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Lost in the Labyrinth Paperback


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (September 26, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618394028
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618394029
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,081,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Kindl (Goose Chase) inventively meshes classical myths, archeological findings and imaginative speculation in an intriguing tale full of mystery and emotion. Set in Crete, the story up-ends tradition, in which Ariadne achieves a tragic glory for helping the Greek hero Theseus slay the Minotaur. Kindl taps Ariadne's younger sister, Princess Xenodice, to narrate. Where this Ariadne is ruthless, like their stepmother, Queen Pasiphae, who rules over matriarchal Crete, Xenodice is kindhearted. She feels protective of her half-brother Asterius, the much-feared Minotaur who is kept in a separate chamber of the labyrinth where the royal family resides. While most people consider Asterius a monster, the princess grows deeply troubled when she learns that Ariadne and Ariadne's lover, Theseus, are conspiring to kill him. Then Xenodice discovers that she and her good friends Daedalus and Icarus also may be in danger. The author nimbly reweaves classical motifs while vividly conjuring an ancient world. As fans of her The Woman in the Wall might expect, Kindl does particular justice to the idiosyncrasies of the labyrinth; her envisioning of a matriarchal society and its rituals also proves memorable. While the story will especially interest those with a grounding in mythology, cloak-and-dagger buffs should enjoy it, too. Ages 10-14.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 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
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About 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.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Fisher TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 25, 2005
Format: Hardcover
In recent years there has been a massive increase in the publication of re-told fairytales and mythologies, usually with the author twisting the known facts and meanings of the original source material into something more contemporary: villains become sympathetic characters, we see the proceedings through the eyes of a minority group such as a slave or a female, or hidden agendas and meanings are revealed behind the bare-bones of the story.

Famous examples of this have been Marion Bradley Zimmer's "Mists of Avalon", Gail Carson Levine's "Ella Enchanted" and any of Donna Jo Napoli's wonderful canon of reshaped fairytales. Patrice Kindl takes a similar path with "Lost in the Labyrinth", a retelling of the Theseus and Minotaur myth, and though she is not quite as successful as the above-mentioned authors, she still gives us an interesting and sometimes haunting read.

The original myth took place entirely on the island of Minos, where twelve young Athenians were taken each year in order to be sacrificed to the vicious Minotaur, the offspring of a bull and the goddess-cursed Queen Pasiphae. King Minos was disgusted by his Queen's bestiality and the sight of her son, and so employed the inventor Daedalus to design a labyrinth in order to hide this Minotaur, and sacrificed the Athenians to it in order to keep it under control. Finally, Prince Theseus of Athens came to the island, and with the help of the king's daughter Ariadne he slew the monster and made his escape.

This story however, though it keeps all the basic facts, changes the meaning and reasoning behind these events. It is told in first-person by Princess Xenodice, who is satisfied with her lot in life: helping at the menagerie, enjoying the comforts of palace life and in love with Daedalus's son Icarus.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Heiss on October 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
My fourth grade son is interested in Greek mythology and archaeology. I pre-read this book, and I think it may be intended for an older and more feminine reading population.

I think there is a market for books that retell and fictionalize the old myths; we found a few good ones when he was interested in Ancient Egypt. This book has Ariadne, Theseus, the minotaur (Asterius), also Daedalus and Icarus -- all interwoven.

It's an interesting idea for a story, but it was very heavy on the goddess-worship that Patrice Kindl imagined for the island. We've done a lot of reading about what they have found of Minoan civilization, and with all the emphasis on the Bull in the murals and artifacts found there, it's hard to believe that Knossos was a Queendom, as this story suggests.

It's an entertaining book, but it may be a better book for kids who are interested in a good love/heartbreak story, rather than a good historical story.
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A Kid's Review on May 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
Lost in the Labyrinth, by Patrice Kindl, is a great book I would recommend to 6th-8th graders. A little bit advanced and complicated, mixed with puzzles and mysteries, the main character Princess Xenodice discovers her family's deep secrets. This book is based on Greek myth about the Minotaur and Theseus. I would recommend this book to kids who would enjoy reading a historical fiction book of Ancient Greece and discover mysteries that lies beyond the labyrinth.
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Format: Hardcover
The epic adventures of Theseus have never been among my favorite Greek myths. They always seem so polarized, with a clear antagonist (the Minotaur, in this case) who, by the end of the story, is always neatly dispatched by the heroic Theseus.
But that is the version told by Greek men. Lost in the Labyrinth is Xenodice's version.
And who, you may well ask, is Xenodice? She is the third, unambitious, sometimes overlooked daughter of Queen Pasiphae and her consort King Minos of Crete; younger sister to haughty Ariadne (yes, *that* Ariadne); half sister to Asterius, better known as the Minotaur; friend to exiled Athenian craftsmen, Daedalus and his handsome son Icarus. In short, standing as she does at both the center and the circumference of a labyrinth of myths, close to the main actors but rarely one herself, she is in the perfect position to tell it like it really happened.
All is not well in the labyrinthine palace of Knossos. Years ago, Queen Pasiphae's eldest son was killed. She blames his death upon Athenian treachery and King Minos's carelessness. In vengeance, she demands an annual tribute of fourteen Athenian youths; and to forever shame her husband, she conceives a monstrous son with the bull god. Their relationship, as you might imagine, never quite recovers. But it isn't until Theseus arrives among the latest shipment of Athenian youths and vows to dispatch the flesh eating Minotaur (who actually has no part of Minos in his parentage and is moreover strictly vegetarian) that old resentments give rise to new mutiny and increasing hostilities and plotting at court. Worse yet, Ariadne falls in love with Theseus and, in her determination to save him at any cost to herself or those around her, triggers a series of tumultuous events.
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