’t it gorgeous?!

And then I fell in love with Kyla Stone’s writing. The last time I learned anything about Greek myths was an awful lot of years ago, so I wasn’t really sure what I ought to expect.

***Spoiler alert***

I knew that Theseus kills the minotaur, but that was it. And that was enough to give me a sense of foreboding that made my heart wrench for Ariadne, who clearly wasn’t going to succeed in making things happen the way she wanted.

As with all the best stories, there was so much more than just the surface, Hero-kills-monster narrative. The relationships between the characters, Ariadne and the tributes, as well as Ariadne and her family and friends in the palace, were gorgeously written. There’s a romance, but the friendships were just as strong and powerful, which was a delight to read.

And Ariadne’s journey through the labyrinth provided a fabulous structure for her reflection and understanding of her previous life with every step of distance that she gained. Unloved and manipulated, Ariadne made for a glorious heroine, chosing to make what she could of her life and forge her own destiny rather than accepting a fate made for her by others. The ending was a triumph that put a lump in my throat while making me want to cheer for Ariadne’s decisions.

Labyrinth of Shadows was spectacular. If you enjoy mythology, give it a try, and if you don’t like or know mythology, still give it a go because it’s utterly, utterly fabulous.

Katy Haye writes speculative YA fiction. Check out the first book in her new YA fantasy series, Awakened by Magic. Kyann only wants to save her sister, but a greater destiny of myth and magic awaits her in the Empire of Charnrosa.

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