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The Goddess Chronicle by Natsuo Kirino

October 4, 2021 in Book Reviews
The Goddess Chronicle by Natsuo Kirino - Book Review

AD • I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review however all opinions are entirely my own.

Good afternoon, friends! I’m back today with another book review. This time I’ll be talking about something a little different to what I normally read. Today’s book is The Goddess Chronicle by Natsuo Kirino which was kindly sent to me by Canongate to review. What appealed to me about this one is that it’s a Japanese myth retelling that has been translated into English. I know a lot of you are fond of a good myth retelling so keep reading!

Synopsis

On an island in the shape of a teardrop live two sisters. One is admired far and wide, the other lives in her shadow. One is the Oracle, the other is destined for the Underworld.

But what will happen when she returns to the island?

Based on the Japanese myth of Izanami and Izanagi, The Goddess Chronicle is a fantastical tour de force about ferocious love and bitter revenge.

Natuso Kirino is a leading figure in the recent boom of female writers of Japanese hard-boiled crime fiction. A prolific writer, she is most famous for her 1998 novel, Out, which received the Grand Prix for Crime Fiction, Japan’s top mystery award and was a finalist (in translation) for the 2004 Edgar Award. So far, four of her novels have been translated into English: Out, Grotesque, Real World and What Remains. (from Canongate)

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Book Review

The Goddess Chronicle is hailed as being a “feminist retelling” but in my opinion, it felt somewhat lacking in that area. There’s heavy emphasis on a woman’s role within their community and families but not much on women being individuals with agency. (I’m aware that my perspective and cultural background is very different to the author’s so this is not a criticism of the book, more of a side note.)

I absolutely loved Namina and was struck by how much it hurt to see her betrayed or neglected by those closest to her. It’s very much a tragic family drama at its heart.

I also enjoyed the way that the gods of Izanagi and Izanami interact with the humans in the story. It was very cleverly done to the point that I had no idea how it was all going to come together until the end.

Overall, I think fans of myth retellings and family dramas will find something to enjoy here.

Hayley @ Cosy Chapters

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Hayley

I'm Hayley (she/her) and I'm more than a little bit bookish. Cosy Chapters is where I share all things book-related plus the occasional post about the cosy lifestyle. When I'm not reading, you'll find me spending time with my little family, rewatching sitcoms, planning the now somewhat elusive trip to Disneyland Paris and losing entire days playing ACNH.

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1 Comment

  • Stephanie @ Bookfever October 4, 2021 at 6:33 pm

    What I know about Japanese mythology I love but I’m also no expert in it so any book that has it sounds like a must-read to me.

  • Leave a Reply

    Welcome to Cosy Chapters!

    I'm Hayley (she/her) and I'm more than a little bit bookish.

    Cosy Chapters is where I share all things book-related plus the occasional post about the cosy lifestyle.

    When I'm not reading, you'll find me spending time with my little family, rewatching sitcoms, planning the now somewhat elusive trip to Disneyland Paris and losing entire days playing ACNH.

    Follow Cosy Chapters on WordPress.com

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