A Thousand Beginnings and Endings
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: Renée 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.

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings Details

TitleA Thousand Beginnings and Endings
Author
ReleaseJun 26th, 2018
PublisherGreenwillow Books
ISBN-139780062671158
Rating
GenreFantasy, Short Stories, Young Adult, Anthologies, Mythology

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings Review

  • Emily May
    January 1, 1970
    This is definitely one of the better YA short story collections I have read. As with all anthologies, some stories are much stronger than others, but I enjoyed far more than I disliked. Plus, it was just so great to see the exploration of mythologies we don’t often see in the mainstream. My average rating over the fifteen stories was 3.7.A few years ago, collections like these might have just been a way for me to go on some literary tourism of other cultures, but it's now very important to me on This is definitely one of the better YA short story collections I have read. As with all anthologies, some stories are much stronger than others, but I enjoyed far more than I disliked. Plus, it was just so great to see the exploration of mythologies we don’t often see in the mainstream. My average rating over the fifteen stories was 3.7.A few years ago, collections like these might have just been a way for me to go on some literary tourism of other cultures, but it's now very important to me on a personal level. My two sons are mixed race - Japanese and British - and it is so so important to me that they see their Japanese heritage represented in all forms of art and media. And, honestly, it's just so refreshing to see fantasy stories outside of the vaguely-Medieval Euro-centric books we've come to expect. There's a whole world of fascinating history and culture out there - it's time to explore it!Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi - 5 starsThe collection gets off to a bang with this gorgeous Filipino fairy tale and love story. I didn't love Chokshi's first novel The Star-Touched Queen, but I have to say that her flowery, poetic writing works MUCH better in a short story. It's lush and vivid, raising goosebumps along my arms at its end. A goddess falls in love with a human man - oh, what could possibly go wrong? It was an ill-fated thing to claim that a heart is safe. Hearts are rebellious. The moment they feel trapped, they will strain against their bindings. Olivia’s Table by Alyssa Wong - 4 starsThis was a little strange, but in the best possible way. Wong takes on the Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival in her story. A young girl who has lost her beloved mother makes it her duty to feed crowds of ghosts. It's a tale about grief, told in sweet, subtle interactions. There is something so wonderful and sad about this uniting of the living and the dead through food. Don’t talk to strangers, Mom had said, over and over. And don’t trust the ghosts, especially not during the Ghost Festival. Steel Skin by Lori M. Lee - 3.5 starsIf I was rating the ending alone, this would probably get five stars. It's a science-fiction story with androids, but also about grief and the loss of a loved one. There's the familial aspect: the narrator's relationship with her father hasn't been the same since her mother died; and also a mystery aspect: she teams up with a friend to uncover the truth behind the androids that were recalled. For the most part, I glided through the story, kinda enjoying it but not really loving it like the previous two. And then the ending happened. Perfection. And now that she knew the truth, who would she decide to be? Still Star-Crossed by Sona Charaipotra - 2 starsIt's a shame about this one because it took some interesting steps but stopped very abruptly and strangely. I turned the page and was shocked to discover that it was over! It's a Punjabi folktale retelling and the author's explanation for the story was really interesting, but I didn’t think her intentions came across at all. The main guy was pretty creepy, too. You don’t know, Bebo, what you’ll do,” my mother says, a sudden anger simmering under her words. “You don’t know how to choose until you’re right there, on the precipice, giving away your everything for something that may be real or may be a shadow, a ghost you’re chasing.” The Counting of Vermillion Beads by Aliette De Bodard - 4 starsLike a lot of these stories, this one was quite weird. Though I found myself really liking it. I also found myself doing some reading into the Vietnamese story of Tam and Cam, which starts like something of a Cinderella tale, in which a jealous sister envies the other's beauty and it leads to tragedy. Here, Bodard rewrites it with a more positive spin, showing the power of sibling love above all else. “So many precious places to discover. Come on, Lil’sis. Let’s go see them together.” The Land of the Morning Calm by E. C. Myers - 5 starsAww. This was one seriously emotional, beautiful story about loss and gaming. As gaming is such an important part of Korean culture, it was great to see it explored here. And while I usually find video game-centred stories too light and silly, Myers did a fantastic job of showing how a game can be really important for someone. It can be a much-needed escape, a creativity outlet, or a doorway to an unending universe. I liked this story so much because it took something I don't usually love and did something new and deeply moving with it. “I finally know how it ends.” The Smile by Aisha Saeed - 4 starsWell, I always like a good feminist fairytale! And I LOVE what Saeed did with this one. She takes a tragic love story and rewrites it to give a king's courtesan choice, freedom and agency. It's a gorgeously-written South Asian addition, and somehow both happy and sad. Happy, because it is about a woman finally getting to make her own choices and understanding what love really is. But sad, because much must be given up for the sake of freedom. The prince always said I belonged to him. I had thought this word protected me and kept me safe, but now I understood. Belonging meant he could place me wherever he liked, whether in his bed or in this dank tower. Belonging is not love. It never was. Girls Who Twirl and Other Dangers by Preeti Chhibber - 3 starsThis was okay. I enjoyed the alternating between Hindu myths and a modern-day celebration of Navaratri, a holiday I had never heard of before. But, though educational, I didn't feel as much of a spark with this one as I did with the others. It was light, but fairly bland. It seemed a little too long, too.Nothing into All by Renée Ahdieh - 4 starsI really enjoyed this one! It's a retelling of the Korean folktale Goblin Treasure and I loved what the author did with it. A girl makes a trade for goblin magic so she can achieve her dream of going away to music school, but her brother becomes angry that she isn't using the magic to make gold that could benefit the family. It's a tale about siblings, forgiveness, the decisions we make and how bad actions can be hiding a good person. It is Chun’s fault he has become a thief. But please let him have the chance to make it right. Give him the chance to become a great man. Spear Carrier by Rahul Kanakia - 2 starsToo long and emotionless for my tastes. I felt like this story was droning on and on in parts, and I neither learned something new from it, nor experienced an emotional response to it. The protagonist goes on and on about wanting to be a hero, and about life and death, and I just took so little away from reading it.Code of Honor by Melissa de la Cruz - 2 starsThere was a definite slip right around this later middle part of the book. My two least favourite stories were lumped together here. Melissa de la Cruz's work seemed to be a companion to her Blue Bloods series, which I have not read and don't particularly have any interest in. This story was about Filipino aswangs - vampire witches - and contained a lot of gore and gruesomeness, but not a lot of emotion. A potentially interesting concept that left me feeling cold. “I almost murdered a girl yesterday.” Bullet, Butterfly by Elsie Chapman - 4 starsGorgeous. Chapman retells the Chinese tale of the Butterfly Lovers - a "tragic tale of two young lovers kept apart by familial duty". Set during a war, this reimagining sees a boy posing as a girl and falling in love with another girl called Zhu. The author breathes new life into a very old concept - that of forbidden love and being torn between duty and what your heart truly wants. Beautifully-written with a touching ending. “Promise me, Lin,” she said, “that wherever we end up stationed, we’ll stay alive long enough to find each other again, to be friends always.” Daughter of the Sun by Shveta Thakrar - 4 starsInspired by two stories from The Mahabharata, this is a powerful feminist tale about sticking to your guns and putting your true passion first. Always. I loved reading about the two stories this was based on - about “Savitri and Satyavan” and “Ganga and Shantanu”. The theme of a smart woman cleverly tricking a god or demon or jinni seems to come up a lot in South Asian folktales and I must confess: I like it. Together, her voice sparkling like diamond dust, his smooth as clove smoke, they ensorcelled the audience as they had ensorcelled each other. The Crimson Cloak by Cindy Pon - 5 starsOh, I loved this! I'm not sure why but I sometimes love it when the narrator speaks directly to the reader with a conspiratorial wink (You can never out wait a goddess, Dear Reader. I have all the time in the world.). In this, Pon retells “The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl”, which is itself a wonderful folktale, but here becomes even more so. It's very romantic, definitely a love story, but it's a good one. The author gives a voice to the mostly silent weaver girl in this version, allowing her to tell the story from her perspective. I couldn't stop smiling as she tells us: “All the storytellers get it wrong.” Eyes like Candlelight by Julie Kagawa - 4 starsI wonder if this story has anything to do with Kagawa's upcoming novel Shadow of The Fox because it is also about foxes (well, kitsunes, to be precise). Takeo, the protagonist in this story, is an extremely likable hero and we get pulled along for an adventure with one of Japan's most loved mythical creatures: kitsunes. Typically, human/fox shapeshifters. It's also a little creepy, too. Kagawa captures the eerie small-town setting perfectly and, let's not lie, there's something deeply unsettling about never knowing whether a human is really a human or something else. Takeo never saw the fox again. But sometimes, on warm evenings when he was outside, he could almost imagine he was being watched. Overall, this was a stunning anthology. I would really love to see more fantasy short story collections exploring mythologies around the world with own voices authors. If you like fantasy and you like short stories, I highly recommend these.Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube
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  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided by HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.This is the anthology I’ve been waiting my entire life for. As a Filipina woman, I have no words to express how happy my heart is to just read a collection of short stories that are all ownvoices. And at the end of each short story is an author note on why they wrote the story that they did. And, I think I cried reading at least 75% of the author’s notes. This anthology is so beautiful, so powerful, and it means more to me than I hav ARC provided by HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.This is the anthology I’ve been waiting my entire life for. As a Filipina woman, I have no words to express how happy my heart is to just read a collection of short stories that are all ownvoices. And at the end of each short story is an author note on why they wrote the story that they did. And, I think I cried reading at least 75% of the author’s notes. This anthology is so beautiful, so powerful, and it means more to me than I have word combinations to express. “We fell in love with all those myths about powerful gods being vulnerable, about humans becoming heroes. Such stories taught us about mythology, about the beauty of folktales and legends, and about how stories of gods and goddesses are also stories about the human heart. But we never found similar compilations that were distinctly Asian.” Friends, please preorder this and fall in love, too! If you’d like to get me a birthday gift this year, please just preorder this, read, and review this collection. Honestly, it’s the only thing I want in 2018. I’ll beg, I’ll plead, I’ll scream from the rooftops: please preorder this anthology and show the world that Asian stories can not only sell, but can also change lives. I will cherish this book forever and ever. (While also apparently rereading Roshani’s from my ARC copy over the phone to my grandmother 100 times!) This collection honestly has so many amazing additions, but my personal favorites were Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi, Olivia’s Table by Alyssa Wong, The Crimson Cloak by Cindy Pon, and Eyes like Candlelight by Julie Kagawa. But my all-time favorite of the collection was The Land of the Morning Calm by E. C. Myers.But I'm going to break down each short story with my thoughts, opinions, and individual star rating!➽ Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi - ★★★★★Filipino “It was an ill-fated thing to claim that a heart is safe. Hearts are rebellious. The moment they feel trapped, they will strain against their bindings.” I am in tears writing this. Best opening story of any anthology ever. This is a version of the Philippine mythos of Maria Makiling that my grandma has been telling me stories of since I was a little girl. And Roshani’s take on it was beyond words beautiful. This opening story was enough for me to preorder three copies of this book. And I know I’m being completely biased, but this was nothing short of magnificent, and I’ll cherish it forever and ever. Roshani, thank you, with every bone in my body, thank you. ➽ Olivia’s Table by Alyssa Wong - ★★★★★Chinese “Can’t they see the ghosts all the time?” she asked. “Not like you and I can. The Festival is when ghosts are most themselves instead of what the living want them to be. Not everyone will like what they see tonight.” Everyone knows I’m a huge fangirl of Alyssa Wong, but the reason for that is because she truly writes the best short fiction out there right now. There are so many amazing authors out there, but talent like Alyssa’s, where it just shows that she was meant to weave words together and craft these life changing stories, is so rare, but so awe-inspiring. She is such a blessing to the literary world, and I'm forever thankful. Every anthology collection I’ve read that includes a story from her ends up being ten times better for the inclusion. And her story always ends up completely stealing the show, my soul, and my heart, while also becoming my favorite. And Olivia’s Table was no different. This is a perfect story about a girl dealing with grief and depression but honoring her family by cooking at the Hungry Ghost Festival. And this was such an honor to read, and I know I’ll carry this tale with me forever. TW/CW: loss of a loved one, terminal illness, grief, and depression. ➽ Steel Skin by Lori M. Lee - ★★★★Hmong “The brain is just a highly complex circuit of electrical impulses, so it stands to reason that it can be artificially manufactured. Scientists have been trying to understand this process for decades. What. Makes. Emotion?” This is a sci-fi tale about a girl and her strained relationship with her father, who hasn’t been the same since her mother died (TW/CW: loss of a loved one, grief, and abandonment). But she and her friend soon start to unravel a mystery concerning the androids that were recalled long ago for being too intelligent. And this was such a beautiful story, with such an amazing ending. And the end note about this reimagining of The Woman and the Tiger, a Hmong folktale, completely made me fall even harder in love. ➽ Still Star-Crossed by Sona Charaipotra - ★★★Punjabi “You don’t know how to choose until you’re right there, on the precipice, giving away your everything for something that may be real or may be a shadow, a ghost you’re chasing.” This one wasn’t my favorite in the collection, just because it stars a young girl at a club with her friend when a strange young man appears and keeps following them. I mean, all the red flags, right? And even though his intentions always seemed good, it still made me uncomfortable to read. I did love the author’s note for this one, I just sadly didn’t love this vision. But oh my gosh, the atmosphere and the food descriptions? Perfection. Like, don’t read this if you’re hungry, because my stomach is growling just thinking about the food and drinks from this short story. ➽ The Counting of Vermillion Beads by Aliette De Bodard - ★★★★★Vietnamese “We can’t go home, but that doesn’t mean we have to be caged.” I loved this tale about two sisters and that unconditional bond. This story felt so full, so atmospheric, so perfect. This story was inspired by Tấm and Cám, but the version that Aliette De Bodard created is so heartwarming and so inspiring. This is an empowering little tale, that truly emphasizes that we can be anything we want in this world, with whoever we are in this world, regardless of what others want to shape and mold us to be. ➽ The Land of the Morning Calm by E. C. Myers - ★★★★★Korean “I finally know how it ends.” I cried through 80% of this story. Easily, this was one of my new favorite short stories of all time. I will never forget this story for as long as I live. And I am immediately buying everything E. C. Myers has created. This is a story about a gwisin (ghost), and a girl that is still dealing with the death of her mother, five years later. It doesn’t help that she’s still living with her father and her mother’s father (her grandfather), who reminds her of her mother’s presence constantly. But it is undeniable when the MMO that was her mother’s life, and the reason her parents met, is being shut down forever, but has drawn Sunny into playing again. And Sunny has just found out about a new private server that will preserve the game, and maybe the memory of her mother. I loved this more than words. MMORPGs have meant so much to me during my life. I have played them since high school, and I have some of my very best friends and loved ones to this day because of them. And this short story is a love letter to video games and the impact they can make on your life. And video games are such a huge part of Korean culture, and the significance and importance shined through this story so very brightly. This story just had such a profound meaning to me, because it made me realize that one day I’m (hopefully) going to be a mom that is a gamer, and a con lover, and a writer, and so many of the things that Sunny viewed her mom as. Like, I promise, I was bawling through almost this entire story. This was beyond words beautiful. I have no word combination to string together to let you all know how perfect this was and how much this story meant to me. TW/CW: death, loss of a parent. And RIP to my favorite NPC of all time, Ephoenix (Ezra Chatterton). ➽ The Smile by Aisha Saeed - ★★★★★South Asian “Belonging meant he could place me wherever he liked, whether in his bed or in this dank tower. Belonging is not love. It never was.” This was so beautiful, I couldn’t help but fall in love. I need a full-length of this story, I need to know what happens next, I need so much more. But I guess that’s the beauty of this tale; anything could happen next. This is an extremely feminist short story about a girl who serves a prince who is in love with her. But this story is about love, and how it should only be given freely and to those deserving. Seriously, this is such a treat of a story. I think this will be one that everyone who picks up this anthology will love. ➽ Girls Who Twirl and Other Dangers by Preeti Chhibber - ★★★★Gujarati “There are three reasons I know fall is awesome: the most anticipated Bollywood movies are always on a fall release schedule, my mom starts practicing her delicious party dishes, and it means it’s time for Navrātri!” I loved this adorable story that switched between Hinduism mythos, and to current time to a girl celebrating Navaratri at a party with her friends, while they also plot revenge on a boy that’s being rather rude. Navaratri is celebrated in honor of good defeating evil, and the battle of Durga and Mahishasura, a buffalo demon. And Preeti Chhibber does such a wonderful job transitioning and showcasing these two stories together. Also, I just loved learning about this Hindu holiday that’s so empowering to women. This was expertly crafted and such a joy to read. ➽ Nothing into All by Renée Ahdieh - ★★★★Korean “Many years ago, a girl and a boy lived with their parents in a bark-shingled home near a flowing river’s edge.” Oh, this was such a fun and whimsical read! This was a super unique spin on The Goblin Treasure, which is actually a story I grew up hearing, too. But Renée Ahdieh did such a wonderful job making me feel every single thing for this set of siblings. And there is such a wonderful message about how we all carry goodness and badness inside of ourselves, but how we choose our actions based on which is what is truly important. ➽ Spear Carrier by Rahul Kanakia - ★★South Asian “When I’d agreed to his offer, it was because I had thought I’d be a hero.” This is a long short story about what it truly means to be a hero, and if being a hero only means accomplishing what you set out to do or winning the battle you set out to fight. There are a ton of lighthearted pop culture references in this, but a ton of hard-hitting questions of war and what is worth losing one’s life for. I just thought that sometimes the writing was a little too harsh and a little too dry for me. ➽ Code of Honor by Melissa de la Cruz - ★★Filipino “I almost murdered a girl yesterday…” Friends, I’m heartbroken. I was supposed to love this one! I just read the Fresh Ink anthology, and Melissa de la Cruz’s story was easily my favorite out of the entire collection! But this? This just didn’t work for me at all. It’s about a vampire that is living in hiding, but has lost her journal that has a spell attached to it, so no human can read it. But it is still causing her a lot of trouble. Also, TW/CW for sort of a graphic animal comment, since she feeds from them. One line in this kind of made me shudder upon reading, so use caution. But I think this might be a set-up or something for her series Blue Bloods, but it just really felt strange being a part of this anthology, and I really didn’t enjoy it as much as it pains me to say. ➽ Bullet, Butterfly by Elsie Chapman - ★★★★★Chinese “Don’t forget we’re only ever soldiers here in Shangyu, and soldiers never get to be the ones who wake up from a spell, or who even get to break a spell. We’re just the dragons guarding the gate, ordered to keep breathing the fire of those who cast the spell in the first place.” I loved this so much. I loved this more than words. This is a reimagining of the Chinese legend Butterfly Lovers, and it was so beautiful and so impactful. The theme of loyalty to one’s family, but also to one’s heart and happiness is constant throughout this tale. And just all of the ways that war impacts every single person, whether they are forced to create, forced to fight, or forced to any duty against their true heart’s desires. This story was wonderful and made me such an emotional mess. For sure a highlight in this already amazing anthology. ➽ Daughter of the Sun by Shveta Thakrar - ★★★★South Asian “She sang for her parents, for the hue-switching heavens, for herself. She read fairy tales, epics, and legends and imagined performing them on a stage draped in velvet. But it wasn’t enough. She longed for a friend.” This was a beautiful story inspired by two of the stories in the longest epic poem in history, The Mahābhārata. One about Princess Savitri and Prince Satyavan, and one about Ganga and Shantanu. This was a moving story about destiny and sacrifice and how important it is to always follow your heart, regardless of the outcomes and/or circumstances. And I was high-key living for the feminist undertones that were expertly woven throughout this. ➽ The Crimson Cloak by Cindy Pon - ★★★★★Chinese “…whatever I might make for myself in this life: hearth, home, or family—they would mean nothing without you.” Please, excuse me while I go buy more from Cindy Pon because this story was one of the greatest blessings of 2018. And this is her version of the Chinese folklore tale of Cowherd, and the magical girl who saw him first. I actually had never heard of this tale before, so I spent some time afterwards reading everything I could, and I am even more in love. This is for sure one of the best stories in this anthology, and Cindy Pon’s giving a voice to this magical, fairy, weaver girl is something so beautiful I don’t even have words for it. One of the most romantic short stories I’ve ever read too. All the feels, all the happiness, all the tears. ➽ Eyes like Candlelight by Julie Kagawa - ★★★★★Japanese “She could charm bears with that smile, Takeo thought. If he were a bear, he would lie down with his head in her lap and not move until the hunters came for him.” I loved this with every fiber of my being. I loved this writing so much that I think I’m actually going to pick up everything I’ve been neglecting on reading from Julie Kagawa, too. Like, this was the perfect closing story. And it surrounded one of my favorite mythical creatures of all time: Kitsunes! Again, the writing was so perfect, I was instantly teleported into this small village. The main character, Takeo, was the sweetest little cinnamon roll. And this short story was honestly perfect in every way. And the ending of this was absolutely haunting. I would buy and read anything else about this heartbroken girl, and the small boy that missed so much because of evil men. Out of a possible 75 stars (5 stars possible for each of the 15 stories) this collection accumulated 63 stars (84%). But I am giving this five stars regardless, because I loved it so much. The stories in this collection meant more to me than I have words for. And I truly hope you all pick this up upon release. Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | Twitch The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.
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  • destiny ☠ howling libraries
    January 1, 1970
    We would have been overjoyed to have found this anthology, filled with characters with skin and hair and names more like ours, in our beloved libraries. It’s the book that was missing in our lives for far too long. I have been so excited about this collection ever since I first heard about it. Ellen Oh is a wonderful woman (you may know her as one of the co-founders of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement!), and I knew that her co-editing efforts would lend to a perfectly wonderful anthology. I lov We would have been overjoyed to have found this anthology, filled with characters with skin and hair and names more like ours, in our beloved libraries. It’s the book that was missing in our lives for far too long. I have been so excited about this collection ever since I first heard about it. Ellen Oh is a wonderful woman (you may know her as one of the co-founders of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement!), and I knew that her co-editing efforts would lend to a perfectly wonderful anthology. I love retellings, but more than anything, I was obsessed with the idea of this collection being written singlehandedly by Asian authors, writing Asian stories. Honestly, this is the kind of diverse representation we need more of in the bookish world!It’s hard to narrow down my favorites to just a few, but if I had to pick a top 3, it would go to:Olivia’s Table by Alyssa WongThe Crimson Cloak by Cindy PonEyes Like Candlelight by Julie Kagawa → Forbidden Fruit — Roshani Chokshi ★★★★★ ← They were beautiful in their fragility, disappearing as fast as a bloom of ice beneath sunlight. What a stunning introduction to the collection! I’ve never read any of Roshani’s work before, but this made me immediately wish to do so. It’s the retelling of an old myth about Maria Makiling, a goddess associated with Mount Makiling in the Philippines, and her mortal lover. The writing felt so reminiscent of a classic, old myth or legend, in all the best ways, and I only wish it could have been longer!Origin: Filipino → Olivia’s Table — Alyssa Wong ★★★★★ ← “If you honor everything I’ve taught you, then I promise that I will never leave you.” Alyssa Wong is probably my singular favorite short story author, and she always writes these gorgeous, haunting tales (typically with some horror-esque or death-related vibes, and often a queer protagonist, which this story features both of). This did not disappoint at all. It’s about a Chinese-American teen who takes over preparing the Yu Lan (Hungry Ghost Festival) meal at a hotel in Arizona, after her mother—who had spent many years holding the task—has passed away. It not only displays the importance of remembering and honoring your ancestors and culture, but it also offers a brutally honest look into how it feels to mourn a lost loved one. I cried through probably half of this story, and now I just want to go hug my mom, but kudos to Alyssa for breaking my heart in the sweetest possible way, as usual.Origin: Chinese → Steel Skin — Lori M. Lee ★★★☆☆ ← Yer’s father was an android. This sci-fi piece is a retelling of a children’s story, and in this rendition, Yer is a young girl who believes her father has been replaced by a coldhearted, emotionless android. I didn’t have any complaints about the story, but I wasn’t particularly sucked in, either—it was an interesting concept, but I thought the ending was kind of predictable, and it isn’t a story that I think will stick with me in any way.Origin: Hmong → Still Star-Crossed — Sona Charaipotra ★★★☆☆ ← “You don’t know how to choose until you’re right there, on the precipice, giving you’re your everything for something that may be real or may be a shadow, a ghost you’re chasing.” Unfortunately, this piece didn’t work well for me, either. It’s a very loose retelling, and depicts a young woman who’s trying to learn how to press her parents’ boundaries through partying and letting loose, when she meets a young man who swears he knows her, though she can’t fathom why. There isn’t much I can say without spoiling the ending, but this was an odd story with an ending that I honestly found slightly disturbing (and not in a good way). I didn’t hate it, but I can’t say I enjoyed it much, either.Origin: Punjabi → The Counting of Vermillion Beads — Aliette De Bodard ★★★☆☆ ← But nothing gets through the wall. Not leaves, not birds, not girls—not the sister of her heart, the one who’s always had enough fire for both of them, dragging her into scrapes and trouble as if there were no other way to live. Two young women have been taken to live in the Emperor’s Palace, working as accountants, but the Palace is surrounded by a massive wall that nobody can overcome, and they desperately want to go home to their families. I loved the bond between these two sisters, but the story itself didn’t hold a lot of interest for me. I thought it was a little bit jumpy and would have benefited from being about twice as long and having room for more explanation of what was happening to the girls.Origin: Vietnamese → The Land of the Morning Calm — E. C. Myers ★★★★★ ← I don’t believe in ghosts in the real world, but that’s the joy of the Three Kingdoms. This story was so sweet, and sad, and precious. Sun’s mother passed away when she was 11 years old, and her biggest tie to her mother’s life is The Land of the Morning Calm, an MMORPG, which is scheduled to be shut down in just over a week. Sun revisits the game and finds a familiar spirit trapped therein. Not only is it a sweet reunion story, and a gorgeously modernized folklore retelling, but it also presented an interesting view into both sides of a popular debate: video games can be bonding experiences and create wonderful memories for families who play together, but all hobbies have to be kept in moderation, as we see through Sun’s lamenting over the times she didn’t get to spend with her parents because of their gaming habits.Origin: Korean → The Smile — Aisha Saeed ★★★★★ ← Belonging is not love. It never was. This reads so beautifully like old folklore, with a brilliant young dancer who has found herself trapped in an unhappy relationship with a jealous prince. The depiction of the courtesan was so brave and empowering, and there was an incredibly authentic feeling in the darkness of the tale as she was forced to choose between her freedom or her life.Origin: South Asian → Girls Who Twirl and Other Dangers — Preeti Chhibber ★★★☆☆ ← Let the gods have their battles of good and evil. We were here to dance. This installment was fun in that it paralleled the original story and the retelling, one piece at a time; on the one hand, we had the infamous Hindu legend of the battle between Durga and Mahishasura, while on the other, we had a story of three young girls celebrating Navaratri and seeking revenge on a rude boy from their community. I enjoyed how heavily inspired the story clearly was by the legend, and I liked how heavy-handed the Hindu references were (I had to look some of them up, admittedly, but it was a great opportunity to learn more about the religion and celebration). Unfortunately, my complaint is just that the writing felt so young—I think this story would’ve been better suited as middle grade than YA. It almost felt like a modern parable, which isn’t what I expected.Origin: Gujarati → Nothing into All — Renée Ahdieh ★★★★☆ ← But in truth the brother and sister were searching for something else entirely. Something they’d sworn to keep secret. Something they’d caught sight of only once, eight years ago: Goblins. It’s no secret that I love stories relating to all manner of feyfolk, including coldhearted, greedy little goblins, so I knew I would like this one. I strongly believe whimsical fantasy is where Renee’s writing niche is, and I felt so sucked into this retelling of these siblings seeking goblins—one for simple magic in her life, the other for gold.Origin: Korean → Spear Carrier — Rahul Kanakia ★☆☆☆☆ ← But a hero wouldn’t be so lonely and so afraid. A hero wouldn’t shout for help, and then, hearing only silence, go back to his trench and cry. I genuinely hoped that I would not be 1-starring a single story in this collection, but this was awful. It’s about a kid who dreams his whole life of becoming a hero, so when a god randomly appears and asks him to join in some celestial warfare, he agrees without knowing what he’s signing up for. The stream-of-consciousness writing is not well done, the narrator comes across as very juvenile, and there are some downright insensitive quips about people who die for others or for the furthering of knowledge and science.Origin: South Asian → Code of Honor — Melissa de la Cruz ★☆☆☆☆ ← I almost murdered a girl yesterday. Literally. I recently read a short story by this author that I adored, so I hoped I would love this, too, but this was definitely not my cup of tea. It’s hard to root for a narrator who feels this much like a mid-2000s Mary Sue protagonist, much less when she’s busy slaughtering poor baby animals to calm herself down from her “rages”. This story also just felt so weird and out of place to me, and after I learned that this story apparently ties into the author’s Blue Bloods series, it felt too self-serving for me to give it much merit. Origin: Filipino → Bullet, Butterfly — Elsie Chapman ★★★★★ ← The commanders keep telling us we’re so close to finishing the way, that it’s almost the end—but whose end? This story was breathtakingly beautiful, and so sad. A retelling of “The Butterfly Lovers”, a two-thousand-year-old Chinese legend of star-crossed lovers, it depicts a China in which war has ravaged everyone, forcing young women to work in factories creating weapons for young men to utilize. When Liang is awaiting his station, he dresses as a girl to visit the factory, and falls in love with a young woman therein. The writing in this piece is so powerful, and I loved every word of it.Origin: Chinese → Daughter of the Sun — Shveta Thakrar ★★★★★ ← Savitri Mehta’s parents had named her for light. I enjoyed this story so much, as it portrays a young woman—born with the light of the sun in her chest—who seeks a companion, finding it in a boy full of moonglow—a boy who’s been doomed to die in one year. This is such a gorgeous story, but more than anything, I loved the fact that, despite having been inspired by a mix of two stories instead of one, I could absolutely feel the resemblance to the Mahabharata. My favorite stories in this collection have mostly been the ones that felt like folklore to me, and this one is a shining example of that.Origin: South Asian → The Crimson Cloak — Cindy Pon ★★★★★ ← All the storytellers get it wrong. I have never read Cindy Pon’s work before, but after this story, I absolutely must, because this was astoundingly beautiful. In the original story of “The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl”, despite the Weaver Girl being a goddess, she is given no real autonomy or dialogue; in Cindy Pon’s retelling, however, she is the one who makes the first move, who plays her charms, who gets her way. It is so empowering and sweet, and the bits regarding how fast her mortal loved ones’ lives flash before her eyes was tremendously poignant. Throughout the story, I kept thinking about how much I would adore a full novel or even novella extension of this little masterpiece.Origin: Chinese → Eyes Like Candlelight — Julie Kagawa ★★★★★ ← Takeo never saw the fox again. But sometimes, on warm evenings when he was outside, he could almost imagine he was being watched. Julie Kagawa is another author in this collection whose work had been on my TBR for a while, so I was particularly excited about this story, and it definitely did not disappoint. I’ve always loved Japanese lore and stories about kitsune in particular, and I thought this piece had such a sweet, sad little twist to it. I especially loved the ending; even though it was sad, it went above and beyond to display the depth of emotions that Japan’s most infamous trickster spirits are capable of. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to scurry off and read Julie’s entire bibliography.Origin: JapaneseFINAL AVERAGE RATING: 3.87/5Normally, I’d round this up to a solid 4/5, but honestly, there are so many gems and this collection feels so important that I didn’t hesitate to give this 5 stars. ♥All quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release. Thank you so much to Greenwillow Books for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!You can find this review and more on my blog, or you can follow me on twitter, bookstagram, or facebook!
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  • Hannah Greendale
    January 1, 1970
    DNF at 48%. A Thousand Beginnings and Endings is a collection of short stories that re-imagine South and East Asian myths, penned by fifteen authors tasked with representing their culture. While the myths themselves are interesting, the re-tellings lack sparkle. Halfway through the book, the only alluring tale is found in its opening pages: 'Forbidden Fruit' by Roshani Chokshi. Chokshi conveys a bittersweet tale of love and heartache with colorful prose, though the moral of the story is delivere DNF at 48%. A Thousand Beginnings and Endings is a collection of short stories that re-imagine South and East Asian myths, penned by fifteen authors tasked with representing their culture. While the myths themselves are interesting, the re-tellings lack sparkle. Halfway through the book, the only alluring tale is found in its opening pages: 'Forbidden Fruit' by Roshani Chokshi. Chokshi conveys a bittersweet tale of love and heartache with colorful prose, though the moral of the story is delivered clumsily.
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  • Natalie Monroe
    January 1, 1970
    3.75 starsI requested A Thousand Beginnings and Endings for one reason and one reason only: Julie Kagawa. Her Talon series crashed and burned, she'll always have a special place in my heart due to The Iron Fey series. To my surprise, I found myself enjoying the other stories just as much, some even more. Anthologies are always a bit of a mixed bag, so I'm going to review them individually: Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi — 5 stars “Do not trust the fruit of Maria Makiling.” Alright, I didn't 3.75 starsI requested A Thousand Beginnings and Endings for one reason and one reason only: Julie Kagawa. Her Talon series crashed and burned, she'll always have a special place in my heart due to The Iron Fey series. To my surprise, I found myself enjoying the other stories just as much, some even more. Anthologies are always a bit of a mixed bag, so I'm going to review them individually: Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi — 5 stars “Do not trust the fruit of Maria Makiling.” Alright, I didn't enjoy The Star-Touched Queen, but this was just wow. It's about a semi-forbidden romance between a mortal and a diwata (mountain spirit). The writing is lush and just the right amount of purple. It has very distinct The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic feel, which I love. A Filipino folktale.Olivia’s Table by Alyssa Wong — 2.5 stars “Don’t talk to strangers,” Mom had said, over and over. And don’t trust the ghosts, especially not during the Ghost Festival.” This one revolves around the Chinese Ghost Festival. I'm Chinese and live in Hong Kong. One of my earliest memories involves around my mom telling me not to pick up the yellow paper money scattered on the ground because it’s for ghosts. Even though the theme is familial and revolves around coping with loss, it failed to make an emotional impact on me, partially because I'm too close to it in a way. There is another Chinese-inspired tale in this anthology that I quite liked though, so maybe it's not my thing.Steel Skin by Lori M. Lee — 2 stars “She has this memory. Only a chaotic set of images and sounds, but vivid, like neon scripts streaming across a black screen.” Illuminae does it better. Steel Skin takes place in the future where androids have been banned because they gained sentience and rebelled. The protagonist suspects her dad has been replaced by an android. The what-it-means-to-be-human plot is old and tired, this story was just too short to really do anything with it or hit the right emotional notes. A Hmong folktale. Still Star-Crossed by Sona Charaipotha — 2.5 stars “You don’t know how to choose until you’re right there, on the precipice, giving away your everything for something that may be real or may be a shadow, a ghost you’re chasing.” There's really not much to say about this one without giving away the ending. Taara meets a beautiful, seductive stranger who seems to recognize her. It could have been longer because it ends abruptly without any closure. An Punjabi folktale. The Counting of Vermillion Beads by Aliette de Bodard — 3.5 stars “At night, it sings—a quivering, warbling sounds that rises in her dreams, becomes her sister’s voice. It wouldn’t be so bad, if the bird spoke of cryptic wisdom, or of the dream Tam had, the one that started everything, but instead it’s small, everyday things, the kind of talk they had before Tam changed.” Asian folklore is speckled with stories of men and women transforming into animals. The Counting of Vermillion Beads is a beautiful story of sisterhood. Tam and Cam are forcibly escorted from their village to be census girls for the palace. One night, trying to climb over the wall and escape, Tam falls and transforms into a bird. A Vietnamese folktale.The Land of the Morning Calm by E.C. Meyers — 2.5 stars “Harabeoji says my mother is a gwisin. That’s the Korean word for ghost.” A quirky millennial spin on Korean myths. The Land of the Morning Calm is a multiplayer RPG that the protagonist's mom used to play all the time before she suddenly passed away. Like Olivia's Table, it's a story about grief and moving on. It dives into gaming culture too.The Smile by Aisha Saeed — 5 stars “Belonging meant he could place me wherever he liked, whether in his bed or in this dank tower. Belonging is not love. It never was.” I loooved this one. Gimme your feminist fairytale retellings. Saeed weaves a gorgeous narrative about freedom and choices with a peasant girl-turned-courtesan and the prince who invited her to the palace after he saw her dance. A South Asian folktale.Girls Who Twirl and Other Dangers by Preeti Chhibber — 1.5 stars “This whole holiday is about good defeating evil, right? Dinesh is not going to magically get what’s coming to him. So, it’s on us.” My least favorite in the entire anthology. It's just really silly. Three girls team up to punish a rude boy, which parallels Navratri, a Hindu holiday. It's based on a myth that champions the physical manifestation of divine female energy to defeat a demon. I like the portrayal of female friendship, but that’s all.Nothing Into All by Renee Ahdieh — 4 stars “As the leaves fall/As the sky turn to night/Summon the magic/To turn nothing/Into all” I still have issues with Ahdieh's writing (“...words of rebuke flowing past her lips like water from a steaming kettle”; I mean, come on), but this compact story appealed to me far more than anything else of hers I've read. Inspired by a Korean fairy tale called The Goblin Treasure, a sister is granted three wishes by goblins, but her jealous brother plots to steal it. Sibling rivalry is a traditional fairytale framework, though here it works perfectly. Spear Carrier by Rahul Kanakia — 2 stars “When I’d agreed to his offer, it was because I had thought I’d be a hero. But a hero wouldn’t be so lonely and so afraid.” An interesting story about war from the perspective of a statistic—an ordinary person, out of millions on a battlefield, who dreams of becoming a hero. It didn't make me feel much though. A South Asian epic.Code of Honor by Melissa de la Cruz — 2 stars “I try not to let myself get angry because that’s when I most desire human flesh.” Another story that has a fascinating concept, but left me feeling hollow. This Filipino-inspired tale touches on immigrants—an aswang (vampire) travels to America to flee prosecution in the Philippines. Bullet, Butterfly by Elsie Chapman — 3 stars “Don’t forget we’re only ever soldiers here in Shangyu and soldiers never get to be the ones who wake up from a spell, or who even get to break a spell. We’re just the dragons guarding the gate, ordered to keep breathing the fire of those who cast the spell in the first place.” Each tale is followed by a short essay by the author explaining the inspiration behind the story. Bullet, Butterfly is a retelling of one of the most famous Chinese folktales, the Butterfly Lovers. They are kept apart by familial duty. Here, Liang disguises himself as a girl and sneaks into the armory for a bet, but ends up falling for Zhu, one of the workers there. A queer romance along the lines of Mulan. Daughter of the Sun by Shveta Thakrar — 3 stars “She yearned for someone who didn’t fear her brilliance.” This one is very weird. It's set in modern times yet has a strong fairytale vibe. Maybe it's the purple-drenched writing—a girl with a heart that glows like the sun who falls for a boy with a heart as silver as the moon. Based on a South Asian epic called Mahabharata.The Crimson Cloak by Cindy Pon — 5 stars “Despite how the legend goes, the truth of the matter is, Dear Reader, I saw him first.” The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl is another popular Chinese folktale. The star-crossed lovers are only allowed to meet on the seventh day of the seventh month each year when a bridge of magpies form the Milky Way. Pon puts a fresh spin on it by granting the usually silent weaver girl her own voice and reshapes certain events. I've read Pon's contribution to the villain anthology Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy and honestly, her writing is top-notch. I seriously need to pick up one of her novels soon.Eyes Like Candlelight by Julie Kagawa — 3.5 stars “Yuki met his gaze, eyes glowing a subtle gold in the candlelight, the tip of a bushy tail peeking behind her robes.” Best for last, I suppose? Ironically, I didn't like it as much as a few of the others mentioned. Nonetheless it's an enjoyable read with all the elements I've come to anticipate from Kagawa's work—solid writing and a forbidden romance between a mortal and a supernatural being. In this case, it's the well-known kitsune which appears time and time again in Japanese popular culture.Ultimately, there were highs, there were lows. But the highs are worth it.ARC provided by Edelweiss
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  • Alyssa
    January 1, 1970
    5 stars. My heart is full. Special shout-out to the South Asian stories, including Sona Charaipotra's, Aisha Saeed's, Preeti Chhibber's, Rahul Kanakia's, and Shveta Thakrar's. <3 All of the stories in this anthology are lovely, but I have to especially appreciate the South Asian ones. =)***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***A Thousand Beginnings and EndingsPublisher: Greenwillow BooksPublication Date: June 26, 2018Rating: 5 starsSource: Review copy sent by the publisherSummary (from 5 stars. My heart is full. Special shout-out to the South Asian stories, including Sona Charaipotra's, Aisha Saeed's, Preeti Chhibber's, Rahul Kanakia's, and Shveta Thakrar's. <3 All of the stories in this anthology are lovely, but I have to especially appreciate the South Asian ones. =)***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***A Thousand Beginnings and EndingsPublisher: Greenwillow BooksPublication Date: June 26, 2018Rating: 5 starsSource: Review copy sent by the publisherSummary (from Goodreads):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: Renée 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.What I Liked:It's the final days of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and I'm sneaking in this review just in time! This anthology has to be one of my favorites of all time. I've read several anthologies over the years, and I think this one is quite possibly one of the best that YA authors have to offer. I was introduced to many new Asian myths and legends, but also recognized some of the South Asian ones. I'm incredibly proud to see an anthology of Asian stories, written by Asian authors. This is the #ownvoices representation that YA - and lit in general - needs. I read the stories but I'm only going to highlight a few, which were my favorite. You won't need much convincing, trust me. All of these authors are true storytellers, with excellent writing. You'll recognize powerhouse names like Renée Ahdieh and Roshani Chokshi, and you'll see some "new" names, like Alyssa Wong and Preeti Chhibber. Regardless, these authors all have fantastic stories to tell. This anthology contains retellings of Asian myths and legends. It is structured such that the retelling is presented, and then in the page after the story's end, the author gives a little background information about the original legend(s). This was really cool, because I didn't know about most of the legends, and reading the retellings made me want to know more. Below are some of my favorites. Please note that all of these stories are worth reading. I just really want to gush about these in particular. If I discussed all of them, this would be a very long and boring review (if it isn't already!). Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi (Filipino)This story is a loose retelling of the story of a Filipino goddess, Maria Makiling, who is associated with Mount Makiling. In this retelling, the Mountain falls in love with a human male, and loses her heart to him. It ends up being a tragic story, and in quite a heartbreaking way. I found the retelling absolutely fascinating, and the legend itself was quite intriguing as well. Roshani Chokshi has a way of weaving a story together. There was a quiet lull to this story, and then things escalated in the final pages. Amazing story, lush writing, fascinating legend. Still Star-Crossed by Sona Charaipotra (Punjabi)This story is based on the tale of Sahiba and Mirza, two star-crossed lovers. If there is one thing I know about Indian lore in general, it is the fascination with star-crossed lovers. You see it in old-school Bollywood movies all the time! (I say "old-school" and refer to basically anything pre-2010). The legend involves Sahiba who falls in love with Mirza, a famed archer, but she is to marry a stranger. On the night of her arranged wedding, she runs off with Mirza. But the tale doesn't end there, and I won't spoil it. The retelling is set in modern times, with Taara at a dance in the beginning of the story. Taara meets a boy who calls her Soni and claims to know her, but she has never seen him before. Still, something tugs her to him. This story ends like I expected - the twist is somewhat predictable especially if you're familiar with the culture or old tales. But I loved this story. There was something so familiar about it to me - both the original legend, and the retelling. The Smile by Aisha Saeed (South Asian)It isn't specified, but I believe the original tale is Pakistani. The legend is the story of Anarkali, a courtesan for King Akbar of the Mughal Empire in the 1500s. The retelling is a little different from the original story - in that it binds together two potential versions of the original story. (The original legend is very old and there are several interpretations to the story.) This in itself was really cool. But in any case, I loved the retelling. The heroine is a courtesan to a prince, and the prince is so in love with her. But the courtesan knows that while she adores the prince, she does not love him, and her life is completely controlled by him, even if she is not a prisoner. One smile of hers breaks the illusion and she realizes just how little control of her life that she actually has. The ending of this story is actually really "happy" and I loved it. I was completely hooked on this story and I was rooting for one thing, but then I realized that I wanted the story to end differently. And it did. This was such a cool story and I love that the author chose to retell such an old one, and made it her own.Nothing Into All by Renée Ahdieh (Korean)This retelling was so cool. I feel like I've said that several times now, in this review. But it was! The retelling is the story of Charan and her young brother Chun. Charan and Chun visit the forest often, because they've seen goblins. They'd been doing this since they were children. They got older, and Charan is getting ready to leave her family to go to music school, even though she has caught the eye of a young man in the village, and the match would be advantageous for the family. Chun is not happy about this, because he thinks his sister is being selfish by not staying the village and going through with the match. One day, Charan falls through a hole and meets the goblins. They give her an enchanted club and two wishes. Chun, in a fit of jealousy, steals the club and goes to meet the goblins. All he wants is what is best for his family, unlike what he thinks his sister wants. But things do not end the way Chun wants them to. You'll have to read the story to see what happened. The original legend (a Korean fairy tale) is called The Goblin Treasure and it involved two brothers, one with a good soul and one with a disquiet soul. Anything with goblins is awesome to me, but Renée Ahdieh's retelling of the legend is especially riveting.Daughter of the Sun by Shveta Thakrar (South Asian)This story had me going through a roller coaster of emotions. It is based on The Mahabharata, which is the longest epic poem in recorded history. One of the tales is that of Princess Savitri and Prince Satyavan, and this is where the author's retelling comes from. The retelling is slightly different from the original story. In the retelling Savitri saves Satyavan, a cursed so of Chandra, the lunar lord. But even though she saved him from death, Satyavan is on borrowed time. Still, Savitri brings him back and they get to know each other. But Satyavan remembers nothing of his near-death, or even his being a son of the lunar lord. He knows nothing but Savitri. What happens when his borrowed time is up? You'll have to read the story to find out. This was a heartbreaking and also very lovely story. And surprisingly, the ending was very positive. I love the themes that the author wove into the story. I also loved the romance. With short stories, oftentimes the romance is tragic or nonexistent. The romance in this story was lovely. ***Those were my favorite stories, but please, read the anthology in its entirety!What I Did Not Like:Nothing to say here!Would I Recommend It:I highly recommend this anthology, whether you read YA or not, whether you're Asian or not. Many of these tales read like fiction (not specifically YA fiction), so I'd encourage adult fiction readers to check out the book. There is a wide range of Asian representation - Punjabi, Filipino, Chinese, Hmong, Korean, Gujarati, Vietnamese, and more. My heart was so full, to see these authors and these cultures represented. But my heart was even more full when I read these stories and was swept away by the amazing tales and lovely storytelling. These authors wrote some quality stories. Don't just read this book because it's an Asian-written anthology of Asian stories (although, that's an excellent reason to read the anthology, don't get me wrong); read the book because the stories are incredible.Rating:5 stars. My hat goes off to Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman for putting together this project. And of course to the amazing authors who came up with these stories. A specific thing: I didn't grow up seeing many South Asian MG or YA stories in the library, and to see so many in this anthology was heartwarming. Thank you, authors.
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  • joanna ☽
    January 1, 1970
    ALERT ALERT ALERTI JUST FOUND OUT THAT THERE IS A FILIPINO STORY IN THIS BOOKas in filipinolike me!!!!i am crying actual tears of joy right now! i've never felt truly represented in any books before and this feels like such a huge step. i love the publishing industry. i love everyone. if you're reading this, i love youso guess what i'm reading next
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  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    January 1, 1970
    what if this cover just murdered me, right where I stand // reimagined South Asian folklore! also, anthology! also, COVER!
  • Aila
    January 1, 1970
    Every story was absolutely amazing.These are the stories of my childhood, the stories that are rarely explored in Young Adult fiction.15 short stories, 15 #ownvoices reads... From mountain spirits to mischievous devils to ancestral ghosts, each story brings alive a vastly unique and refreshing folklore dug from the roots of Asia. Each author adds a short explanation of the original story and why they chose to write what they did at the very end. The settings also range from present-day America t Every story was absolutely amazing.These are the stories of my childhood, the stories that are rarely explored in Young Adult fiction.15 short stories, 15 #ownvoices reads... From mountain spirits to mischievous devils to ancestral ghosts, each story brings alive a vastly unique and refreshing folklore dug from the roots of Asia. Each author adds a short explanation of the original story and why they chose to write what they did at the very end. The settings also range from present-day America to the palaces of Asia. A Thousand Beginnings and Endings is glorious and spellbinding - any lover of legends and folklore needs to pick this one up.
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  • Carol
    January 1, 1970
    Ellen Oh, author and founder of We Need Diverse Books, and Elsie Chapman, author, are the editors of this anthology of young adult short-story/retellings of Asian folk tales. The authors are either from, or are second-generation Americans whose parents hale from, Japan, the Philippines, China, India, Korea, or Vietnam. Following each story is a short essay penned by the applicable author in which she identifies and explains the folk tale or story upon which her contemporary retelling is based. I Ellen Oh, author and founder of We Need Diverse Books, and Elsie Chapman, author, are the editors of this anthology of young adult short-story/retellings of Asian folk tales. The authors are either from, or are second-generation Americans whose parents hale from, Japan, the Philippines, China, India, Korea, or Vietnam. Following each story is a short essay penned by the applicable author in which she identifies and explains the folk tale or story upon which her contemporary retelling is based. I loved these afterward essays, even when I was less than enthralled with the contemporary work.As with many collections of short stories by different authors, the quality is inconsistent. The best story in A Thousand Beginnings and Endings – by a mile -- is Eyes like Candlelight by Julie Kagawa. In the next tier down are the following stand-outs: Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi, Olivia’s Table by Alyssa Wong, Nothing into All by Renee Ahdieh, Bullet, Butterfly by Elsie Chapman. My rating is a balancing act – there’s a substantial gap between the success of the aforementioned stories, the stories that were fine but not memorable, and the 5 stories that were lacking in multiple areas: writing quality, authenticity of dialogue, plotting and characterization. No matter what, find this anthology and read Eyes Like Candlelight. It is just that good.Thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss+ for providing a free ecopy to me for review.
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  • Rachel Strolle
    January 1, 1970
    Hands down the best anthology I’ve read. I LOVED EVERY STORY. I never thought I’d be able to say that about an anthology
  • Nanly
    January 1, 1970
    "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." Short stories written by authors of Asian descent that are based on East and South Asian mythology and folklore?I'VE BEEN WAITING ALL MY LIFE FOR THIS.#WENEEDDIVERSEBOOKS
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  • CW (Read Think Ponder)
    January 1, 1970
    Reading A Thousand Beginnings and Endings is, quite frankly, a dream come true for me.Growing up, I never read mythology or stories about my culture - apart from the occasional viewing of Sun Wukong or Mulan. So, not only was reading this anthology validating, it was also gave me a sense of relief because, with this book, Asian teenagers, adults, and children alike will be able to read stories about them and that have characters that are like them. Thank you so much to the writers and the editor Reading A Thousand Beginnings and Endings is, quite frankly, a dream come true for me.Growing up, I never read mythology or stories about my culture - apart from the occasional viewing of Sun Wukong or Mulan. So, not only was reading this anthology validating, it was also gave me a sense of relief because, with this book, Asian teenagers, adults, and children alike will be able to read stories about them and that have characters that are like them. Thank you so much to the writers and the editors of this anthology, for putting these stories together, for retelling stories from our cultures, giving them a voice, and for putting a little piece of you in these stories too. I cannot wait to share this anthology with all my other Asian friends, and to pass these stories onto my children one day.- The stories are a blend of science-fiction, fantasy, mythology, history, and allegory.- I liked all the stories in this anthology, and given that the stories are from a diversity of cultures, I feel like it does no justice to rate each individual story. Some stories were for me, some were not - but true for all stories is that each story has a little piece of the writer in it. To me, that is so special and transcends a simple rating.- However, my favourites were The Land of the Morning Calm by E. C. Myers - for its blend of SFF with MMO gaming and themes of loss and family - and The Crimson Cloak by Cindy Pon - because I unconditionally adore the tale of The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl (I did my high school art project on it!) and Pon's voice for Weaver Girl was heart-rendering and profound. - Absolutely adored the author's notes following each story. My heart felt so full after reading each.
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  • Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
    January 1, 1970
    Average rating 3.67 stars “I finally know how it ends.” I love anthologies and mythology-based stories, so when I heard of A Thousand Beginnings and Endings - an anthology filled with own voices mythology retellings by South and East Asian Authors - it became on of my most anticipated releases of the year. These stories were all so beautifully crafted and utterly captivating. It confirmed my love for a few authors, and introduced me to some who I desperately want to read more from. This is a c Average rating 3.67 stars “I finally know how it ends.” I love anthologies and mythology-based stories, so when I heard of A Thousand Beginnings and Endings - an anthology filled with own voices mythology retellings by South and East Asian Authors - it became on of my most anticipated releases of the year. These stories were all so beautifully crafted and utterly captivating. It confirmed my love for a few authors, and introduced me to some who I desperately want to read more from. This is a can’t miss 2018 release.Most Excited for: Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi; Nothing Into All by Renée Ahdieh; Eyes Like Candlelight by Julie KagawaFavorite Stories: Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi; The Smile by Aisha Saeed; Daughter of the Sun by Shveta Thakrar; The Crimson Cloak by Cindy PonLeast Favorite Stories: Still Star-Crossed by Sonia Charaipotra; Spear Carrier by Rahul Kanakia; Code of Honor by Melissa de la CruzForbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi (Filipino) | ★★★★★I love when an anthology has a strong start and this was such a beautiful story and was one of my favorites. Roshani’s writing is fluid and lovely and fits perfectly with the story. I love personified nature in mythology stories and this was no exception. It’s all about forbidden love and protecting your heart and it’s such a wonderful start to this anthology! Olivia’s Table by Alyssa Wong (Chinese) | ★★★☆☆Olivia has taken over her mom’s job working at a Arizona ghost festival, serving a feast to sooth the spirit’s souls so they can move on. I liked the focus on family and respecting those who have come before us, but I didn’t really care about the flachbacks to younger Olivia and didn’t connect to any of the side characters.Steel Skin by Lori M. Lee (Hmong) | ★★★★☆This was a cool science fiction story about life after the robotics revolution where all androids were decommissioned as dangerous. Yer’s father, Meng, is an engineer and has grown distant since his job has become obsolete. I really liked this story - there were some great relationships explored that pulled me in.Still Star-Crossed by Sona Charaipotra (Punjabi) | ★★☆☆☆I really loved the destined feel that this story had, but I just didn’t love the execution. Taara is at a club celebrating Holi with her friends, when she meets Nick who is certain that he knows her and they belong together. The romance was a no for me and I felt like the story was really short. I could have been on board if there was more time to explore the delicate nature of the relationship.The Counting of Vermillion Beads by Aliette de Bodard (Vietnamese) | ★★★☆☆This is a fantasy story about two sisters who are taken after their mother’s death to be census girls for the Everlasting Emperor. Tam is older and bolder and wants to escape, while Cam is determined to work her way out. This was a beautiful story that showed the complexities of sibling relationships and rivalry and how that doesn’t define the relationship.The Land of the Morning Calm by E.C. Meyers (Korean) | ★★★★☆This was a great heartfelt story. I love the connection between the main character and her mom - and how she’s determined to save her mom’s gaming legacy by getting her game character to the Underworld. I like that the mythology and the story fit together so seamlessly. The Smile by Aisha Saeed (South Asian) | ★★★★★I was just completely taken in by this story. Yasmine is a courtesan of Prince Kareem and she’s a very talented dancer who’s supposed to help secure a deal with a merchant. Kareem grows jealous and imprisons Yasmine and Yasmine begins to learn about the freedom in love and loving yourself. It was just so empowering and lovely.The Girl Who Twirls and Other Dangers by Preeti Chhibber (Gujarati) | ★★★★☆I’m not going to lie, this one was a little confusing, but I still really liked it. Jaya’s favorite holiday is Navrātri and she goes to a dance with friends. But at the party a guy is mean and rude, so Jaya and friends decide to pull a little prank to even the score. The myth was weaved into the story beautifully and showed the morals clearly.Nothing Into All by Renée Ahdieh (Korean) | ★★★★☆This was a great goblin fantasy story that was filled with Renée’s beautiful writing. It was a story about siblings and respect and the duality that resides in all of us. It further cemented my need to read more from Renée Ahdieh. Spear Carrier by Rahul Kanakia (South Asian) | ★★☆☆☆This story was all about heroism and their legacy. It also brought up some interesting questions about what makes a hero and if a person is only a hero is they “win.” I liked the inspiration for the story and not only the questions it posed but the challenges to heroism as well - like recognizing that you’re story is only a small piece of the larger universe. It’s not to demean or diminish, but to humble. But I didn’t love the writing style and was a little confused about the timeline through the story as well. Code of Honor by Melissa de la Cruz (Filipino) | ★★☆☆☆This is so lowly rated because it was one of the most forgettable stories to me, I didn’t really dislike it, I just didn’t remember it. It’s a story about a vampire, Aida, who loses her spelled journal no human can open. I didn’t particularly care about Aida or anyone else in the story.Bullet, Butterfly by Elise Chapman (Chinese) | ★★★☆☆This was a story about the difficulties of following your heart or following your duties. It’s a classic dilemma that was tackled beautifully within a war-torn country and the possibility of finding your true love or creating a lasting peace.Daughter of the Sun by Shveta Thakrar (South Asian) | ★★★★★This was another absolutely beautiful story about following your heart and the power of destiny and sacrifice. It was about putting other above yourself and the selflessness and power that you from it.The Crimson Cloak by Cindy Pon (Chinese) | ★★★★★This was just such a magically captivating story and I was moved by it. It was a powerful story that gave a voice and truth to a young girl and allowed her to be to voice of her own story. It was so lyrical and I need to read more from Cindy Pon ASAP.Eyes Like Candlelight by Julie Kagawa (Japanese) | ★★★★☆This was a bittersweet story that highlighted the importance of kindness. It was such a beautiful story and a perfect closer.A Thousand Beginnings and Endings is a standout anthology filled with rich stories and captivating characters about the complexities of life, love, and family. I loved the author’s notes at the end of each story and it made everything seem so much more personable and easier to connect with the stories. Getting to experience these different cultures from such incredibly talented authors was a gift and made this a must read.I received a copy of the book from the Harper Collins via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Dani - Perspective of a Writer
    January 1, 1970
    Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...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.The short review...Upfront... I'm not a fan of short stories... I ADORED Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...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.The short review...Upfront... I'm not a fan of short stories... I ADORED THESE! I never felt the writing ranged in quality. It quite literally was enjoyable from start to finish. I didn't just read them I consumed them! And I really wanted several of them to go on and be developed into a full length book! I think that says a TON about the quality of this anthology. Part of why the stories were so good is because you could FEEL the love each author had for the mythology they portrayed. It came from a place of love and respect... so, so gorgeous! I quite enjoyed the fact that we heard from each author about where the mythology or folklore came from and why they chose it! That really enriched the reading experience for me. Part of what really worked for me was the order of the stories... it was thoughtfully considered to contrast well with one another. I would consider another Asian anthology if these two authors edited it again! And I highly recommend picking up a copy for yourself... it is the type of book visitors can pick up and flip through and next thing you know they are curled up on your couch reading!! (How beautiful would that be?!)If you take a an average of my ratings for each story my overall rating should be 4 stars... but you know as I wrote this review I realized WE NEED MORE! We need to shine a light on Asian literature and this anthology does so in an incredible way. I would even re-read it which is one of my highest of compliments!Cover & Title grade -> B-I will admit the title drew me to read the premise more than the cover... It's design is dark and not easy to see smaller, though I appreciate that I can read the title at least! Up close the cover isn't ugly by any means but its the topic (Asian mythology) and the fact this was an anthology made it appealing to me NOT the cover (which totally should have pushed me over the edge! I do understand though that they didn't want your typical pagodas as this is a cross section of different cultures.The stories are full of everything promised...Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi ❤❤❤❤♡I loved that we started with a culture I don't know a lot about! And I have to say we NEED more Filipino rep. I totally was sucked into the story; it truly felt like a mythical tale about a goddess.Olivia’s Table by Alyssa Wong❤❤❤❤❤This was so good that I instantly went and looked up Alyssa Wong to see if she had any full length books (I was disappointed to learn she is a major short fiction writer.) It was layered and gorgeous and the Chinese folklore woven into the present day so well!!Steel Skin by Lori M. Lee❤❤❤❤❤I adored how we suddenly went sci-fi and androids with this story... but it wasn't obvious about it because grief and loss was woven in so beautifully. I was quite started to learn it was a Hmong folktale and was just blown away by the author's creativity!Still Star-Crossed by Sona Charaipotra❤❤❤❤❤This is one that felt like the beginning of a story and I wanted more! I was mystified and loved how the girl reacted at first... if fact, we are left in suspense and I loved that! But I LOVED her mother and the Punjabi connection was just delicious... I NEED MORE!The Counting of Vermillion Beads by Aliette De Bodard❤❤❤❤❤I loved this tale of sisters and how they each had their own paths... I’m not sure if Vietnamese kings really took in peasant girls to do accounting but, either way, super cool! This was a favorite.The Land of the Morning Calm by E. C. Myers❤❤❤❤❤I ADORED the fact we learned about Korean culture to do with how they see ghosts (gwisin). Her hareaboji was a major family member in this and I loved that... We got a contemporary story right when we needed it (and it featured a MMORPG, which is sooooo great!) The Smile by Aisha Saeed❤❤❤❤♡We don't get many stories from southern Asia... and this one intrigued me so much. Many YAs could learn a lot about choice and happiness from it. It was feminist and empowering in this subtle way that we need more of! (Another I could do with an entire novel of...)Girls Who Twirl and Other Dangers by Preeti Chhibber❤❤❤♡♡I found this one hard to get into even though it had a lovely message. I even skimmed a few paragraphs... Part of it was simply how it was laid out I think. I certainly wanted to learn more about the Gujarati mythology but not in such a heavy handed way. If you love dancing though this short is for you... I swear its a love letter to dancing!Nothing into All by Renée Ahdieh❤❤❤❤♡The start was a little abrupt but I love Korean goblins and the siblings in this story just make the entire read so enchanting! The sister reacted to unexpectedly... I loved this about these stories... you don't go in knowing how they would end... some are sad and some are happy.Spear Carrier by Rahul Kanakia❤❤❤♡♡For some reason I felt a bit of dejavu reading this short... It was crazy in a good way and I liked that there was a guy MC... and the crab guy was too funny! I found it a little pointless even though it had good themes and a nice message. It was trying a little too hard.Code of Honor by Melissa de la Cruz❤❤❤❤♡This had the feel of an already established world that I liked. Vampires aren’t my thing but this was perfect for the goal of the character! It did feel like the author was sneaking in a plug for a series she's published?! I expecially enjoyed the Filipino folklore!Bullet, Butterfly by Elsie Chapman❤❤❤❤❤I was beginning to worry that all the really impactful stories were at the beginning when I started this Chinese tale... and this became one that I could ue a full book for! Seriously... cross dressing, a weapons factory, a soldier’s duty and disease. And that end seriously hurt my heart!! I need more from Elsie Chapman for sure.Daughter of the Sun by Shveta Thakrar❤❤❤❤♡I seriously need more books labeled "southern Asia" because they have the most fascinating myths! This one is magical realism and I enjoyed that fact, even though the different parts didn’t quite make sense together, I still loved the feminist aspects of the story!The Crimson Cloak by Cindy Pon❤❤❤❤♡I enjoyed this more than I thought I would at first... I was surprised to learn it was Chinese because I would have thought Indian of some kind. I did fall in love with the weaver girl and the magic ox was pretty funny and cute.Eyes like Candlelight by Julie Kagawa❤❤❤❤❤Since I am part Japanese I was seriously looking forward to this story about kitsune, one of my all time favorite Japanese creature! And it was so, so good... I didn't see that end coming at all and it about broke my heart with its truthful beauty.As a Writer...I could see right away which authors I clicked with and which I didn't. I think a major benefit to an anthology both as a writer and a reader is to get your style out there into readers' hands so you as the reader and read and sample and find new authors. I know I found new authors to look out for in A Thousand Beginnings and Endings and you will too! Now I'm going to say something HUGE about this book... wait for it... Even if you despise short stories I seriously recommend you at least READ them! Seriously, we need more anthologies like this one filled with #ownvoices and passion for culture. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Authenticity⋆⭐⭐⭐⭐ Writing Style⋆⭐⭐⭐⭐ Plot & Pacing⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ World BuildingThanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. It has not influenced my opinions.______________________You can find this review and many others on my book blog @ Perspective of a Writer. See my special perspective at the bottom of my reviews under the typewriter...
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  • Ellie (faerieontheshelf)
    January 1, 1970
    “It was an ill-fated thing to claim that a heart is safe. Hearts are rebellious. The moment they feel trapped, they will strain against their bindings.” Well, this was amazing. I posted a longer review of this on my blog , but here I'm just going to say that this was a wonderful read and I'm so excited for it to go out into the world!! Asian folklore is just as worthy of admiration as the Greek epics and the Nordic myths, and this collection of stories shows it – and will hopefully inspire rea “It was an ill-fated thing to claim that a heart is safe. Hearts are rebellious. The moment they feel trapped, they will strain against their bindings.” Well, this was amazing. I posted a longer review of this on my blog , but here I'm just going to say that this was a wonderful read and I'm so excited for it to go out into the world!! Asian folklore is just as worthy of admiration as the Greek epics and the Nordic myths, and this collection of stories shows it – and will hopefully inspire readers go seek more. - Story 1: ‘Forbidden Fruit’ by Roshani Chokshi Fantasy / MythologyBased Upon: Maria Makiling [Filipino] 5 stars ☆- Story 2: ‘Olivia’s Table’ by Alyssa WongContemporary; ParanormalBased upon: The Hungry Ghost Festival [Chinese]4 stars ☆- Story 3: ‘Steel Skin’ by Lori M. Lee Science FictionBased Upon: The Woman and the Tiger [Hmong]3.5 stars ☆ - Story 4: ‘Still Star-Crossed’ by Sona CharaipotraContemporaryBased Upon: Mirza and Sahiba [Punjabi]4 Stars ☆ - Story 5: ‘The Counting of Vermilion Beads’ by Aliette de BodardFantasyBased Upon: Tấm Cám [Vietnamese]5 Stars ☆- Story 6: ‘The Land of the Morning Calm’ by E.C. MyersContemporaryBased Upon: Chasa Bonpuri [Korean] 3.5 Stars ☆ - Story 7: ‘The Smile’ by Aisha SaeedFantasy Based upon: The Story of Anakarli [South Asian]5 Stars ☆- Story 8: ‘Girls Who Twirl and Other Dangers’ by Preeti ChhibberContemporaryBased Upon: Navaratri [Gujaratti]4 Stars ☆ - Story 9: ‘Nothing At All’ by Renée AhdiehFantasyBased Upon: The Goblin Treasure [Korean]4 Stars ☆ - Story 10: ‘Spear Carrier’ by Rahul KanakiaFantasy / ContemporaryBased Upon: The Mahabharata [South Asian] 4 Stars ☆ - Story 11: ‘Code of Honour’ by Melissa de la CruzContemporaryBased Upon: Aswangs [Filipino] 3.5 Stars ☆ - Story 12: ‘Bullet, Butterfly’ by Elsie ChapmanDystopiaBased Upon: The Butterfly Lovers [Chinese]4.5 Stars ☆ - Story 13: ‘Daughter of the Sun’ by Shveta ThakrarContemporary / FantasyBased Upon: The Mahabharata [South Asian]3.5 Stars ☆- Story 14: ‘The Crimson Cloak’ by Cindy PonFantasyBased Upon: The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl [Chinese] 5 Stars ☆ - Story 15: ‘Eyes Like Candlelight’ by Julie KagawaFantasy / Historical Fantasy (?)Based Upon: Kitsune [Japanese]4.5 Stars ☆
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  • Heather (The Sassy Book Geek)
    January 1, 1970
    Review Originally Posted On The Sassy Book Geek 4.5 Stars**** Thank you to Greenwillow Books for providing me with a copy via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review ****I knew the second I saw this book that I wouldn’t be disappointed with it, and I am happy to say I was right! This is an #OwnVoices (written by Asian authors) anthology filled with some amazing retellings of East and South Asian folklore and mythology, so I mean really what’s not to like? I know I absolutely loved reading t Review Originally Posted On The Sassy Book Geek 4.5 Stars**** Thank you to Greenwillow Books for providing me with a copy via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review ****I knew the second I saw this book that I wouldn’t be disappointed with it, and I am happy to say I was right! This is an #OwnVoices (written by Asian authors) anthology filled with some amazing retellings of East and South Asian folklore and mythology, so I mean really what’s not to like? I know I absolutely loved reading these tales and exposing myself to mythology and folk tales I had never heard of before, it’s truly a great thing to experience and we need more books like this for sure!I will break down my thoughts on each individual story but I have to say my favorite stories were: Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi, Olivia’s Table by Alyssa Wong, The Smile by Aisha Saeed, Nothing Into All by Renee Ahdieh, The Crimson Cloak by Cindy Pon, and Eyes Like Candlelight by Julie Kagawa. A lot of the stories were hit and miss with me, I either loved them or didn’t there were few in betweens.Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi – 5 StarsThis was definitely one of the best stories to start the collection off with! Chokshi’s writing is beautiful and poetic, retelling the Filipino myth of a mountain goddess who falls in love with a mortal man. I loved how it felt like reading a “classic” myth but with more modern (and lovely) writing.Olivia’s Table by Alyssa Wong – 5 StarsI think if I had to pick an absolute favorite story from the entire book this would probably be it, there’s just something about Wong’s writing that pulls you in and doesn’t let you go. There’s so much punch packed into so short a story weaving in the grief of losing a loved one as well as doing a spin on the Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival. I really liked the way the main character could interact with the ghosts and how it was her duty to make and serve food to them, the backstory added so much complexity.Steel Skin by Lori M. Lee – 3 StarsI’m not too sure how I felt about this story, it wasn’t terrible but I wasn’t crazy about it either. It deals with androids, which is almost always at least a little interesting, and there’s a pretty good twist at the end. Other than that it was a bit underwhelming as it built up to that ending, I pretty much am giving those 3 stars to the end.Still Star-Crossed by Sona Charaipotra – 2 StarsThis is a retelling of a Punjabi folk tale about a young girl who is out partying and runs into a strange boy who swears he knows her. It was all really strange and weird, I still don’t think I really “got” it. I can’t say much else without spoiling the ending but the boy was kind of creepy….The Counting of Vermilion Beads by Aliette De Bodard – 3 StarsThis is based off the Vietnamese story of Tam and Cam, I really liked the author’s spin from the classic tale which portrayed sibling/sisterhood in a positive light. However, apart from the great sisterly relationship I found the story to be pretty boring.The Land of the Morning Calm by E.C. Meyers – 4 StarsThis story had me pretty emotional, it was sad but beautiful telling the story of a girl who has lost her mother and tries to deal with her grief by playing an online RPG that her whole family would play together. I loved the bits of Korean mythology weaved into the story but also really enjoyed the gaming parts as well, Meyers did a fantastic job of showing just how important gaming can be to some people as it is a form of escape.The Smile by Aisha Saeed – 5 StarsAnother story that reads like a classic myth or folk tale, which you can probably tell I love, that is South Asian in origin. It’s about a dancer who becomes the courtesan of a jealous prince, I really liked the spin Saeed put on the end of this story as well it was brilliant.Girls Who Twirl and Other Dangers by Preeti Chhibber – 4 StarsThis story was actually a lot of fun! It not only told the story of three girls at a celebration for Navaratri who seek revenge on a rude boy but also told the Hindu legend of Durga fighting Mahishasura throughout as well. I loved the jumping back and forth between tales and I actually really liked the characters, which was impressive since the story is so short.Nothing Into All by Renee Ahdieh – 5 StarsOf course it doesn’t surprise me at all that I loved Ahdieh’s short story, her writing is never anything short of wonderful. This was a retelling of a Korean tale dealing with magic and goblins, I don’t know why but I always like a good goblin story. I liked how the themes of the story focused around family (specifically siblings) and forgiveness.Spear Carrier by Rahul Kanakia – 2 StarsI liked the idea behind this retelling but it could have been a lot better, this was just bizarre. I thought the writing and dialogue were kind of clunky and choppy. It’s a retelling of a South Asian epic poem about a war/warfare and the main character has dreamt of becoming a hero his whole life and is approached by a god to join a battle which he agrees to but realizes soon it was a mistake. I did like the pop culture references to Fallout, Star Wars, etc. because I’m a geek like that but I didn’t like how the character seemed to hate on people giving their lives for others or for a cause.Code of Honor by Melissa de la Cruz – 4 StarsThis story is linked to Melissa de la Cruz’s other series “Blue Bloods” which I have not read so I can’t really comment on that but it’s about a Filipino mythological creature called an aswang, which is essentially a vampire witch/warlock. I really liked how gory and creepy this story was and it’s no doubt the author is a great writer, I enjoyed her writing style.Bullet, Butterfly Elsie Chapman- 3 StarsAnother story I’m not quite sure what I fully think about it. On the one hand I was kind of bored but on the other hand this was a really beautifully sad tale and was well done as a retelling of the Chinese tale “The Butterfly Lovers”. Chapman said in her after note that this is essentially the Chinese “Romeo and Juliet” so you can imagine how the story goes, still I thought it was beautifully done even if I did get a bit bored in the middle.Daughter of the Sun by Shveta Thakrar – 2 StarsThis short story combined two stories from the epic poem The Mahabharata called “Savitri and Satyavan” and “Ganga and Shantanu”. I liked seeing how Thakrar weaved the two tales into one and her writing was very pretty, but I was bored with the story overall. I wasn’t really invested in what was happening whatsoever which may have to do with the fact it was solely romance based.The Crimson Cloak by Cindy Pon – 5 StarsThis is based off of the Chinese folk tale “The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl”, and once again it was told in such a classic folk tale way which made it all the more enjoyable to read. This was a cute love story and I really loved how it was told from the weaver girl’s POV (which the original tale is not) and she is given her own voice. I’m also a big fan of being talked to by the narrator (breaking the fourth wall), that’s just a personal preference but I think it makes the story a bit more fun.Eyes Like Candlelight by Julie Kagawa – 5 StarsI looooove foxes or in this case kitsunes (Japanese mythical creatures who often shapeshift from fox to human), they’re just so interesting to read about since there are so many different ways to portray them (benevolent and helpful or tricksters). This was just a fantastic, if not heart-breaking, story all around as we follow the young main character who saves a fox as a child. When he goes to pray for help with his village’s rice tax he discovers that it was in fact a kitsune he had saved years ago. Kagawa does an excellent job setting the atmosphere and I can tell she’s a magnificent writer, hopefully I can start one of her books one of these days! Recommend? Overall I highly recommend checking out “A Thousand Beginnings and Endings” it’s very much worth the read especially if you’re looking for a diverse #OwnVoices book or just an anthology full of East and South Asian myths and folk tales!
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  • Xandra (Literary Legionnaire)
    January 1, 1970
    *grabby hands* WHY DO I HAVE TO WAIT 2 YEARS FOR THIS
  • Nicay │The Nerdy side of a Queen
    January 1, 1970
    Review also posted HEREI don’t remember when the last time I read an anthology book, and I think that last time made me realize that anthologies were not my cup of tea. But, as I saw the synopsis of this book, it made me think again that “I will try this time.”And then I’m happy to announce that from the first story of this book made me continue to read it until the very end. I enjoyed every story and myths in every part of the world. Those stories want to convey that myths were not meant to be Review also posted HEREI don’t remember when the last time I read an anthology book, and I think that last time made me realize that anthologies were not my cup of tea. But, as I saw the synopsis of this book, it made me think again that “I will try this time.”And then I’m happy to announce that from the first story of this book made me continue to read it until the very end. I enjoyed every story and myths in every part of the world. Those stories want to convey that myths were not meant to be forgotten. And that time, I realized that the myths here in the Philippines are legendary, and the others also.For the reading experience, I really enjoyed it, though there were other stories that were not good for me. It was still an okay, but not on the same level as the others.I cannot give them the ratings one by one, because the important for me was the full reading experience I felt before, during and after reading it.And I am glad to say, that I am recommending this book to everyone!
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  • Aleksandra
    January 1, 1970
    Wonderful anthology! Great selection of stories, I cannot recommend it enough!A Thousand Beginnings and Endings is a collection of reimagined Asian myths and legends by Asian authors. The variety of themes and genres is breathtaking. Also it’s a very solid anthology, I liked all 15 of the stories, some more some less, but they were all good! It’s unprecedented experience for me.I like the little notes every author wrote after the story, telling about the original myths and their reasons for writ Wonderful anthology! Great selection of stories, I cannot recommend it enough!A Thousand Beginnings and Endings is a collection of reimagined Asian myths and legends by Asian authors. The variety of themes and genres is breathtaking. Also it’s a very solid anthology, I liked all 15 of the stories, some more some less, but they were all good! It’s unprecedented experience for me.I like the little notes every author wrote after the story, telling about the original myths and their reasons for writing their own reimagined versions of them. It was very educational and interesting.My favorite stories are:•Olivia’s Table by Alyssa Wong•Steel Skin by Lori M. Lee•The Land of the Morning Calm by E. C. Myers•Daughter of the Sun by Shveta Thakrar•Eyes Like Candlelight by Julie KagawaMini-reviews of each story:Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi - 3.5 starsBeautiful and tragic. A Filipino folktale; interpretation of Maria Makiling tale- tale about The Mountain SpiritOlivia’s Table by Alyssa Wong - 4 stars!Great ghost story set in Arizona, based on Chinese mythology. The story is interesting and gripping, the protagonist is likable and relatable, Olivia Chang is lesbian, she grieves her mother and takes care of her widowed father. She’s mix-raced Chinese-American and she can see ghosts. I loved all the aspects of the story. I heard that Alyssa Wong is incredibly talented storyteller and I can definitely see it. I can’t wait to read her other stories.Steel Skin by Lori M. Lee- 4 starsFascinating scifi reimagining of Hmong folk tale. The ending of Steel Skin was rather predictable but it didn’t prevent me from enjoying the story so much. Androids and AIs are my gem.Still Star-Crossed by Sona Charaipotra - 3.5 starsCreepy reimagining of Punjabi folk tale about star-crossed lovers. I liked it but it wasn't very exciting. I liked the protagonist and the writing.The Counting of Vermillion Beads by Aliet Te De Bodar - 3.5 starsInteresting story about two sisters and importance of not settling for cage when there’s a whole world outside of it. It’s an interpretation of famous Vietnamese folk tale and based on what the author said in the afternote, this story is a very different and loose reimagining of the tale.The Land of the Morning Calm by E. C. Myers - 4.5 stars!Great combination of Korean mythology, modern setting, multiplayer fantasy game based on Korean legends and compelling characters. Definitely one of my favorite stories here. I love ghost stories with a twist of modern technology.The Smile by Aisha Saeed - 4 stars!Powerful story about courtesan and talented dancer Naseem, reimagining of South Asian legend. The importance of will, consent and agency are in the forefront of the story. I have a feeling I’m going to think about this story for a while.Girls Who Twirl and Other Dangers by Preeti Chhibber - 3.5 starsLovely story that takes place during Navratri festival, held by Indian Association in the US. Centered around three girls who are about to take a revenge on a nasty boy, just like goddess Mā Durgā defeated the evil Mahishāsur. I liked the interludes of the original myth. It was a fun story!Nothing into All by Renée Ahdieh - 3 starsReimagining of Korean fairy tale about the goblin treasure, featuring a brother and a sister and their hunt for goblins. I liked the complicated relationship between the siblings and the magical elements were fun, of course. However, I can’t say I felt much reading the story. I think Ahdieh and I just don’t click.Spear Carrier by Rahul Kanakia - 4 stars!Very weird and entertaining. I can’t say I understood much, just like the protagonist. The story is based on South Asian Epic The Mahabharata. Code of Honor by Melissa De La Cruz - 3 starsA story about Aida, who’s aswang (a Filipino folktale creature, like vampire witch). The story feels like an interesting beginning to diverse paranormal YA novel, but as a short story it’s not that fascinating.Bullet, Butterfly by Elsie Chapman - 3 starsTragic tale of two lovers during the war, kept apart by familial duty, based on Chinese folktale “Butterfly Lovers”. It was an interesting story but I didn’t click with it.Daughter of the Sun by Shveta Thakrar - 4 starsBeautiful and lyrical story about love, magic and choices. It’s a magical realism story, combination of two tales from South Asian Epic The Muhabharata, set in modern world. I liked the writing and the plot, it’s a well-balanced and perfectly composed short story. I wouldn’t want it in any other form.The Crimson Cloak by Cindy Pon - 3.5 starsI liked this story, it’s based on Chinese legend and the author reimagined the story from the pov of fair maiden-goddess. It’s well-written, feminist story, but I wish there were more to it. I think in this anthology I like best the stories with mix of myth and modernity. The Crimson Cloack is fully myth.Eyes Like Candlelight by Julie Kagawa - 4 starsI liked this one a lot! I know I’ve said I prefer modern setting to myth setting in the previous review but I fell in love with this reimagining of Japanese legend about kitsune. This story is tragic and powerful and beautifully written. Such a high note to end with excellent anthology!
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  • Angel
    January 1, 1970
    A lovely collection. Some particular favourites:- Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi- Olivia's Table by Alyssa Wong- Steel Skin by Lori M. Lee- Still Star-Crossed by Sona Charaipotra- The Counting of Vermillion Beads by Aliette de Bodard- The Land of the Morning Calm by E.C. Meyers
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  • grace (gracelwrites) 🖤
    January 1, 1970
    an asian mythology collection? sign me up, this is some good shit.
  • Ren (A Bookish Balance)
    January 1, 1970
    Anthologies really just are not my thing. It also doesn't help that I feel I went into this with the wrong expectations. I was expecting a more classic take on fairytales, but most stories are modernized or can fit into the sci-fi genre, serves me right for not reading the synopsis.
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  • Alexandra
    January 1, 1970
    I received an e-ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Review can be found on *Milky Way of Books* This delightful anthology gathers everything I love about the authors mentioned and creates an amazing showcase of Asian mythology, ranging from contemporary to science fiction! I have always admired Asian mythology through the whole continent and not only because of my historical interest but also because of how tragic many of the stories can be. How misunderstandings and talking ani I received an e-ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Review can be found on *Milky Way of Books* This delightful anthology gathers everything I love about the authors mentioned and creates an amazing showcase of Asian mythology, ranging from contemporary to science fiction! I have always admired Asian mythology through the whole continent and not only because of my historical interest but also because of how tragic many of the stories can be. How misunderstandings and talking animals can lead the heroes and gods to clash together or die for one another.I loved Julie Kagawa's, Roshani Chokshi's and Cindi Pon's stories very much which also made me cry...again!
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  • Alice
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsA Thousand Beginnings and Endings is an anthology of East and South Asian fairytale retellings and reimaginings written by a group of YA authors. I was lucky enough to find that my library system had this, so I did the proper book-hoarding thing and requested it. I'm going to review each story one-by-one.Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi - 3 starsForbidden Fruit is a retelling of a Filipino love story. The prose is nice and alluring. I haven't read Roshani Chokshi's work besides her Ar 3.5 starsA Thousand Beginnings and Endings is an anthology of East and South Asian fairytale retellings and reimaginings written by a group of YA authors. I was lucky enough to find that my library system had this, so I did the proper book-hoarding thing and requested it. I'm going to review each story one-by-one.Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi - 3 starsForbidden Fruit is a retelling of a Filipino love story. The prose is nice and alluring. I haven't read Roshani Chokshi's work besides her Aru Shah series. I have no problems with her prose, but sometime her themes are little off target for me. Maybe I was just miffed that Maria didn't bother to look a couple steps further for her heart. Easily fixed problems that aren't easily fixed miff me, but I suppose that's a part of the tragic love story.Olivia's Table by Alyssa Wong - 5 starsOuch, Alyssa Wong was out to hurt me and shed a single tear with that dead mom part of the story and how Olivia broke up with Priya and didn't even tell her about what was going on in her life. There was something about that stoicism or emotional detachment that got to me. Add in a story about mother-daughter relationships and ghosts finding peace, and you have me in your clutches. This almost reminded me of Mei's story in Shadow Girl by Lianna Liu, which wasn't received very well on Goodreads, but eh my opinion is more important here because this is my blog and I think you should read Shadow Girl if you really like Olivia's Table.The bit about Chinese-Am history in Arizona is not prior knowledge I had and I love the inclusion of it. I remember watching a Buzzfeed supernatural episode where Ryan and Shane went to Vulture Mine in Arizona, so instantly I made the connection between mine work and the Chinese American history in Arizona that Wong mentioned with Chinese mine workers. I remember writing a short story or research paper about the Hungry Ghost Festival in the 7th grade, though I'm not sure how accurate my research was. But hey, I was the only Chinese kid in class, no one could fact check me on that lol.Steel Skin by Lori M. Lee - 3.5 starsOk so who else was shipping Alang and Yer in this one? Lee's writing just gave me the instant vibe that these two had a little thing developing. But that aside, Yer's perceieved memories of her and her dad got me again alskfjsdl;kf there's too much parental relationship angst in this book already. I had some trouble deciphering the terms for the futuristic technology. I enjoyed the misdirect where Yer thought her dad was the android and also how Lee handled Yer's grief over her mom's death.Still Star-Crossed by Sona Charaipotra - 2 starsI'm sort of in the same boat as Forbidden Fruit as I am with this one. I don't really see the story doing anything beyond Reincarnated stalkerish almost dad.The Counting Vermillion Beads by Aliette De Bodard - 3.5 starsI quite enjoyed this one especially with the sisters' relationship and how it brought up that the sisters are changed people.The Land of the Morning Calm by E. C. Myers - 4.5 starsAgain with the dead mom trope, but it still made me feel the feelings. This story has some nice shout-outs @ DIY Hogwarts letter and Toph Beifong cosplay. I do love nine-tailed fox spirits showing up.The Smile by Aisha Saeed - 4 starsThis story set out to do exactly what the author described in the post-script, so I'm satisfied. This was solid , but not anything that went beyond my expecations, since I always read the post-scripts for these stories before the actual story.Girls Who Twirl and Other Dangers by Preeti Chhibber - 2.5 starsI thought this story was full of petty. Petty I can understand, but still petty nonetheless. I liked the framing of this story more than the actual events of the story. Dinesh was rude, but even the story lampshaded that the girls were comparing him to this great evil LOL. The food descriptions always get me, so that's a plus. I really like the friendship between the girls in this too. Nothing into All by Renee Ahdieh - 4 starsI usually don't like Ahdieh's style, but I really liked the push and pull type of relationship Charan and Chun had and how Charan always felt like she had to pull her punches because Chun always hung her guilt over her.Spear Carrier by Rahul Kanakia - DNFCode of Honor by Melissa de la Cruz - 3 starsThis really brings me back to when I played Gossip Girl Party but with vampires. The twist was predictable, but there's enough heart in the main character's quest to find a place to belong that I can't penalize this too harshly.Bullet, Butterfly by Elsie Chapman - 2.5 starsMaybe I'm not very receptive to the more romantic stories in this collection. Zhu being accepting of Liang no matter his gender was nice. The love story didn't speak to me as I thought it would; I got the impression there was not much to that life and part of it stemmed from desparation - which I understand, and it was probably purposefully added on Chapman's part. This is a tragedy of two lover kept apart because of familial duty. I was never a fan Romeo and Juliet either, so maybe this doesn't appeal to my taste.Daughter of the Sun by Shveta Thakar - 2.5 starsI really like the concept of Daughter of the Sun, especially how the author chose to blend two retellings together like this. The reason I rate it so low is because, instead of seeing the relationship between the leads form, we are just told it does and actual personality is substituted by a list of hobbies and interests, which made it dull reading for me. The Crimson Cloak by Cindy Pon - 5 starsMy fave. MY FAVE. Cindy Pon never disappoints me. This story has the best narrative voice in the entire collection (IMO). Unlike many of the other romance story retellings, the relationship in this one feels fleshed out, as the two leads feel like they have fully formed personalities AND backstories. I feel this is the most complete retelling out of the bunch too. It successfully repurposes traditional elements of the plot into a more modern (this is still ye olde times) reimagining.I love how the couple ended up adopting their kids instead of upholding the idea that the only way to have kids is to have them biologically.  Honestly, it's like Cindy Pon knows what my heart wants.Eyes like Candlelight by Julie Kagawa - 4 starsI love fox stories and I love seeing greedy pigs get their just desserts. I'm not really a fan of that blink it and miss it sex + leaving the product, a creepy child, to haunt kit-daddy's grave, but this story is otherwise fine.
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  • Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader
    January 1, 1970
    I really loved this book and read the whole thing yesterday.  I'm only going to write a small amount about each story or this review would be way too long.*If I spelled anything wrong, I apologize.  I was taking notes while reading and they are super sloppy.  I can barely read my own handwriting.  It's shameful.*Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi  5 starsMy only real complaint with this one was how short the story was.  I love Roshani's writing and this was such a sad story about love and hearta I really loved this book and read the whole thing yesterday.  I'm only going to write a small amount about each story or this review would be way too long.*If I spelled anything wrong, I apologize.  I was taking notes while reading and they are super sloppy.  I can barely read my own handwriting.  It's shameful.*Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi  5 starsMy only real complaint with this one was how short the story was.  I love Roshani's writing and this was such a sad story about love and heartache.  This was based off a Fillipino Folktale Maria Makiling.Olivia's Table by Alyssa Wong  5 starsThis was such a neat story about ghosts and moving on.  It was based off the Hungry Ghost Festival, a Chinese Tradition.Steel Skin by Lori M. Lee  4 starsThis was more of a sci fi story about androids that were recalled and a father who is still working on them.  It's based off The Woman and the Tiger, a Hmong Folktale.Still Star-Crossed by Siona Charaipotra  5 starsI really liked this story about soulmates.  "True love is in the eyes, in the reuniting of two souls."  This was based off of Mirza and Sahiba, Punjabi Folklore.The Counting of Vermillion Beads by Aliette de Bodard  4 stars This one is a story of two sisters who are census girls.  One girl turns into a bird while trying to escape from the palace.  It's based off of Tam Cam, a Vietnamese Folktale about reincarnation in various forms.The Land of the Morning Calm by E. C. Myers  5 starsThis was one of my favorite stories in the book.  It's about a girl who lost her mom years before.  Her grandfather swears that her mom's ghost is there.  The daughter plays a game for the first time and finds that her mom's character is still active.  This was based off of The Chase Bonpuli, a Korean Epic.The Smile by Aisha Saeed  4  1/2 starsI thought this was such an interesting story because the girl got to chose her future.  She is a dancer that the prince was attracted to.  So he brought her to his home and fell in love with her.  But he's very jealous and she realizes that it wasn't love when all the choices belonged to him.  This was based off The Story of Anarkali, a south Asian legend.Girls Who Twirl and Other Dangers by Preeti Chhibber   5 starsThis one was a story about three girls going to a dance.  One girl remembers a time years before where a boy made her lose her skirt and everyone saw her underwear.  That same boy is there again and is not being nice to the girls around him.  So they decide to get revenge and embarrass him.  It's based off of Navaratri, a Hindu Festival that celebrates the divinely feminine. Nothing Into All by Renee Ahdieh  5 starsThis is my first experience with Renee's writing and I'll definitely be reading more from her.  I loved this story about a brother and sister searching for Goblins.  The brother ends up being very selfish and the sister realizes that she enabled him for years.  This story was based off A Goblin Treasure, a Korean Fairy Tale.Spear Carrier by Rahul Kanakia  3 starsWhile this wasn't a favorite, I still thought the story was interesting.  A boy wanted to be a hero and then was given a choice to fight and die a hero or go back home.  It's based off The Mahabharata, A south Asian epic about a conflict between cousins where almost everyone dies.Code of Honor by Melissa de la Cruz  3 starsI think my problem with this story is that it was too short.  I did enjoy it because I've read her Blue Bloods series.  So I understood what was going on.  But it might be too little for those who never read them.  This is a story about a vampire witch that moves to NYC.  The story is based off of Aswango, a Fillipino Folktale.Bullet, Butterfly by Elsie Chapman  4  1/2 starsA sick boy dresses as a girl to sneak into the armory.  He meets a girl there and has to go back to see her.  He doesn't tell her that he's a boy and they become close.  Once he falls in love with her, he finally comes clean (after she sees him outside as a boy).  The girl loves him, too, but it's too late.  He is being traded to marry someone else.  While reading this, I got romeo and juliet vibes, so it was cool to see that it was based off The Butterfly Lovers, a Chinese Romeo and Juliet.Daughter of the Sun by Shveta Thakrar  4 starsThe daughter of the sun had a mini sun in her chest.  She had to wear black and try to hide the light.  She was told that she would one day meet someone who reflects light back to her, gold and silver.  She was so tired of being alone.  A boy was leaving (his fate), but she saw that he had silver and knew she had to save him.  She was so desperate to have someone as a companion that she changed his future without asking what he wanted.  This was based off Mahabharata, a south Asian epic.The Crimson Cloak by Cindy Pon  5 starsI really loved this story and I'm looking forward to reading more by Cindy.  In this one, the youngest daughter of the Jade Emperor had the power of flight and could weave colors into the sky.  She comes across a boy and his ox and decides that she wants to get to know him.  They fall in love, but she's immortal and he's mortal.  It was such a beautiful, heartbreaking story of love and loss.  This one was based off The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl, a Chinese legend.Eyes Like Candlelight by Julie Kagwa  5 starsThis is another first time author for me and I loved the story so much. I need more Kitsune stories.  In this one, Takeo wanted to be a samurai.  He rescues a fox from dogs, but only thinks about it once in awhile.  He knew that if others found the fox, it would be killed.  There were stories about the Kitsune and the village was afraid of them (or didn't trust them).  As he grew, he became a farmer.  There was a drought and they wouldn't be able to pay the rice tax, so Takeo went to make an offering.  He woke up in a house with a girl who seamed to know him.  This is another story that was sad, but I really loved it.  It's based off of Kitsune, a Japanese myth.Overall, I loved this book and gave it 5 stars.  There were stories that brought tears to my eyes and it introduced me to authors I've never read before.  I highly recommend picking this one. Thank you to Edelweiss and HarperTeen for the chance to read it early.
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  • Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔
    January 1, 1970
    Wow, this cover just exudes Asian vibes
  • Scarlett
    January 1, 1970
    This collection of short stories, based on Asian mythology and folkore, was mildly enjoyable, considering that I don't like stories, much less a whole collection. I was drawn to this one only because it got great reviews from people I follow and, well, what do I know about Asian myths? I am very happy that I got the opportunity to learn about their symbolism, that defers a lot from European, while the general ideas are essentially the same. All these stories are written for young readers, some o This collection of short stories, based on Asian mythology and folkore, was mildly enjoyable, considering that I don't like stories, much less a whole collection. I was drawn to this one only because it got great reviews from people I follow and, well, what do I know about Asian myths? I am very happy that I got the opportunity to learn about their symbolism, that defers a lot from European, while the general ideas are essentially the same. All these stories are written for young readers, some of them are maybe too naive and simple for my taste. These retellings of popular myths are almost all set in some kind of dystopian world. Maybe I just god too tired of the same old futuristic premises and descriptions, but this choice to mix old and new didn’t really sit well with me. I can only point out that the first story in the collection, Forbidden fruit, stood out the most and I am certain it would bring out emotions in all readers. It was simple and elegant, the ending was heartbreaking and it made me think about it for days. The combined superstition and logical ending were a great mix. Several of the stories, such as this one, were Philippine myths, so if I take anything from this collection, it would be a new-found interest in South Asian culture. In addition, these stories explore some interesting never-ending woes of all people - jealousy, sibling rivalry, abandonment, fear of loneliness and the importance of forgiveness. While not all stories are of the same quality, they are all worth reading just for this soul food only. I am so grateful to HarperCollins for sending me this ARE!
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  • All Things Urban Fantasy
    January 1, 1970
    A THOUSAND BEGINNINGS AND ENDINGS is a solid collection of Asian myth and folklore retellings. Despite being marketed toward teens, readers of all ages will be captivated by the short stories presented in this anthology.Each story puts a modern and teenage twist on a myth or folktale. Afterwards, the author explains the original myth/folktale along with their inspiration, allowing the reader to further deepen their overall comprehension of the story and its cultural importance. The stories selec A THOUSAND BEGINNINGS AND ENDINGS is a solid collection of Asian myth and folklore retellings. Despite being marketed toward teens, readers of all ages will be captivated by the short stories presented in this anthology.Each story puts a modern and teenage twist on a myth or folktale. Afterwards, the author explains the original myth/folktale along with their inspiration, allowing the reader to further deepen their overall comprehension of the story and its cultural importance. The stories selected for A THOUSAND BEGINNINGS AND ENDINGS are emotional, some sad and some happy, with relatable moments amid fantastical feats.A THOUSAND BEGINNINGS AND ENDINGS is a fantastic anthology that left me craving more collections of its caliber. It also works as an excellent jumping off point to discover authors whose back catalogues you may not have explored.
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  • Fran
    January 1, 1970
    I am savoring and returning to already favorite stories - I love this beautiful collection so much.
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