Monday, November 7, 2016

Labyrinth by Alex Beecroft

Despite a few (small) reservations, Labyrinth by Alex Beecroft was a wonderful historical romance with a genderqueer flavor. It was a story well-told, with lovely character development, and some clever twists on the traditional mythology of ancient Crete and the story of the Minotaur.

Let me get those reservations out of the way first. I found the age gap between Kikeru and Rusa a bit creepy, especially knowing that Rusa has a daughter older than Kikeru. It is not entirely unrealistic given the time period in question, but it did make me a tad uncomfortable. Also, the gender pronouns are all over the place, which is largely excused by the fact that Kikeru has not made a decision, but I felt they should have been more consistent with Kikeru's expression within scene.

Now, with that out of the way, on to what I loved. Like I said earlier, the characters are absolutely lovely. Kikeru's age and shifting gender is portrayed perfectly, and even though some readers might find the internal doubts a little tiresome after a while, I think they are essential to the story. You do not just suddenly clarify all your gender doubts because you have found love. It would have been easy to push the story in that direction, but it also would have been wrong.

Rusa is a fantastic character as well, a man of strength and compassion who may not understand everything that is going on, but who loves all Kikeru's facets. Kikeru's mother, Maja, is largely a plot-driven character, but Rusa’s daughter, Jadikira, is a fun character who contrasts well with Kikeru.

While Beecroft does liberties with the mythology, and it felt like there was a little too much overlap of cultures, I did enjoy how it shapes the story, and it made for an entirely satisfying conclusion.

No comments:

Post a Comment