Lilith Bennette runs at midnight. She scales walls in the dark and climbs without a harness. She hopes that if she follows exactly in the steps of her strong air force pilot mother, she’ll somehow figure out the mystery of her mother’s death—and the reason why her necklace of Greek symbols has been missing ever since.
So when Lil is invited to Crete for a Future Leaders International conference, the same conference her mom attended years ago, she jumps at the chance to find some answers. But things in Melios Manor are not what they seem. Lil finds herself ensnared in an adventure of mythological proportions that leads her and her friends through the very labyrinth in which the real Minotaur was imprisoned. And they’re not in there alone. What secrets does the labyrinth hold, and will they help Lil find the truth about her mother?
This book is perfect for older fans of Percy Jackson and the Olympians and the Heroes of Olympus--and anyone who wants to find out the true story behind the magic of the Greek gods.
Praise for KEEPERS OF THE LABYRINTH:
"Secret societies, mythology, and puzzles worthy of a Dan Brown novel all figure prominently in this thriller....There is much to recommend this book: all the protagonists are empowered female characters, it explores the idea that behind the stories of classical Greek mythology is a history of real people, and it is filled with exciting action."--VOYA
"Secret societies, Greek mythology, and a group of strong female characters are all wrapped up in a mystery which will hit the mark with readers who have finished Rick Riordan’s “Percy Jackson” series."--School Library Journal
"Greek mythology provides the frame for this exciting amalgam of action, friendship, and girl-detective fiction."--Booklist
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
They reached the trailhead, and Lil wiggled her toes in her shoes. Her legs ached to run and stretch, and she pictured the days when she would run behind Mom, through the fields and into the trees. When she was little, she could never keep up. She would see the soles of her mother’s shoes flashing steadily ahead of her. She’d lose her for a while, then around the next bend, spot her again. This path looked different from the wooded one she was used to, climbing up a slight hill and then branching off into four forks that climbed ever higher, steeper and rockier.
The girls stopped in front of a sign with four directionals at the top of it, and Lil fought to make out the Greek letters. Some looked so much like the English alphabet, they were easy to identify—the Es, the As, and the Ks—but she got tripped up on the other letters.
“Ah, here,” Sydney said as she rounded to the other side of the sign.
They followed and looked up.
The top sign said pocket’s gorge.
The next said hidden waters.
The third said cave valley.
And the fourth said funnels ravine.
“Cave Valley,” Kat said. “It has to be . . . where the Minoans bury their dead. In the caves.”
“That’s right,” Charlie said. “Buried high, not low. That’s undoubtedly our path.”
Lil followed the arrow that pointed toward Cave Valley. The sun spilled down like melted butter onto the beginning of the path, then wound its way into shadows under the chestnut trees. The breeze picked up, and voices sprang behind them. A moment later Team A appeared. They all wore white shirts and white shorts lined with blue stripes. Their shirts said the a-team across the front.
“You have got to be kidding me,” Sydney muttered. “When did they—how?”
Another group rounded the corner. They were wearing mostly khakis, and each had a red bandanna around her neck. It was Team B. Lil recognized the girl with the complicated braid that ran around her head like a piece of art. Each shirt said their names. Hers had hilde written across it.
Lastly, Team C came around the corner. They were all wearing long capris and T-shirts—a combination that matched less, but somehow went together. Lil looked down at her running shorts and T-shirt. Then at the others. Kat’s hair was pulled into a curly ponytail at the back of her head. She wore a bright, loose top and black pants that splayed out in a bell shape just above her ankles, where a colorful, embroidered flower decorated the area above the hem. Charlie had traded her suspenders for a pair of khaki shorts and a collared shirt, and Sydney wore a pair of long shorts with a black shirt displaying the periodic table across it.
“Ah,” Vivi said loudly so everyone could hear. “Looks like at least one team lacks team leadership and team spirit.”
A few of the others giggled, but Lil noticed Hall C shift their eyes away, giving Vivi a snide look. Apparently, Hall D weren’t the only ones who were sick of her attitude. Lil was about to retort when Aestos rounded the bend. He held a clipboard in the crook of his arm, and he surveyed the group and then made a few marks.
“What do you think he’s writing?” Sydney said, leaning in. “Do you think he heard that? Do you think they are really going to take off points for fashion?”
“That has nothing to do with team spirit or leadership,” Lil said, rolling her eyes.
“But do you think he’s taking points off?” Sydney said again. She looked to Charlie and Kat.
“No.” Charlie shook her head, the studs in her ears catching the sunlight. “She’s just trying to get under our skin. She has no clue what the rules are.”
“Attention, everyone!” Aestos hollered. “If you could all gather, I will give you the parameters of your race.”
“Oh great. Here we go,” Sydney said as they wandered into a circle with the others. “I wish this were a building challenge or—basically anything else.”
“It’s going to be fine,” Lil whispered. “There is nothing to running. You just move.”
Aestos placed his foot up on a rock and leaned in. “Your mentors are each stationed along the trails. Let’s not make them wait.”
The groups fell silent.
“This morning’s task is a ropes course with a twist.”
Lil’s heart hammered. God, she hoped the challenges looked familiar. If they did—oh, Lil couldn’t help but smile. She could do them in the dark. She could do them blindfolded. In fact, she could split the tasks up by skill level for optimum achievement.
“You have each received a clue,” Aestos said, pulling her from her thoughts.
There was a flurry of hands as girls reached into their pockets and took out their note cards. Lil didn’t bother to extract theirs. They already knew where they were going.
“This clue, if you have deciphered it correctly, will indicate which path to follow. If you reach the correct mentor, you have chosen the correct trail and may continue. If not, your morning task is over and your team will be disqualified. You will be directed back to the dining hall for other activities.”
There was a murmur among them, and feet stirred. “When and if you reach your mentor, you will be following a series of challenges”—he paused dramatically—“and clues that we hope will test your knowledge of this beautiful island. Those who reach the final challenge have a chance to win the day and be in the lead for the manor scholarship.”
He pulled a stopwatch from his pocket. Lil’s legs tensed, and she saw Vivi jump up on the balls of her feet. She examined the other teams. Team B had two very strong-looking girls. One she thought she heard speaking Italian. Team C was definitely the least enthusiastic about what Aestos was saying. And Team A looked to be the most athletic, both with their attire and their long, toned legs. Vivi glanced over at Lil, tucked her tongue in her cheek and leaned forward in a runner’s stance.
“Good luck, Team D,” she said. “I hope the little one brought her inhaler.” She jutted her chin toward Sydney.
“Don’t waste your breath,” Kat said, placing her hand on Lil’s shoulder.
“Yeah,” Sydney muttered, crossing her arms. “I stopped using my inhaler in middle school.”
Lil couldn’t help but smile. “All right, we can do this.” She dusted her hands off on her shorts. “Besides, it’s brains and athletics. We have a great team.”
The others nodded, half confident.
“On your marks,” Aestos began. “Get set.”
They turned toward the Cave Valley trail, and Lil took a deep, full, delicious breath.
“GO!” Aestos shouted.