Book Review: A Thousand Beginnings and Endings edited by Elsie Chapman & Ellen Oh

Hearts are rebellious

I really loved A Thousand Beginnings and Endings because of the different cultures that are present in this book. The stories were really well written and made me want to read more by these authors.

Book Review: A Thousand Beginnings and Endings edited by Elsie Chapman & Ellen Oh


Title & Author: A Thousand Beginnings and Endings edited by Elsie Chapman & Ellen Oh
Genre: Fantasy, Short Stories
Release date: June 26 2018
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Greenwillow Books


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

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

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

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

I give A Thousand Beginnings and Endings edited by Elsie Chapman and Ellen Oh because the short stories they have collected by these great authors are sincere and beautiful.

At the end of every story there is a little letter of the author on how they came to write the story and where the origins comes from. It is very informative and made me want to find the original and read that too when I really enjoyed the spin-off in this book.

Each story between these covers is unique and a lot of them set in different genre, like fantasy, science-fiction, romance, contemporary, etc. It was really interesting and even though they had such different genres, they still didn’t feel like completely different stories. I didn’t feel like I was pulled out of the book each time a story was done.

Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi is beautifully written and almost felt poetic. It is very livid and cute.

Olivia’s Table by Alyssa Wong was interesting, I have never heard of Alyssa Wong but I really thought it was well written. The story is about the Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival and it was beautiful. A daughter taking up the cooking for the ghosts after her mother has died. It is a sad but unique story.

Steel Skin by Lori M. Lee was a bit less interesting. The most uninteresting story of the bunch, I think. The story is about androids and the relationship of the narrator with her father. I had problem s connecting with it.

Still Star-Crossed by Sona Chariapotra had a bit of a sudden end but made me want to reread it, which is what I did. I thought this gave it a curious quality and it was pretty creepy.

The Counting of Vermillion Beads by Aliette De Bodard is a story about sisters and the power they have, it was another interesting story.

The Land of Morning Calm by E.C. Myers is an emotional read. It is a beautiful story about loss, but also implements the modern world with a massive online game. It was really interesting but be aware of tears.

The Smile by Aisha Saeed is a tragic love story. It is well written, like most of the others and made me feel happy and sad at the same time, curious experience.

Girls Who Twirl and Other Dangers by Preeti Chhibber was a strange mix between modern day and Hindu myths. It was interesting and maybe taught me something, but I am not sure what.

Nothing into All by Renée Ahdieh was where Renée’s writing shone. It’s a tale about siblings, decisions/consequences and forgiveness. It was beautiful.

Spear Carrier by Rahul Kanakia didn’t give me the emotions I had hoped to get from it and went on a little bit too long. It’s about what it means to be a hero.

Code of Honor by Melissa de la Cruz didn’t seem to work for me. I wasn’t pulled in and it was about a vampire, which felt a bit odd compared to the others.

Bullet, Butterfly by Elsie Chapman was again beautiful, like most Chinese short stories. It is about loyalty and its consequences. That combined with China makes for an interesting story.

Daughter of the Sun by Shveta Thakrar is a moving story and well written. With a good lesson in it: Follow your heart, regardless of the outcome and consequences.

The Crinsom Cloak by Cindy Pon is a wonderful rendition of Cowherd, a Chinese folktale. I loved it and I wanted more, but unfortunately it is a short story.

Eyes like Candlelight by Julie Kagawa was interestingly written, it makes me wonder whether other books by Julie are this great. This story was a great ending to a great anthology and it was lovely.

So overall this anthology is a great read. If you don’t have the time to read them all at once, they also lend for great short reading.

Let me know what you thought of this book!
If you have any requests for which book I should talk about next, please let me know in the comments down below.

For now, let books enrich your life!


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