panâs labyrinth

The signs as 80's movies
  • Aquarius: E.T.
  • Aries: Back to the Future
  • Cancer: Star Wars: Episode V-The Empire Strikes Back
  • Capricorn: Flashdance
  • Gemini: The Breakfast Club
  • Leo: The NeverEnding Story
  • Libra: When Harry Met Sally
  • Pisces: The Goonies
  • Sagittarius: The Outsiders
  • Scorpio: The Dead Poet's Society
  • Taurus: Labyrinth
  • Virgo: Raiders of the Lost Ark

I was on goodreads looking up 2017 ya releases when I saw a book called Wintersong. I read the summary and I feel like everyone in the Labyrinth fandom should read this because HOLY SHIT.

“All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.”

I’m not saying this sounds like a labyrinth fanfiction, but it totally sounds like a labyrinth fanfiction and I am so fucking excited to read this.


“Through dangers untold. And hardships unnumbered. I have fought my way here to the castle; beyond the goblin city, to take back the child that you have stolen. My will is as strong as yours, and my kingdom as great…You have no power over me!”

Labyrinth (1986)

Captive Prince - Book Recommendations

A Few Captive Prince-Related Book Recommendations

My credentials (haha):

1) I’ve read all these books and

2) I’m a librarian (though sadly not usually the kind of librarian that gets to tell patrons about how to find their next queer fantasy/romance novel, although the number of queer fantasy/romance novels at my college library has definitely quadrupled since I’ve worked there… ahem) and

3) I tried but didn’t enjoy the usual Captive Prince-related recommendations, which are:

  • The Song of Achilles (I gave it 100 pages but refused to suffer further…)
  • The Raven Cycle (I gave it 100 pages and was so bored…)
  • The Foxhole Court series (I might come back to it, but it was just so implausible, I couldn’t cope…)
  • Six of Crows (I bought this for my students and I was like aw yeah, gonna add to the circulation stats, and at 50 pages I was done. I think I’ll try it again though…)

Although for any of the above if anyone really wants to convince me to try again, I’m open to that. I just didn’t fall in love with them. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is also often recommended, but I haven’t read it (I did buy it for my students so I will try to pick it up sometime).

The following is a list of books that I either did fall in love with, or that I think others might find interesting once they’ve finished reading Kings Rising for the sixth time. They all have queer characters in a fantasy setting, and some have M/M romance.

  • The Shades of Magic trilogy by V. E. Schwab (consisting of A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows so far) because I am a sucker for London AUs. Plus queer (and poc) characters in a non-homophobic society, and magic, and pirates, and Lila Bard. Lila Bard, everyone.

  •  The Doctrine of Labyrinths series by Sarah Monette (consisting of Mélusine, The Virtu, The Mirador, and Corambis) because I would happily read this woman’s grocery list. Her writing is exquisite. This world has queer main characters in a fairly non-homophobic society, and competing theoretical schools of magic, and evil wizards with badass names, and death goddesses, and not-quite-Tarot cards, and the absolute sass-machine that is Mildmay the Fox, and titan clocks, and wizard archaeology. BUT it is also very dark and brutal and basically everything bad that could possibly happen to a person happens to the main characters, so check out the warnings before proceeding. If any part of Captive Prince was too much for you, skip these ones.

  • Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner (I haven’t read the other Riverside books) has an established queer (M/M) relationship in a non-homophobic society as a backdrop to a “melodrama of manners” punctuated by vicious swordfights. The writing is kind of stylistic and I owned this book for years before I actually managed to read it.

  • Wicked Gentlemen by Ginn Hale, because although it is much too short, it has queer characters in a non-homophobic society, M/M romance, hat theft, and the Prodigals, descendants of the “redeemed” fallen angels/demons who are ghettoized underground.

  • The Rifterseries by Ginn Hale (consisting of The Shattered Gates, His Sacred Bones, and The Holy Road) because it has M/M romance in a fantasy setting with a super convoluted plot, poc characters, environmental wizardry, biology majors, alternate timelines, dog witches, and super scary bone oracle things. The tone is fairly dark, and there is a lot of homophobia.

  • Lord of the White Hell (2 volumes) by Ginn Hale, because it has M/M romance, a detailed fantasy setting, interesting cultural and religious clashes, horses (always very important), and science vs magic vs religion. Definitely leans towards yaoi tropes (including a conspicuous lack of women) but still fun to read.

  • The High King’s Golden Tongue by Megan Derr, because it has M/M romance, language nerds, and queer characters in a non-homophobic, non-transphobic, happy-no-matter-where-you-are-on-the-gender-spectrum society. The fantasy world-building and plot are okay, but definitely not the selling points.

  • The A Land Fit for Heroes series by Richard K. Morgan (consisting of The Steel Remains, The Cold Commands, and The Dark Defiles) for those of you who like their fantasy extremely grimdark. There are queer (two of the three main) characters in an extremely homophobic society, and M/M and F/F relationships. These books are actually horrifically disturbing, now that I think about it, even more so than Doctrine of Labyrinths. On the plus side, there are sword fights, evil elves, possible sci-fi-tech in a fantasy setting, bitchy sentient satellite crab things, and a lesbian-woc-engineer-wizard main character.

Okay, I’m gonna stop here for now. I could go on, but these are the titles that seemed most relevant to me, and I’ve read them in the past decade so I mostly remember them. Your mileage may vary. This became more of a Ginn Hale fan-fest than I intended, but check out other @blindeyebooks publications too. Also, my faves (Doctrine of Labyrinths, A Land Fit for Heroes) are problematic and I’m not sorry, but do know what you’re getting into.