Review: Labyrinth of the Dead by Sara M. Harvey

I purchased this book.

My review of the first book in the trilogy is here.

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Sara M. Harvey’s novella trilogy is part urban fantasy and part steampunk. Featuring angels, demons and nephilim with surprising little religious content, Labyrinth of the Dead strikes at the same chord as Dante’s Inferno. Warrior heroine Portia travels physically to the underworld to reclaim the spirit of her lover Imogen, whose body still lives in the upper worlds. But there are those to seek to use Imogen as a gateway to the living world.

Portia traveling bodily to the Netherworld puts her at great risk, because, as she learns, typically the spawn of celestials and humans by nature go to better afterlifes. But here Portia will learn the truth about her divine heritage, about what becomes of souls when the body dies and she’ll face an old enemy and new betrayers in her quest to be with Imogen.

Harvey’s world is rich for being so brief. Her vivid mix of technology and magic is appealing to fans of steampunk and urban fantasy. At its core Labyrinth of the Dead is a timeless love story, tapping into legends like Orpheus (if, instead of being a pied piper of the dead Orpheus magicked his way to the underworld, often with his own blood). Harvey’s tale is a stand out in the science fiction/fantasy field for it’s uniqueness and it’s quiet, determined strength of storytelling. Here Portia, and Harvey, aren’t content to let the tale unfold, but instead forge the fiction world into something powerful and enjoyable for readers.

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