Saturday, August 4, 2018

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings

Title: A Thousand Beginnings and Endings
Author: Various
Genre: Retelling, Various
Source: HarperCollins

Star-crossed lovers, meddling immortals, feigned identities, battles of wits, and dire warnings. These are the stuff of fairy tale, myth, and folklore that have drawn us in for centuries.

Fifteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionate.

Compiled by We Need Diverse Books’s Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman, the authors included in this exquisite collection are: Renee Ahdieh, Sona Charaipotra, Preeti Chhibber, Roshani Chokshi, Aliette de Bodard, Melissa de la Cruz, Julie Kagawa, Rahul Kanakia, Lori M. Lee, E. C. Myers, Cindy Pon, Aisha Saeed, Shveta Thakrar, and Alyssa Wong.

A mountain loses her heart. Two sisters transform into birds to escape captivity. A young man learns the true meaning of sacrifice. A young woman takes up her mother’s mantle and leads the dead to their final resting place. From fantasy to science fiction to contemporary, from romance to tales of revenge, these stories will beguile readers from start to finish. For fans of Neil Gaiman’s Unnatural Creatures and Ameriie’s New York Times–bestselling Because You Love to Hate Me.
Review by Nara

There is quite the excellent list of authors included in this anthology, some of whom I actually hadn't heard of before, but might now seek out after reading their stories. I thought each story was worth at least a "liked" rating, with none of them being poorly written or boring. The only complaint I might have had for some of them is that they tended to end rather abruptly or with an open ending, which to be honest, is just the way that some short stories are written.

I really liked how after each short story, the author would include a note about the original tale that the story is based on. Especially because I don't really think I'd heard of any of the original tales, even the ones that are Korean. It was nice to get a basic explanation of what happens in the original and what the author changed.

Overall, an excellent anthology. Would recommend it for those looking for a bit of a unique anthology with origins in Asian mythology.

Really liked it
Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi 4/5
Olivia's Tale by Alyssa Wong 3/5
Steel Skin by Lori M Lee 3/5
Still Star Crossed by Sona Charaipotra 3/5
The Counting of Vermilion Beads by Aliette De Bodard 3/5
The Land of the Morning Calm by E.C. Myers 3/5
The Smile by Aisha Saeed 4/5
Girls Who Twirl and Other Dangers by Preeti Chhibber 3/5
Nothing at All by Renee Ahdieh 4/5
Spear Carrier by Rahul Kanakia 3/5
Code of Honor by Melissa de la Cruz 3/5
Bullet, Butterfly by Elsie Chapman 4/5
Daughter of the Sun by Shveta Thakrar 4/5
The Crimson Cloak by Cindy Pon 4/5
Eyes Like Candlelight by Julie Kagawa 4/5