A Thousand Beginnings and Endings – Edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman

Average Rating: 3.8/5  stars

Thosand

Pages: 323

Series: n/a

Genres: YA, Short Stories, Anthology, Fantasy, Mythology

Reading Challenges: 1 (Asian Authors: various nationalities); 5 (Group book of the Readathon)

The hosts of the Readathon (Cindy, Sandra, Chloe, Kav, and Ellias) are hosting a live show on Saturday, May 25 at 6pm EST on readwithcindy’s channel on YouTube. If you have not yet read this Anthology, I highly suggest you do. If you have, I highly suggest you watch the live stream to see what other peoples’ thoughts and feeling are on these different stories.

On a side note, this live stream is occurring the same weekend as Anime North in Toronto, Ontario. I know this is a huge coincidence, but I enjoy the fact that I’ll be taking a break from a convention celebrating the same cultures as this Readathon so that I can watch the live stream of the group book.

Overall, I found this book to be highly enjoyable. I enjoyed reading short stories by authors I already know and love as well as being introduced to new authors that I’ll definitely be checking out again. I enjoy learning about different cultures’ mythologies and belief systems and reading this Anthology introduced me to some that I didn’t know I didn’t know. I’ll definitely be looking for more about these stories in the future.

*Spoilers ahead*

Below are some of my favourite shorts in this Anthology and what about them I enjoyed so much. Each story had something about it that stood apart from the others and these are the ones that touched me the most.

Olivia’s Table:

This short, by Alyssa Wong, grabbed my attention because it not only shows a ceremony dedicated to ghosts and helping them pass on, but also Olivia’s relationship with her (now deceased) mother and the importance her heritage plays in Olivia’s life. It was beautifully written and I wish I could read more.

Still Star-Crossed: 

Sona Charaipotra wrote a gripping story about two star-crossed lovers wherein the male dies. I loved that the main character, Taara, looked so much like her mom that Nick thinks they’re one in the same. It’s heartbreaking that they never got to be together because he died, but also a little heartwarming that Amrita never forgot.

Code of Honor:

Already being a fan of Melissa de la Cruz, I knew that I was going to enjoy this short. I love her writing style and can say I wasn’t disappointed. Honestly, I loved the fact that she tied this short to her Blue Bloods series which I’ve loved since the first time I read it in high school. The fact that she was able to tie another blood sucking creature to the Blue Bloods was amazing.

The Crimson Cloak:

While I’ve heard of Cindy Pon before, I haven’t picked up any of her stuff. After this short, I’ll definitely give her full length stuff a try. I love the idea of turning a well-known folklore on its head and giving the girl her own voice. This short was the perfect length to get everything said that needed to be said, leaving me feeling quite fulfilled. I loved the ox being magical in its own right even though Hongyun thought she had made an ordinary ox seem magical.

Eyes Like Candlelight:

As I said in my blog post about Julie Kagawa’s Shadow of the Fox, the kitsune are one of my favourite mythological creatures of all mythos. Kagawa did an amazing job writing a completely different kitsune story and I loved every second of it. I felt for both main characters and their son broke my heart. What an amazing way to end the Anthology.

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