In this dazzling start to a new trilogy, Australian author Douglass (StarMan) once again combines mythology, fantasy, magic and romance to produce a consistent, well-rounded story full of seriously flawed characters both abhorrently evil and enthrallingly empathetic. Ariadne, daughter of the Minoan king of Crete and Mistress of the Labyrinth, has betrayed her family for the sake of her lover, Theseus. When Theseus deserts her after she gives birth to a girl, Ariadne spits out a curse ("No one
abandons the Mistress of the Labyrinth!... Not you, nor any part of your world!") that sets in motion a twisting, turning plot that centers a century later on Troy and the efforts of Brutus, the leader of that fallen city, to regain his kingdom. Brutus has already murdered his father to clear his path to the throne, and when an opportunity to seize another kingdom presents itself, he grabs it with no thought to the consequences. Ariadne, now in the form of Genvissa of Llangarlia, uses Brutus's greed and self-confidence to take another step forward in her revenge—a revenge that involves renewing "the Game" and the Labyrinth at its heart. The deliciously despicable main characters all play their part in the Game and in the making or breaking of the Labyrinth, leading to many unintended results. Douglass continually surprises, and readers will eagerly await the next two books, which promise to carry the action up to modern-day London. (Jan. 27)
FYI:The author has won two Aurealis Awards.