RELEASE DATE: June 26th 2018
AUTHORS: Ellen Oh & Elsie Chapman
GENRE: Young-Adult, Fantasy, Mythology, Adventure.
PUBLISHER: Greenwillow Books
SUMMARY: 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.
I’m not much fan of Anthologies, but I love reading about myths and folktales from different cultures so I can’t miss this one. I’ve been very excited to read this book since I heard about it. It was a wonderful collection of short story retellings inspired from East and South Asian myths and folktales. Overall, I’m pretty much satisfied with this collection and we need more diverse reads.
Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi – ★★★★★
The forbidden Fruit is inspired by a Filipino tale Maria Makiling. I’ve never read any of Filipino tales and this story was so fascinating. It’s a perfect start to an anthology and I absolutely loved it. Besides the captivating plot, Roshani’s beautiful writing had brought more charm to this magical tale about gods and goddesses.
Olivia’s Table by Alyssa Wong – ★★★
Olivia’s Table is inspired by a Chinese festival called “The Hungry Ghost Festival” which is celebrated during a month-long period when restless spirits are said to roam the earth and people make offerings to their ancestors with food, entertainment, and money. Okay, this story was pretty interesting to read, but sadly it isn’t my favorite. It’s a story about a girl who’s dealing with grief. After losing her mother, She takes up her job and leads the dead to their final resting place.
Steel Skin by Lori M. Lee – ★★★.5
I really liked this tale. It’s a story inspired by an Hmong folktale. The author takes us into a sci-fi world filled with androids and advanced technology. Even though the story was pretty much predictable to me, I quite enjoyed reading it. It was a nice retelling.
Still Star-Crossed by Sona Charaipotra – ★★★
This was inspired by a Gujarati tale about two star crossed lovers. I wish I could love this story, but I didn’t like the modern retelling of this tale. It was so predictable and a bit creepy story. It’s not that bad, but I think it could’ve been better executed.
The Counting of Vermillion Beads by Aliette De Bodard – ★★★★
This was a wonderful story about two sisters. It was inspired by a Vietnamese fairytale Tấm and Cám. I loved the way the author weaved her own touch to this story. Her writing and narrating skills were pretty good. The plot might seem a bit confusing at the start, but it gets easier as the story progresses. I’ve never read anything by Aliette De Bodard, but now I really want to check out her other works.
The Land of the Morning Calm by E. C. Myers – ★★★
This tale will definitely appeal more to the game lovers especially MMORPG fans. It’s a story about a girl who’s dealing with her mother’s death even after five years has passed. She currently lives with her father, and her grandfather whose presence always reminds her of their happy days with her mother. This story was pretty cool, unique, and also a bit sad. It’s based on korean culture and gwisin aka Ghosts. Well, I liked it, but I didn’t love it.
The Smile by Aisha Saeed – ★★★★★
This is one of my favorite tale in this collection. It’s inspired by a south Asian tragic love story between Salim and Anarkali. It was a beautiful tale about love, and the author did a wonderful job in executing it in her own style. I was totally hooked to this story from the start till the end because it was so good. I think many readers will definitely love this short story.
Girls Who Twirl and Other Dangers by Preeti Chhibber – ★★★
This story was inspired by the Indian festival “Navratri”. It is a nine nights Hindu festival, celebrated in the autumn every year where they worship the goddess Durga. To be honest, this felt like an okay-ish story. It would’ve been great, if it was a historical retelling of the epic fight between Durga and Mahishasur. It was confusing and annoying when the story shifted between the current modern world and the historic times. It’s not an enchanting tale, but it delivered a nice message at the end, so I finally decided to give it a three.
Nothing into All by Renée Ahdieh – ★★★★
I’m a great fan of Renée Ahdieh’s books and she didn’t disappoint me. Nothing into All is inspired by a Korean fairytale “Goblin Treasure”. It’s a story about two siblings Charan and her younger brother Chun who wanders around the forest and discovers goblins. Renée beautifully narrated this story and I enjoyed every minute of it.
Spear Carrier by Rahul Kanakia – ★★
Spear Carrier was inspired by the epic battle in Mahabharata which is one of the great epics of ancient India. Well, this was a great disappointment and my least favorite story in this collection. The main protagonist seemed more annoying than fun. The plot was weak and I found the writing unappealing, but it does send a great message so I gave it a two stars instead of one star.
Code of Honor by Melissa de la Cruz – ★★★
This isn’t actually bad, but I was a bit disappointed with the story because I was expecting some enchanting tale with vampires. I like Vampire stories and I expected more from this author because I’ve heard great things about her. This felt like a prologue to one of her blue bloods books which I’ve never read.
Bullet, Butterfly by Elsie Chapman – ★★★★
This was a beautiful retelling of a Chinese tragic love story Butterfly Lovers. I absolutely loved this story. It was heartwarming, emotional, and sad. The characters were amazing, the setting was brilliant, and the writing was simply superb. It was a pretty good short story and the author perfectly executed it.
Daughter of the Sun by Shveta Thakrar – ★★★★★
Daughter Of the Sun is a modern retelling of the story Princess Savitri and Prince Satyavan from The Mahabharata. I’ve never heard of this tale, but I actually loved reading this modern version. It’s a story about love and sacrifice. It was a wonderful tale that kept me hooked till the end. It really deserves a perfect five stars.
The Crimson Cloak by Cindy Pon – ★★★★★
This was my NO.1 favorite in this entire collection. I totally fell in love with this story. It was inspired by a Chinese folk tale “The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl”. It was a total perfection and I loved the main characters, they’re so good. Cindy Pon is pretty amazing in writing short stories. I loved her Beautiful Venom which is another short story that she wrote for “Because You Love To Hate Me” Anthology. I hope she writes more amazing short stories like these in the future.
Eyes like Candlelight by Julie Kagawa – ★★★★★
Julie Kagawa is one of my favorite authors and I was very excited to read this story. It was inspired by the Japanese mythical creatures Kitsune, fox shifters. I love Kitsune’s and I can’t tell you how much I loved this story. It was amazing and well executed. The characters, the plot, the writing, and the world building was perfect. Despite the sad ending, I still love this story with my whole heart. After reading this story, I’m even more excited for Julie’s new series Shadow Of The Fox which features more kitsune’s. I can’t wait to read it.
I highly recommend this book to everyone who loves to read about folktales and myths.
MY RATING:[4/5 Stars]