In this novel Drago Jančar tells the true story of the Slovenian architect, Pavel Areh, as a legend – the legend of Daedalus, who built a labyrinth for King Minos and then became imprisoned himself in his creation. Areh is forced in the first years of the Communist regime in Yugoslavia, to build an isolation prison. It is supposed to have the form of a double-edged axe, in order to demonstrate the double-edged nature of political power, which builds and destroys at the same time. When a wall caves in during the construction works, the authorities regard that as sabotage. The architect is imprisoned in his own building and some of the construction workers are executed without a court case.