Book Review: A Thousand Beginnings and Endings

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings
Edited by: Ellen Oh & Elsie Chapman
Published By: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: June 26, 2018
Page Count: 336
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Edelweiss
Young Adult - Anthology, Asian Mythology

Life has been crazy lately as I am dealing with changes at work, taking a graduate level course, chasing my toddler, and trying to keep my headaches in check. I don't mention this as an excuse, but just to provide some background on why I am behind on my ARC reviews. I have dropped the ball on reading prior to release dates with several of them and I'm working to catch up.

Also due to the aforementioned hectic life, I didn't have time craft a review that was as detailed as I typically do for anthologies, but that is not an indicator of the book's worth. I loved every moment of this one. Not only did I learn about cultures, I also got to learn mythology that was completely foreign to me. I was intrigued that some of it sounded similar to other lore from around the world while some elements were completely unique to the culture that spawned the tale. I have also been mentioning this one to my students and colleagues as I loved how many Asian cultures were represented in this volume.

My favorite stories in the collection were  "Forbidden Fruit" by Roshani Chokshi, "The Land of the Morning Calm" by E.C. Myers, and "Bullet, Butterfly" by Elsie Chapman. I did enjoy all the stories in the collection, but those two stood out for me.

This is a great read if you're looking for a mental vacation or you're seeking diversity in your reading list. I loved that not only did these authors put their own spin on classic stories, but that they also gave a brief overview of the myth or legend that inspired their tales. I am inspired to seek out some of the original stories to read in their entirety. I also have some new authors to add to my TBR list.

One Last Gripe: I wasn't as fond of some of the contemporary stories.

Favorite Thing About This Book: Learning new stories from Asian cultures

First Sentence: Do not trust the fruit of Maria Makiling.

Favorite Character: Sun from "The Land of the Morning Calm" by E.C. Myers

Least Favorite Character: The Prince from "The Smile" by Aisha Saeed

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.