Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova is the first book in the young adult fantasy series Brooklyn Brujas. The story follows Alex Mortiz, a bruja that doesn’t want her magical powers. When she tries to rid herself of her magic, there is an unfortunate and unexpected consequence that leads her on a journey in a dangerous land with a mysterious boy named Nova.
The magic in Córdova’s world is unmistakably Latin American. Alex’s sister Lula is quick to point out that they are not witches and they don’t do spells. They are brujas and brujas do cantos. Rather than having a quinceañera, brujas have Deathdays where they summon their dead ancestors. Aspects of Latin American cultures shine through in this novel from the rosaries and candles in the Mortiz home to the magical land of Los Lagos. It’s not often I get to read a fantasy book that features so much Latin American culture and I was glad to find this one.
I personally really enjoyed reading this book. Alex is a fascinating and relatable character. Everyone goes through the phase where they just want to be “normal” and have to reconcile that with who they really are. I also love Nova as he’s a very charismatic character. Lula and Rose and their relationship with Alex shows a realistic depiction of siblings. Córdova did a great job of developing all of her characters, including the villains.
I also really enjoyed the romance in the novel. I’m a sucker for characters who start out annoyed with each other’s existence and grow to care for one another. While the romance starts out pretty predicable, Córdova makes sure it doesn’t end that way.
The sequel, Bruja Born, will be released on June 5 and it will follow Alex’s sister Lula. To promote this book, Córdova will be going on tour. She will be touring with Dhonielle Clayton, the author of The Belles, as part of the Belles & Brujas Tour. This tour will include guest authors, such as Nicola Yoon and Julie C. Dao, in different cities to talk about the importance of diversity.
Be sure to check out the website for details on the tour dates and which guest author will be visiting your city!